Anybody Everybody Tottenham

From Panic to Pandemic via the Pan Yard to Panorama - Karen and Ziggy, Pan Nation

June 12, 2023 Jamila Season 2 Episode 40
Anybody Everybody Tottenham
From Panic to Pandemic via the Pan Yard to Panorama - Karen and Ziggy, Pan Nation
Show Notes Transcript

Getting to hear steel pan music in the summer is just one of the wonderful side effects of living near a park and a primary school in Tottenham. I am so chuffed that I finally managed to get two players from the local orchestra to tell me all about the history and in and outs of steel pan music! Thank you Karen and Ziggy

Here the promised links:
Pan Nation Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pan_nationuk/
Pan Nation website: https://www.pan-nation.co.uk/
Pan Nation Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utQ6fPyjD04

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pod instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anybodyeverybodytottenham/
pod website : https://www.anybodyeverybodytottenham.com/
pod twitter: https://twitter.com/AnybodyBody

If you fancy supporting my hobby - buy me a coffee :)
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/anybodyeveI 

Jamila  0:02  

Hi, I'm Jamila. And anybody, everybody Tottenham is a bi monthly podcast, introducing the good people of Tottenham to you, summer is here. And that means for Tottenham that we're all hanging out in the parks, it also means we've got some steel pan music going on. So today I'm interviewing two people from our local pan nation. And when we talk, they mentioned a couple of times, Chris, Chris is the founder of pan nation. And I just want to mention that he just received the British Empire Medal for his service to steel pan music and his work in the local community. And it's a little bit different this time, the structure, I wanted to understand more about steel pan music and its history, both in the Caribbean, and also here. So I keep on asking, like little things, you know, where where do you buy these things? You know, how does it work? So I hope that's interesting to you as well. Okay, so I hope you enjoy it.

 

Today on the pod. I've got pan nation, and we've got two guests. Hello, and thank you for joining me. And could you please introduce yourself? 

 

karen  1:16  

I'm Karen pan nation's Secretary and also a member of the adult group. 

 

Ziggy  1:21  

I am Ziggy, I'm the captain of pan nation, and an active player. 

 

Jamila  1:25  

So you're a captain. What does that mean? 

 

Ziggy  1:28  

It means I just kind of get the jobs that nobody else wants (laughs) But yeah, no, it's more just to just to lead the band kind of keep everybody doing what they're doing and helping to run the practice itself. 

 

Jamila  1:40  

But let's maybe talk a little bit about the history. So I've read that it's been about 13 years now that it's been in the making. So how did it all start out? 

 

Ziggy  1:51  

So the idea was, was something that was kind of in the works prior to us forming 13 years ago. So the manager and the arranger of the band Chris storey has been teaching steel pan, since I think from the age of about 16. I think he started teaching steel pan in schools in Haringey, so we've had smaller bands before where he was teaching via the Haringey young musicians, they've had ensembles. And we were previously part of the band called pantasia, which was actively running before pan nation. When that band no longer function, then we decided to create our own band in pan nation. So that's how it started. But yeah, the idea was kind of knocking around prior to when we started, it's something that we've always wanted to do playing in previous bands is having our own band in North London. 

 

Jamila  2:41  

And what's like the history of the steel bands in the UK? Steel bands have been around since the 40s from Trinidad originally. Is it still that it was like originally very much based in the Trinidad community or already across the different Caribbean groups? Do you know within London?

 

Ziggy  3:02  

It was the Trinidad community. So the residents it was in the West London area. So in like Ladbroke Grove area, 

 

Jamila  3:10  

because the Carnival was founded by women? 

 

Ziggy  3:13  

So the original Carnival was originally steel pan, and as it as it was brought over from Trinidad, there's, I think it was there was an x bar I can't remember the dates. But there's a video of the first time still Pan was played in Great Britain. And there was a band that came over from Trinidad and played. And I think that's kind of started off what what we now know, as steel pan in the UK. 

 

Jamila  3:34  

And then it's slowly moved to North London? 

 

Ziggy  3:36  

Yes. So the bands, the bands were created over in West London, and then it kind of spread across, there was a gentleman called Joe Forsyth, who was quite instrumental in putting steel pan into schools. But yeah, he was quite instrumental 

 

Jamila  3:53  

in the UK? Because I also read that in Trinidad in the 70s, it came into their schools, and that was a big movement to make it more acceptable, that it wasn't just like rebellious music, but that it was more, you know, proper 

 

karen  4:09  

But you're right about - I'm sorry Ziggy - but you know, when you're talking about this lady who started the - what was the driving force for the first what we recognize today as Notting Hill Carnival, and as Ziggy was saying pan is very much has always been a part certainly within Trinidadian culture, a feature of Carnival, you just wouldn't have carnival without pan, you know, the two are very much interwoven. And then just jumping to your point about steelpan having a broader reach, because I actually grew up in St. Lucia. So a little further north from Trinidad, it spread amongst the Caribbean islands. And certainly in my day, when I was growing up in St. Lucia, the thought of Pan being available and open to all just wasn't there like we have it today, I feel rather fortunate that I can, as a woman as well - stand in the front row and play a tenor pan. Because tenor Pan is considered perhaps one of the roles that mostly guys used to play. And also, in fact, apart from being when pan first came out and was sort of introduced into society as things went on early history pan, where you had Is it mostly men, and it was also split down the lines of - how best to put it - so like societal sectors if you like. So it was almost like, you know, like little communities within. So if you didn't belong to a particular community, your chances of getting into that particular pan band were pretty slim sort of thing, you know, but things have moved on so much, you know, from that, and that's one of the things I might be jumping ahead by saying this. But one of the things that, you know, pan nation is very much about our name comes from that this whole thing about this global family, that all is welcome, we are truly diverse and inclusive. So and Chris is, of course, at the center of all of that. So it's a wonderful space to be in from that perspective, and just a huge, huge leap from where pan first started, and the the sort of vibes around it, then to how it has now become,

 

Jamila  6:09  

okay. So I didn't realize that there was also this slight gender side.

 

karen  6:15  

In St. Lucia, for sure, if, you know, it just wasn't seeing the pan yard was not seen as a place for a woman. It was not. So yeah, so I don't know how, what it was like in London to begin with. I don't know Ziggy if you can, if you have any.

 

Ziggy  6:31  

No, I've not got much insight. But originally in Trinidad, it was the same. It was a male oriented. Yeah, you wouldn't find women in bands. It was definitely more male orientated.

 

Jamila  6:41  

And so how did both of you get involved first of all into steel bands, and then into pan nation?

 

Ziggy  6:49  

I started in school, so I must have - probably about 20 years ago now. But whilst I was a school, we had a steel band. The primary school that I went to 

 

Jamila  6:59  

was it here in Haringey?

 

Ziggy  7:01  

Yes, it was Boradwater farm, primary school, where yes, where, I've grown up, I've lived there most of my life. So yeah, I went to  that primary school and there was a steel band there. And then when I went to secondary school, we didn't originally have any steel pans, but some were purchased. And that's when I met Chris because Chris started teaching our band at school. So that was my introduction to steel band. And then from that Chris said that he had an after school ensemble that he was running, and he invited a few of us down to come and play with that ensemble. And then yeah, I've been playing pan ever since

 

Jamila  7:31  

did you play other instruments as well?  

 

Ziggy  7:34  

Not really, I played a little bit of piano. I've done other some sort of musical stuff no that is nothing to to shout home about. Yeah, a lot, a lot of self taught kind of stuff and just just playing around. I'm quite a musical person. So it's always been an interest of mine. But still, Pan was the thing I kind of put the most energy into. So from then, you know, we've always played out on gigs and been part of the ensemble

 

Jamila  7:56  

And I heard you you recently got some acknowledgement.

 

Ziggy  8:01  

Yes. So there was a recognition award given out to pan players that was voted by other pan players in the UK, have kind of like a dream team of players that they want, you know, in their top X amount of bands for for the panorama competitions. So that was the recognition I did receive.

 

Jamila  8:21  

Okay, and what about you Karen? 

 

karen  8:22  

Well I started a bit later on, I came to pan, pretty late in my 40s, late, like mid 40s actually. And I started in a little band called panic, which is based in Cambridge, actually

 

Jamila  8:37  

All these word games here with pan.

 

karen  8:40  

Exactly. In fact, a lot of bands. Steel bands have got the word pan somehow concealed within it. So yeah, so you can guess what it means for our little group in Cambridge being called Panic. Yeah, so I started with them, but then I joined I happen to join pan nation in 2019. And that came about because I was encouraging my daughter to get involved with a pan band. And she always kept saying, I will and she just never got around it. So I said, okay, right as you know, as mothers do, right, let's get this sorted out. So, I heard what it was, while I was doing my research and pan nation was one of the bands that came up, and I heard them playing I love - Ziggy, you know, that one very well, don't you?  love that? That was their first outing at panorama in the UK. And I was blown away and that's the band we've got to get in I don't care where they are. That's where we go. And as luck would have it, they were in Tottenham. It was perfect. Because my daughter was schooling. She was at university in London at the time and living in Tottenham. So it was perfect. So yeah, so that's how I got started. I don't really have a musical background. I did as of most people at school the recorder and stuff like that. But really, I mean, that's one of the beautiful things about pan is that you don't need to have previous experience to actually get the song out within a short amount of time you can participate from the word go in a large ensemble that ia one of the fun elements about it.

 

Jamila  10:11  

I was just thinking though, like, do you have - like do you practice at home? Because it seems to be very much a team effort? Isn't it's an instrument that I mean, you can't really play by yourself? Or could you? I don't know.

 

karen  10:23  

I mean, you're right. Because there's two different skills- it is one thing, and Ziggy will probably agree it's one thing playing by yourself. And there's quite another thing when you're playing in a group. So for me, because I play tenor pan, mostly, it's easy, which is just a single pan that's quite easy to play at home. But for Ziggy - Ziggy has on base, you got six -

 

Ziggy  10:42  

Yeah I am playing six, six full oil drums, so it's a bit difficult to store, to keep in one's house.

 

Jamila  10:50  

Y ou can't play it at home, surely. (Ziggy laughs), the rest of your family must hate you.

 

Ziggy  11:00  

Yeah, so I've, I've never taken a bass pan home. Actually you know, during lockdown. I did keep one in my mom's garden, which was interesting. But yeah, it's one of the bigger instruments, it is difficult just in terms of storage, it is a lot more of an ensemble sort of thing. So when we get together, that's mainly when we practice, like Karen said, some with the smaller pans, they do take them home and practice at home. But yeah, as a band, it really is, you know, when we get together when we practice.

 

Jamila  11:26  

So if you're thinking about pan nation within the UK, because you are really successful - how big is the field? So you know, is there just five bands? And you're in the top three? Or is there 500 bands, and you're in the top three ?

 

Ziggy  11:42  

it depends on, it's kind of two disciplines, I would say, you've got the big band side of things. So when you come to like carnival, and the steel band competition, Panorama, so then you'll have the large bands, you know, consisting of up to 100 players. That's one side of it, the other side of it is, you know, you've got some much smaller bands operating up and down the country that are doing kind of small gigs, workshops. So you know, in terms of the big bands, you know, actively at the moment, there may be five or six, maybe seven big bands in total, that can kind of draw out those numbers for the competition, whereas there's a lot more smaller bands, you know, doing small kind of private gigs or corporate events around the country.

 

karen  12:29  

Yeah, there must be like in the hundreds, I would think, I think most places have got, there is a steel band somewhere. It's certainly spread throughout the UK, you could if you wanted to learn to play pan, you could learn no matter where you were probably probably find something now,

 

Jamila  12:43  

and how many people are - so you've got a big band, and then you've got several smaller bands? Or how does it work? How many people are there involved.

