Meet the Steel Bands: Mangrove

Meet Mangrove Steel Band, one of the largest and most well-travelled professional Steel Bands in Britain.

Mangrove Steel Band

The Mangrove Steel Band is one of the most prominent in Europe. With an enormous following of supporters Mangrove are one of the largest and most well-travelled professional steel bands in Britain, and are eleven-time winners of the U.K. National Panorama Competition.

Mangrove Steel Band (1987)Notting Hill Carnival

How was Mangrove founded?

Mangrove Steel Band was founded in 1980 from a traditional 'Pan Round Neck' band, where the instruments are hung from the musicians' necks by straps. Since such origins, they have developed into a large steel orchestra, sporting an array of steel pans supported by stands, racks and trolleys.

Mangrove Community Association (1983/1983)Notting Hill Carnival

Where did the name 'Mangrove' come from?

The 'Mangrove' name is derived from the famous Mangrove Restaurant and Community Association based on All Saints Road in West London. 

The restaurant became a national symbol of resistance to police oppression and racial injustice following the protest and subsequent trial of the ‘Mangrove 9’ in 1970, a prominent historical event that has most recently been memorialised in the 2020 BBC drama Mangrove.

MangroveNotting Hill Carnival

The Mangrove Legacy

The history of Mangrove, rooted in grassroots activism, protest and resistance has created a truly inclusive policy, with the band consistently attracting established players and those new to the instrument of all ages, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

This core principle is as relevant today as it was initially, with both the core stageside band and the larger Panorama band consisting of diverse members. 

Mangrove Steel Band (2018/2018) by Robbie JosephNotting Hill Carnival

Mangrove and Notting Hill Carnival

Mangrove are regular participants in Notting Hill Carnival festivities, as well as consistent competitors in the U.K. National Panorama Competition. 

Mangrove (2018)Notting Hill Carnival

They have won the Panorama title a total of eleven times, most recently completing a hat-trick by besting Ebony Steel Band, Metronomes Steel Orchestra and Croydon Steel Orchestra to win the 2021 U.K. National Panorama Competition.

Mangrove Steel Band (2018/2018) by Robbie JosephNotting Hill Carnival

Andre White

Andre White is Mangrove Steel Band's longest-serving Panorama arranger, having won the band four of their eleven Panorama championship titles. The New York-based pannist has been providing Panorama arrangements for the band since 2008.

Clive (2020/2020)Notting Hill Carnival

Notable Band Members

Clive 'Mashup' Phillip (pictured) founded Mangrove Steel Band alongside Frank Critchlow, activist and owner of the legendary Mangrove Restaurant.

Matthew Phillip, Clive's son, has continued the Mangrove legacy. He is the current manager of Mangrove and the Executive Director of Notting Hill Carnival.

Debi GardnerNotting Hill Carnival

Notable Band Members

Debbie Gardner (pictured) is the Band Administrator for Mangrove and the Executive Officer of the British Association of Steelbands (BAS).

Andrew Facey is the current Captain for Mangrove Steel Band. He is the most decorated Captain in the band's history.

Mangrove at the U.K. National Panorama Competition (2019)

For the U.K. National Panorama Competition in 2019, Mangrove performed Andre White's arrangement of Kes' 'Savannah Grass', securing them first place.

Mangrove at Notting Hill Carnival: Access All Areas (2020)

Mangrove Steel Band has been busy despite the COVID-19 pandemic, performing in the digital Notting Hill Carnival: Access All Areas. If you've enjoyed getting to know Mangrove, be sure to follow them on their socials:

Instagram: @mangrovecarnival
Twitter: @MangroveW11
Facebook: @MangroveSteelband

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps