If, like us, your hips don’t lie, right now you’ll be frantically adding the final sequins to your head gear, and perking up your feathers for a weekend to remember – and, no, we’re not talking about a stay-behind in Pink. We’re talking Samba. And we’re talking Carnival!

For one day only – Abercrombie Square will be Copacabana Beach, and the Blackie will be, er, Sugar Loaf Mountain, as thousands of gyrating, and pulsating dancers and percussionists (they’re known as Baterias, and that’s Samba Fact No1) wind their sinuous and sensual way through Liverpool’s streets.

And, like a Latin pied-piper, Roger Morris, Liverpool Samba School’s Musical Director, will be leading the procession.

A jobbing musician, Morris first tasted the infectious 2/4 tempo while touring with The Real Thing.

“As a percussionist, it was the rhythm that instantly hooked me,” he tells SevenStreets, “and I knew I wanted to delve deeper.”

Next stop? There is only one place. Rio.

Brazil’s Carnival pumps more dollars into Rio’s economy than any other tourist event. A dazzling day-long party, the event has become a national holiday, and a massive tourism money spinner.

Liverpool’s not there yet, but Morris is determined to make this event a major fixture of our cultural calendar too.

samba school“With a little more support and backing, we could be looking at an event every bit as lucrative, and important to the local economy as theirs,” Morris, who runs the Liverpool Samba School with his wife, Maeve (left in pic), believes. “Just look how far we’ve got in the past ten years,” he says.

This year’s event is the biggest yet – with ten samba schools from across the country taking part.

“It’s not just about the money, although we could do with more help,” Morris says, “In this city, there’s a tendency to just throw cash at things and assume that will create something magical. It doesn’t happen like that. We’ve proved that all you need is passion, dedication and a belief in what you do.”

“People tend to think all Carnivals are the same. They’re not,” Morris says, “Notting Hill is a West Indian Carnival, and Samba is just tacked on to it. Many Samba schools have found that event to be a little hostile to Rio-style Carnivals, and the event is over-subscribed anyway, so our ambition is to make Liverpool’s carnival the equivalent in scale to the Notting Hill event.”

“We mightn’t get the money, but I believe we produce the most exciting event this city stages,” Morris says.

We’ve seen those eye-popping Amazonian dancers, and we’re not about to argue.

Sure, rain is threatening to soak the streets tomorrow, but SevenStreets reckons it’s unlikely to dampen the spirits.

If you’re going tomorrow, look out for Manchester and Liverpool’s thrilling Cordao de Ouro who will perform capoeira (an Afro/Portuguese/Brazilian cocktail of dance, music and martial arts), and the stunning costumes and intoxicating rhythms of Parisian samba group Sambatuc.

“Liverpool won’t know what’s hit it when a giant silver elephant joins a colossal Medusa, and an army of fantastic creatures!” says Roger.

Oh sure, we’ll take that in our stride…

Click here for a route map

Liverpool Carnival, 8:30pm. From Abercrombie Square

Liverpool Samba School meets at the Blackie every Monday evening.

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