Thursday 23rd June, 2005


Bands set party mood for kissing

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Imij & Co diva Michelle Xavier strikes a sexy pose onstage.

Former junior calypso monarch Carlene Wells joins Dil-e-Nadan and shows the Queen’s Park Oval how to do a good chutney soca wine.

Photos: Adrian Boodan

By Adrian Boodan

A valiant attempt was made on Saturday night by thousands of romance-smitten couples to shatter a Guinness Book of Records record. The objective—to break the existing record of 5,237 couples kissing simultaneously for 10 seconds, established last year in the Phillipines.

Up to press time, the jury was still out as the auditing firm of Ernst & Young had not released the official number of participants in the bid. However, preliminary checks estimate that just over 3,000 couples did kiss early on Sunday morning at the carpark of the Queen’s Park Oval, an amazing feat when one considers that T&T population is just over 1.3M people, compared to the Philippines’ 80M.

This major event was put together by the Trinidad Broadcasting Company Network and had attracted a wave of couples who started the rush registering several weeks before the big event. The pace picked up just days preceding the event.

The show launched with a big party at the Queen’s Park Oval shortly after 5 pm on Saturday. Couples started flowing through the gates from early in the afternoon and had been feting to music from DJ Shammi of Sangeet 106.1FM.

The wave of live entertainment started shortly after sunset with CT Vibe 105FM announcer Chris Boynes introducing local rock band Black Rose. The popular band opened its set with the German rock song Du Hast.

Black Rose continued its run with nine songs, including its original composition, How I Feel. Frontline singers Bobby Ramdeen and Kronic had the rock fans in the audience going wild with their slick and superb stage craft, a quality that has earned this band the title of being T&T's top local rock band.

Black Rose made way for Kees Dieffenthaller and his new band, Kes. The former Imij & Co vocalist emerged from behind a black screen, emblazoned with the band’s logo in gold, enveloped in a cloud of blue smoke. The repertoire, energetically delivered by Kes and band, included covers of popular rock, classic rock, reggae, R&B and soca hits.

The masses at the Oval particularly enjoyed Ganja Planter which Dieffenthaller dedicated to the Minister of Agriculture. Dieffenthaller ended his dramatic performance in style with multi-coloured confetti cascading over the smoke-filled stage as he was joined by a bevy of five dancers, including champion gymnast Kristel Lake, dressed in black, fitted body suits with skeletal markings.

When big band Dil-e-Nadan then took control of the stage, it was Ricardo “Daddy Chinee” Melville running things in its front line, along with Carlene Wells and Renee Ramnarine. They did a tasty mix of Indo, chutney and soca hits.

Missing on Saturday night was Dil-e-Nadan heartthrob Raymond Ramnarine. He is not expected to perform with the band for the next six months. Ramnarine suffered an injury (playing basketball and not horseback riding as rumoured) and is reportedly resting comfortably at his Gasparillo home.

Dressed in a cream suit, the chutney champ Heeralal Rampartap joined Dil-e-Nadan and performed the ever popular Run for mih Life, a song that tells a tale of the perils of marital infidelity.

A seemingly well-rested and calm looking Adesh Samaroo then appeared in stage and informed his fans that he was progressing well after his injury, in a vehicular accident, and subsequent hospitalisation. Samaroo, who did not perform, thanked the crowd for supporting him through the ordeal. He was presented with a plaque by David Inglefield, a member of the board of Trinidad Publishing Co (parent company of TBC), for his work in the music industry. Samaroo introduced his eponymous dance group, which performed to a recorded version of his hit singer Rajindeer Jeem Jeem.

Neeshan “The Hitman” Prabhoo burst on stage and welcomed “the Skinner Park crowd”—only to realise that he suffered a slip-of-tongue as he was actually in Port-of-Spain, at the Oval. Prabhoo was easily forgiven by the adoring audience for this mistake. While rendering his monster hit, More Rum for me, Prabhoo was joined on stage by two women, who he volunteered to give wining lessons.

Imij & Co was the next band to perform, showing no noticeable difference in the wake of the recent departure of a couple members.

Dressed in an “itsy bitsy” white mini skirt, Imij female vocalist Michelle Xavier had some of the men in the audience going wild as they focused on her shapely legs, some receiving well-targeted nudges to their mid sections by their female companions. Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon later joined Imij before the band made way for Machel Montano & Xtatik.

Around 12.30 am, George announced that the time had arrived... time for the big kiss-off. He jokingly remarked that a lot of men may have registered to participate in the event with a women other than their wives. A few men were then noticed retreating, away from the media cameras. George gave the countdown and the big smooch happened.

The crowd partied on afterwards with Machel & Xtatik serving up an energetic and infectious set. The event completely incident-free.

Bobby Ramdeen of Black Rose.




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