 

Ziggy  12:52  

So we've got the main band, which we practice on a Thursday evening. So with that, that's normally outside of the kind of Carnival season, maybe 30 players, 30 active players during that time. And then with the steel band competition, we will go up to about 100 players, then we have the Sunday, beginners classes. So we run a class on a Sunday, people who don't have necessarily any sort of experience playing steel pan that can come down and learn steel pan from a beginner level. So those classes, there's three classes that run on a Sunday. And what's the number of members in each class? Roughly?

 

karen  13:34  

 So we probably average all together - not so - it is now under 80 players, actually. Because each group is probably about 25 at least now and in this particular month, something like that. And so the idea is that group one would be the newer people who have played for less time group two, slightly more advanced and group three a bit beyond that. Which is what I play in the adult groups on a Sunday, myself,

 

Jamila  13:59  

yeah. And what age group? do you have children as well, or

 

karen  14:03  

I don't know for the main band Ziggy, I'm sure you'll address that in a bit. But in the adult group is there those 18 and over is what we look at there. But Chris does run classes for kids and that is through Haringey. So if anyone wasn't then they would have to contact the Haringey music service. But there are classes available for kids. And I know there's also another class that Chris does for adults on a Wednesday evening. I think it's from six o'clock to or 6.30 to eight. And that is let me look at my little note. That's at Hornsey girls, but again, it's all done through the Haringey music service

 

Jamila  14:46  

So if people wanted to get involved, could they come maybe just to watch the first time or would that be okay, would they have to email you?

 

Ziggy  14:56  

We take inquiries through any of our social media channels. Any information, if someone is interested, they'll get in contact with us via email, depending on what level of experience they have, we may then decide what group that they would then go into with the Thursday night practice with the main band, it's normally more experienced players. So players who have reached a certain level of experience, because that is it's not so much a lesson. Whereas it's more of an ensemble where we, you know, it's kind of the music's handed down to us through the channels. And we're at a level where we can manage that and play as well, with your question about the under 18. So we do take on younger players, if they have the ability. So there is some players at the moment in the main band on Thursday, who are under 18, they're quite exceptional. To be fair, you know, Chris has either taught them in school, or one of the other guys who teaches in schools have seen the ability that they have, and ask them to come down and join on a Thursday night. And that's how they get involved through that invitation that they have there. I think our youngest player is 14. Yeah, we got two. Yeah, they both been out on gigs with us professional gigs, private gigs. So yeah, they're exceptional players. So that's why they're part of the band.

 

Jamila  16:08  

Just going back a little bit, because Karen said she joined 2019, you know, in my background is always screams, pandemic. So what did you do during that time?

 

karen  16:21  

You know, hats off to poor Chris, because he really kept the group together, as you say, during a long time, you cannot play pan and not be together. You know, it's a - you can't play it across zoom, because there's always issues with, well, firstly, not everyone can have a pan at home in any event. And then there's a whole issue of streaming and, you know, trying to coordinate everything when things are just out of sync. So it was a question of Chris did lots of free music theory classes, he brought on interesting guests with a steel pan background to discuss their work within steel pan and you know, just enlightening us and tips as well for playing. So yes, I mean, it was just a question of trying to do the best you could until we were allowed to get back into the Pan yard. And our numbers remain strong. In fact, we have a waiting list. And so in fact, just going back to just about whether people can come in for free lessons, because we're often out there people can see what we do if we are out performing you know, you can get up close, you can see what has to be done as it were to play, we just can't fit in extra people at the moment just to come in and watch

 

Ziggy  17:26  

yeah, if anyone did want to see what we do, I would point them to our Instagram or Facebook we got a tik tok account now as well, we've got videos. And yes, we've got videos, showing, you know, performances, YouTube as well. We've got we've got 

