Notting Hill Carnival: Mangrove's Matthew Phillip on the steel bands that shaped carnival

The famous sound of the steelpan doesn't just provide the soundtrack to the Notting Hill Carnival - it also played a big part shaping the event as we know it today.

Around a dozen steelbands entertain the crowds, a familiar sight requiring days, weeks and months of practice to make sure they're pitch perfect.

Matthew Phillip from Mangrove Steelband gave us a behind the scenes glimpse showing what it takes to deliver a flawless performance.

The steelpan has been an integral part of the Notting Hill Carnival since the very first September fayre that Rhaune Laslett organised in 1966.

She invited Russell Henderson to come along with some of his friends and play music. And it was their impromptu decision to just walk around the block which led to the idea of the parade starting.

Mangrove rehearsing at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill

The steelpan as an instrument was invented in the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.

The explosion of this was at the end of 1945 at the end of World War Two. There was a large American airbase in Trinidad and hundreds of thousands of these oil drums were just discarded on the island at the end of the war. So, being resourceful people they were then turned into steel drums.

Mangrove will have in excess of 100 players performing in the band. The core band is about 15 players that rehearse all year round. And in the summer months that swells up to what we have this year - over 100 people.

We’ve got people in the band as young as 12 up to people in their sixties.

We will often play traditional calypso songs as well as take something that’s popular in the charts and play it in a calypso style.

So the people visiting carnival are familiar with it and can enjoy listening to it in a different style on a different instrument they might not have heard before.

The best thing about carnival for me is that unity and the fact you have people from all over the world - different races, different nationalities just smiling and enjoying themselves and enjoying the freedom to just be on the streets.