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1985 London School of Samba in Covent Garden Piazza (Part 1)

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Published on Feb 16, 2014

This is the first of three remarkable films by Sebastian Jenkins of the LSS bateria and dancers playing in Covent Garden Piazza on Sunday 18th August 1985. This was the exact place where the LSS had played its first gig (Sunday 1st April 1984), and it is the earliest known film of the school playing here. It was also thanks to the Greater London Council (whose banner is displayed hanging over the site in these films) that the LSS got these gigs: it had a "street performers' policy and used its sites widely for the performance of music. It is striking to see the involvement of the public - there is strong audience participation with many of whom are joining in by dancing. This was when Covent Garden was alive and there was culture on the streets. Less than a year later, the GLC had been abolished and stage-by-stage, the Piazza was passed into private hands - and with that the street performers policy that benefitted so many groups like the LSS.

This first film shows mainly a performance by the bateria - led by Mestre de Bateria Joao Bosco de Oliveira and his assistant, Pato Fuentes. Some other founder members are playing in the bateria: Alan Hayman & Carlos Fuentes (surdo), Dawson Miller (caixa) and Liliana Chachian (agogo). They are joined by (amongst others), Richard Wallace and Mike Ryden (cuica), Julio Bransford and Hamish Orr (tamborim), Diego Medina and Mike Lindup of Level 42 (reco-reco), Vairag (agogo) & Sam Alexander (surdo)

The LSS thanks Sebastian Jenkins for the permission to use this film.
© Sebastian Jenkins, 1985

Mestre Mags, February 2014
Converted by from VHS to digital in 2010. Uploaded February 2014 by Mestre Mags

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