 

Jamila  17:41  

I will link them in the in the show notes. So people can click on 

 

Ziggy  17:46  

Yeah, we've also got our annual what we call the blockorama coming up at the end of the month as well, which is a great time to come and see what we do on a big band scale, because there'll be us and three other steel bands performing at lordship recreation ground in Tottenham, so it'll be a great day out, a good chance for people to come and see steel pan. Because there's one thing watching recordings, but steel pan is something that you want to experience live, because that's when you really get the most from it and see what it's about. So that's definitely something that people can come to. And that is on the 24th of June - it is a Saturday. 

 

karen  18:19  

Yes it is a Saturday. And in fact we're in the - Ziggy won't be with us because it's our the main band won't be at this particular event - but we're going to be there on the weekend the Saturday before that the 17th of June. We're taking part in activities and an event I forget the name of the actual event, but it's being hosted in the Lordship Rec as well. That for those people who perhaps are thinking about joining that's a good one to come to as well because they can see what people who have minimum experience you know, what they can put together.

 

Jamila  18:47  

Do you do carnival as well? Or?

 

karen  18:49  

Yeah, we are due to do do to the carnival this year aren't we Ziggy?

 

Ziggy  18:52  

Yes. So we will be on the road this year on Carnival Monday. (Okay), previously did it in 2019 didn't we?. (Yeah), yeah. So we was on the road on the Monday in 2019. So yeah, do look out for us if you're down at Notting Hill carnival on that Monday. That's always good to see steel band on the road.

 

karen  19:09  

Absolutely. Wouldn't be carnival without it as far as I'm concerned.

 

Jamila  19:13  

And then I also read that you are at the spurs games or one of your bands.

 

Ziggy  19:18  

Yes. So we've been playing at the Spurs grounds. Just outside this first round up on the concourse. And before out on the street in front. We're the official steel band of Tottenham Hotspur. (Are you playing?) They seem to enjoy. I've been on that one because that's a smaller band. So we normally take maybe six seven piece for that one, but I've played in a few of those. They're good. It's a good time to play and they really are up for it, the football fans. They're quite a lively bunch. So it's always a good one to do that one.

 

Jamila  19:45  

Did you try and get in with Beyonce this week or?

 

karen  19:50  

(laughs) Funny you should say that? No.

 

Ziggy  19:53  

No, unfortunately.

 

Jamila  19:55  

So Ziggy, you said you've grown up in Tottenham. So what Is Tottenham to you what is typical Tottenham? And how has it changed maybe over the years? 

 

Ziggy  20:07  

I think Tottenham is a place that is very vibrant, you know, it's got a good mix of people and communities. So I've always, you know, so it's been a pleasure for me to live in Tottenham in terms of change. Well, I think in the last five, six years, we've seen the most sort kind of changes to it. There's a lot of kind of new businesses popping up, but it still has that kind of sense of, of community. That's there.

 

Jamila  20:33  

And Karen, you came in as an outsider. So do you regularly come for the I was gonna say training, but it's not training for the

 

karen  20:41  

Yeah, just classes, I come to our pan yard as we call it. Yeah, I drive down on a Sunday, but I'm actually sort of an ex Tottenham resident. I did live in, so I used to live in Tottenham, but over 25 years ago, now, you know, it's not completely entirely new to me. So like Ziggy says, it's definitely has more a sort of town community sort of feel to it for sure. So I feel you know very much at home with it all even though I don't live there anymore. It's not completely you know, any spaces that as it were, and I like it because it is a vibrant place. I like the fact that especially from - if you're a member of the black community, it is so much easier to get certain things like you know, grabbed ? and stuff like that, or buy hit here stuff and all of that, this is not a ?? to get when you live in Cambridge, you don't, you can't just pop around the corner and get myself a ripe  plantain. Or I'm gonna go get myself some hair and conditioner or something. As you know, if you want specific products that are aimed more at the black community, it's very handy. You know, being in a place like Tottenham for sure.

