Soca sails into Somerset House on the Windrush


Windrush commemorative events are popping up at the most unlikely places. Throughout August, grandiose Somerset House in the Strand is echoing to a series of parties celebrating migration and sound system culture.

It’s part of a month-long installation called SYSTEM ‑ curated by musician/performance artist Gaika and commissioned by Boiler Room ‑ that commemorates the arrival Empire Windrush while also celebrating the history of Notting Hill Carnival. It “looks to celebrate black heritage and culture in the UK, inviting guests to learn and engage with the Windrush story”.

On Thursday 23 August the International Vibes Machine, Credable and Mr Hardwine, aka the Soca Kingdom, will host a soca edition of the SYSTEM Sound Series. Somerset House’s website helpfully explains that the evening will be “championing the genre of music that originated within a marginalised subculture in Trinidad and Tobago in the early 1970s”.

From that description, we reckon it may not be your usual flag-waving, illegal-wining, horn-blasting, bacchanalian pre-Carnival fete…

SYSTEM Sound Series Soca Edition: Thursday 23 August, 7‑11pm, Lancaster Rooms, New Wing, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA. Entry is free. More details: