Let the carnival mas party begin
THE FUTURE looks fabulous!
So says Rampage Carnival Club band leader and designer Colin Spalding on the eve of the group’s 25th anniversary.
He and his team are beavering away in their Aladdin’s cave premises getting ready for this year’s spectacular extravaganza at the Love Luton Festival.
And what a year it’s going to be – the theme is ‘Mas through the looking glass’ and Colin and his contemporaries have been choosing their favourite carnival costumes from the past two-and-half decades.
“We’ve picked about 12 and we’re recreating and redesigning them, using modern fabrics that are lighter and brighter,” he said.
“We’ve looked at what we were trying to say with the originals and given that a 2012 twist.”
They’ve already spent more than £10,000 on materials alone, including 10lbs of feathers, 40 metres of foil and 3,000 metres of floristry ribbons.
It’s hard to believe this energetic and vibrant group started life as the Starlight Youth Club back in 1987 with just a handful of members.
Today they’re an international force with invitations flooding in from as far afield as Hong Kong, America and Australia.
Colin said: “What makes Rampage so special is the originality of our designs.
“Copying is a no-no – we have a professional reputation to maintain.
“Looking back over the past 25 years we’ve never slipped backwards, it’s always been onwards and upwards.
“But we don’t want to grow much more, so we’ll probably limit our numbers to the 100 or so we are now.
“We’ve got a good core and one of the most effective production teams in the country.”
That side is headed by logistics manager Steven Hoyte.
He joked they’re so well known nowadays that when they travel abroad they’re treated like diplomats, with their own check-in service: “It’s just a pity our tickets aren’t first class.”
Colin is proud of their independence – “It means we don’t have any restrictions” – but even more so of their youth academy which trains up young masqueraders.
Their school and community workshops are also deservedly popular because of Rampage’s famous focus and hands-on approach.
“We’re always looking at new ways of developing and moving forward,” Colin said. “But I feel the future is safe.
In fact it’s fabulous.”
> The Love Luton Festival takes place from July 6 to 9 and features a huge range of activities.
For more information visit www.luton.gov.uk/2012 festival
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Weather for Luton
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 33 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North