 

I was wondering about steel pans, are there shops where you buy them?

 

Nowadays, you probably can get them. But if you were in Trinidad, you'd have to get the pan maker wouldni't you Ziggy?

 

Ziggy  21:58  

Yeah. Because it's a bespoke instrument. So you know, each pan is individually handmade. So yeah, you would go to somebody who makes pans. So one of the tuners she makes pans, the tuner who made a lot of our instruments is called Grafton yearwood banaye. Yeah, he's made a lot of our instruments, beautiful instruments that we have. 

 

Jamila  22:16  

So there are different types of steel pans, how many are there?

 

Ziggy  22:21  

so think of it as is it in terms of an orchestra. So you know, from that, that scale of bass, up to you know, what you would say, Soprano, and then you'd have a range of pans that meet that, that sort of, that sonic range. So the higher the range, normally, the smaller, the pan, so the bass pans like what I play the six, there'll be six of them, and they'll be full sized.

 

Jamila  22:43  

And is there like also, some of them are maybe easier for a beginner that they would start out and then one once would be more for advanced people? 

 

Ziggy  22:55  

It depends, really, some people are quite versatile and do switch amongst pans. Yeah, it's different. So it's not so much easier really. Well, if you play the tenor pan, what that normally plays is the melody of the song. So you know, sometimes that can be seen as somewhat a bit more difficult, as it's a lot more notes in terms of the music, rather than something like the bass where you're just playing bass lines. But yeah, you know, if you play a specific pan, you may, like myself, I've only only ever really played bass pan, you've got other players, who can play, you know, pretty much anything. And then people that do just stick to one and try and just master that one.

 

Jamila  23:30  

Karen, any thoughts about this one?

 

karen  23:33  

Yeah, I mean, as he says, I mean, it's - a steel pan orchestra is based on layers, as he says, so you will have the tenor pans, they are essentially your vocalist. So if you are a beginner, and then you know, your instructor would choose a simpler song, so that you have time to get to your notes and figure things out as you go along. And so the more experienced you are then you can tackle more complex songs or faster tunes. To get there as he was saying there, on the tenor pan, you have something like two and a half octave range on that. So it's about 30 of notes that you know, something like that, I think. So there's a lot in a small space for you to figure out where you need to be hitting. So that takes a bit of time. But there's no reason why a complete novice couldn't start on a tenor pan. That's where I started. You can have a bass tenor I think you can get  base pans up to like nine pans, isn't it, Ziggy?

 

Ziggy  24:24  

Yeah, nine - oh it goes, it goes up to 12. 

 

karen  24:26  

Oh, wow. Because essentially, you'll have pans around you when you have those large bases as well as up in some level, some on the floor and some raised higher up, hoisted up. So you're literally swiveling around, down and up then all over the place to find your keys. So although ostensibly bass looks to be easier, because there are fewer notes on one pan, but you've got these fewer notes scattered all over the place. And you're having to twist all over and getting all this stuff In time, so, you know, I think each pan has its own demands. And so a lot depends, as I said, partly your own temperament. If you're a more sort of laid back person, you might be happier being on a bass pan and being on a tenor versus where you, it can be a little bit more frenetic. it's hard to get more notes in quickly. So yeah, just saying that. So really, anyone at any stage can start on a pan, and that's one of the wonderful, it's the beauty of steel pan, you can have it as simple as possible, or you can have the most you know, complex arrangements on a on, you know, on a steel pan,

 

Jamila  25:37  

But then you have to go and have your custom made pans, if you have so many.

 

karen  25:42  

It  is expensive. That that is true, you know, about if you're wanting to learn pan with, you know, the likes of Chris, for instance, is quite good, because we, you know, pans are provided. So you don't have to worry about that. But some people do choose to buy their own pan so they can practice at home, like I'm one of those who has got a pan, you do have that option. And the other thing actually, just that you're right, it can be especially the tenor pan, it is so high, it can be a bit much for household members and possibly neighbors. But these days, you can get these dampening sticks. So you still play the notes, but it doesn't reverberate as much. So it's very, very quiet.

 

Jamila  26:15  

Okay, so what would you say have been your highlight so far? Like which performances or acknowledgments have you enjoyed?

 

Ziggy  26:24  

I think, last year's panorama competition, so the big steel band competition that happens on the Saturday before the carnival weekend, in August, playing at that - the tune  we played was out and bad by an artist called voice. I think that's probably been one of my highlights, just because of the progression where we've come from as a band last year, we came third place in the competition, you know, and what that means, you know, from all these years of playing and building up the band, and everything that we've been through as a band, to be at this point where now you know, we're going into the competition again this year. You know, we've just built floats for our instruments. Previously, we had to rent staging. Now, we've just made our own floats for the instruments. So you know, we're finally going to start to look like an actual steel band with our own floats, and decorations. So yeah, I think last year was kind of that, that point where it's like, you know, with all the work that we've done over the last X amount of years, now it's finally starting to really kind of come together, you know, we've got interest from players, we've got some players coming over from Trinidad this year, we've been getting some recognition out in Trinidad as well, on our music. So I think you know, last year was really one of the big highlights, the work that we've done is really coming to fruition.

 

karen  27:39  

And for me, it would be the winter concert, my first winter concert, with pan nation. And in 2019, I invited quite a lot of my family members, so we had about a dozen of us there. Yeah, our feet weren't touching the ground, and we were just, you know, floating, it was such an experience, just beginning to appreciate what you can do with a pan how it brings everyone together. You know, there was so much love in that place, you know, it just fed the soul, it was a tonic. So that kept me going for a good week or more. Just every time I just start grinning to myself, and there's just remembering that experience and being able to share it with so many people, and the passion that there is for steel pan. And it's something that's so humble. And you think about it, you know, yeah, it has this magical quality. And a lot has got to do with Chris, of course, because you know, you have to have a really good arranger, Chris has got an ear like no one I know. You know, he's he's really unique in the way that he puts things together. And whether you are a beginner, or whether you're more experienced from the main band, he knows how to take a piece of music - and of course, it's still identifiable, but he still puts his own spin on it and he's got this all these little layers going on. And you hmm where did that come from and you're like, yeah, that just hits you, you know. So I really, you know, it's honestly being part of pan nation for me - when I truly felt really a real part of something really special was my first winter concert.

 

Jamila  29:07  

And is your daughter still playing? Or was she playing that concert?

 

karen  29:12  

Well, that's interesting, because yes, my daughter also played at the winter concert, but she's now living in Paris. And because she was playing - she was playing in the adult group. She joined a band out there called calypsociacion. And they entered into the French panorama this year, as well as she's had that experience too. Had she not joined. This is the same person that was like. "Oh, I'll do it. Mom. Yes. I'll..." you know, and she loves it. She plays cello pans too. So, so yeah, no, she really, really, you know, part she just doesn't imagine life without having her pans so yeah. 

 

Jamila  29:49  

Are there some international competitions or conventions? Where you're aiming to go one day?

 

Ziggy  29:56  

No, at the moment, there's nothing kind of there used to be the World Festival. Previously where bands have competed. So you get bands from different countries that will compete in that festival. But that hasn't happened for some time, I can't remember when the last one was actually one of our members, Dan, he's played in that with another band when they had it out in Trinidad. So lots of bands went out to Trinidad and played in Trinidad as part of the World Festival,

 

Jamila  30:21  

maybe you start - need to start something? 

 

karen  30:23  

But there's also the logistics of getting, I mean, one of the things I mean, pans look to be really robust, you know, they're made from steel, and so on. But in terms of their tuning, you know, they're pretty fragile instruments, it just takes a little bit of a whack. And then pans untuned definitely and then you need a specialist tuner to come and sort that out. And it takes time to do things. There's also the logistics I think of always having, especially if bands are having to come with their, you know, instruments, maybe if they didn't, if they could do something where you share instruments, maybe that would certainly be worth doing. But trying to just put all that together, logistics has be really quite, quite difficult.

 

Jamila  31:05  

What's the situation like in Europe? Is there like, because you said in Paris, they've got some, I guess you've got a little bit like, Guadeloupe, Martinique, you've got some French Caribbean islands,

 

karen  31:15  

I was gonna say actually, pan is definitely global. Now. There's no two ways about it. Japan is a big thing as well. There's a fantastic, you know, pan in Japan, and there's also Dutch bands as well. I mean, it is really ...

 

Ziggy  31:29  

Chris went out and did some work with a German band not too long ago did some music with them. You know, in America, there's a big pan scene in America as well. So it is a global thing.

 

Jamila  31:39  

So shall we come to the top tips Tottenham section? what are your top tips?

 

Ziggy  31:45  

 Sure, I'll start with some top tips in terms of food, because I do like a bit of food. So. So in terms of say for  breakfast, so there's a few places that I would definitely recommend forks and green is definitely a lovely little restaurant, just the food. The food is lovely. It's just a lovely little calf. Next to the Park, so if anyone hasn't been there, definitely pop into there. There's also the garden house on Tottenham high road, which is a really good caff. Nice big space. Got some outside seating, lovely friendly staff good food. I would also recommend the high cross pub, which is a lovely little pub. Just right next to our pan yard it is our regular drinking spot after practice.

 

Jamila  32:28  

I was gonna ask if you if you eat and stuff after practice.

 

Ziggy  32:33  

Yeah, well during the summer, sometimes because we've got such a large band, we do try to provide meals and cook for the band during our summer, because we're together for about four or five weeks every night. So we try that. So there's that as well. I'd also recommend the roller disco if anyone is roller skating. Bruce Grove roller nation. That's definitely a unique place, you know, because there's not many of those around London. But the I've got I've got friends who go there regularly and they really enjoy it. It's a great night out.

 

Jamila  33:01  

Karen, over to you. 

 

karen  33:03  

Yes, so for me. Now I'm almost ashamed to say this but one of the places that really stands out to me and only came to appreciate once I left Tottenham is the Lordship Rec grounds. I literally lived a stone's throw away. I knew the park was there. But it wasn't really until I started with pan nation and we were doing - we often do gigs in the park and as we mentioned about Blockorama for instance we do that every June so having gone oh wow this is a fantastic space it's really it's a haven you know a good places to step in it has all this large open green spaces, wonderful trees, you got the lake, got woodlands, if you want that, you know, you have the hub, the cafe. So you have you know, rest facilities, restaurant facilities there as well. An outdoor gym. Are there are lots of free events being held on there as well from your music performance or, you know, wildlife groups and stuff like that. So it's a great place to go, you know, when you just want to clear your head, just get away from it or. Just one other top tip, but the Bernie grant arts centre, I think that's a fabulous piece of architecture. Architecture. Absolutely. And I think if you haven't, if you enjoy architectures as I do, it's a fabulous place to just go and feast your eyes and appreciate the works of one of our own British architects Sir David Adjaye -I think it's pronounced and also just sort of putting that center is now reopening because I know with the pandemic had been closed off to the public, but now they're opening up again, the cafe is opening up in June. So they're I know they're having lots of events there to encourage the community, especially those from the people who are interested in arts and all the best ones, especially the black community. Definitely a place to go and support and enjoy what's on offer there.

 

Jamila  34:56  

Okay, thank you very much. Thank you. So we have two key dates. I mean, the 17 and a 24. So both Saturday's coming up, where we get to see some live music if you want to - down in Lordship Rec. Okay, so I hope you enjoyed today's episode. I will link lots of stuff in the show notes and enjoy the summer, bye. I hope you enjoyed today's episode, learned something new and let that Tottenham love grow. Take care and until next time, bye

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai