body, back to yourself
who made the long trip to Salybia on Carnival Thursday have
themselves a ball at the Escape to Playa del Este all-inclusive
thanks to Dean Ackin and Kristy Ramnarine for giving me
one of the most enjoyable carnivals Ive had for years.
These two afforded me every hospitality and courtesy while
playing mas in Tribe that I feared that I had lost with
the disbanding of Poison last year.
people have fun at Witco ONE all-inclusive fete
at the Queens Park Oval on January 21.
first Tribe experience was an unforgettable one and, having
played mas since childhood, rarely have I experienced such
efficient management and emphasis on the security and safety
of masqueraders. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to
see, as the band completed its final jump to base, the security
detail still present and vigilant on Tuesday night.
While I am relieved that its all over, I am missing
the madness of C2K7. In fact, Id exchange today in
a New York-minute to be doing the same thing I was doing
last week Thursday, being out of the office, far away from
Port-of-Spain, in Salybia at the annual Escape to Playa
del Este all-inclusive fete.
Although having not gone to every all-inclusive fete this
year, but attending more than my usual share, Escape to
Playa del Este must be in the running for being the best
of them all. A foreign patron at this Carnival Thursday
Salybia fete best summed it up when I overheard her telling
a friend: If I was given $700 when I came to Trinidad
and told to spend it on anything for Carnival, including
purchasing a costume, Id spend it on this fete.
This has been one of the most enjoyable Carnivals Ive
had, despite having probably the most work to do as well,
and the good memories are many.
Because space restricts me from going into detail these
experiences Ill just mention some of the best. Among
the fetes were Escape to Playa del Este, Dancing in the
Sanctuary, bpTT, Old Hilarians, Newtown Boys RC School
afterwork lime, Yorke Inc, Port-of-Spain Lions Class
is Class and Witco One.
At the Lions Class is Class fete, the music was outstanding,
especially the selections played by DJ Scoobie. This party,
despite referred to by many as a geriatric fete,
possessed some of the highest level of energetic intensity
I felt at any fete for C2K7. Ensuring this was Roy Cape
All Stars, led by Blaxx, Olatunji and Trini Jacob.
At Sundays Sanctuary fete in Valsayn, Alison Hinds
showed why Barbadian artistes put their local counterparts
under some heavy manners at a show in Guaracara Park last
week. The Bajan soca diva was sensational as she performed
for a full hour with her band of musicians. Not to be left
out though was special guest Sanell Dempster, and soca elder,
Blue Ventures veteran vocalist Sidney Wellington.
The best produced shows I attended were bmobile International
Groovy and Power Soca Monarch Finals and the 3Canal Bacchanal
As must be obvious from my opening, my two days of playing
mas were thoroughly satisfying, but I did manage to retain
some of my more pleasant observations. First off, I think
that the general public must be lauded for its exemplary
behaviour, with few reports of criminal or deviant acts
reported. I hope that this is a sign that we are finally
maturing as a disciplined people.
a taste of masqueraders having fun on Carnival Tuesday
in Tribes C2K7 presentation of Ole Time Something
one of the several beautiful women that graced the
Yorke Inc back-a-yard all-inclusive party in Valsayn
on January 28.
soca diva Alison Hinds dares a patron to join her
on stage before a mammoth turnout at Carnival Thursdays
Escape to Playa del Este, in Salybia.Patrons
who made the long trip to Salybia on Carnival Thursday
have themselves a ball at the Escape to Playa del
Este all-inclusive fete. Photos: Davis wears
Just what the doctor ordered
the faces of several northerners visible, these pan lovers
enjoy the National Panorama Final, staged for the first
time at a venue outside of Port-of-Spain. Photos: Tony Howell
petite and courteous woman of Asian features helped restore
my faith in the good nature of Trinis when on Carnival Monday,
she and her family opened up her home in St Clair to total
strangers during the Tribe lunch break. Thank you Flo for
being a most affable and gracious host.
I must also congratulate designer Patrick Roberts and the
folk of Image Nation for producing a very beautiful band
as debutantes in the mas arena. I hope that Roberts will
be inspired by the success of his Jungle presentation and,
though the band might have been smaller than he anticipated,
would remain in the fray of things.
Other first timers who deserve praise are Meg and Dana Cheekes
and her Pulse 8 team. Their presentation, CocktailsYou
Shake, We Stir, was a beautiful one and well organised as
well, and DJs Switch and Richard Simply Smooth were flawless.
Hats off also to Good Times Mas Inc and Angostura Woodbrook
Playboyz for jumping into the ms production business with
A Sailor is a Sailor.
I also wish to thank Road March winner Machel MontanoHD
for the music of C2K7. Jumbie, Higher than I, and Light
it up were just what the doctor ordered for the road. Thanks
as well Jesus (Machels middle name) for the bona fide,
made-in-T&T jumbie dance, as last year I
really wasnt lucky with the willy bounce.
Pulse congratulates newcomer Blazer Dan for a remarkably
sweet song in Hold Me Tight, one which must have been a
favourite with every woman who played mas.
If the Road March was judged along the streets and not at
competition points only, Dans song would surely have
been second only to Jumbie.
Other selections that kept my adrenelain pumping over the
two days on the road were My Land (Nadia & Kes); Dutty
Crew (Blaxx); Spread the Love (Mr Slaughter); Open de Gate
(Shurwayne); Cold Sweat (Crazy); and, Sugar Boy (Patrice).
Mr Vegas Genuwine and Hot Walk were also among my
lamentation can be seen on the face of this beautifully
masked pannist of 2007 National Panorama champion Neal &
Massy Trinidad All Stars.
LAMENTATION has been the last emotion being expressed at
Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars panyard since Carnival
Sunday morning, hours after the band created double history
at Skinner Park. All Stars became the first steel orchestras
to ever win a million dollar prize at a National Panorama
Final, and the first top cop the coveted title at a southern
Playing De Fostos Pan Lamentation, the legendary Duke
Street narrowly defeated arch rival Phase II Pan Groove,
denying the Woodbrook band a hat-trick on the title.
Despite not having one steelband from south in the National
Panorama Final, held for the first time in San Fernando,
southerners fared rather well in other C2K7 competitions,
winning some major ones.
Portraying The Incandescence of Beatrice Love has brought
me Thence, for souths We People International presentation
of Dantes Inferno...The Divine Comedy, Peola Marchan
copped her first Queen of Carnival title; son of Point Fortin
Iwer George won the bmobile International Power Soca Monarch
title; and, souths pride in pan Ken Professor
Philmore took Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille to
Panorama glory in the Medium Bands category.
Not to be left out, Weston Rawlins (Cro Cro) won himself
yet another National Calypso Monarch title with what Ive
previously said is one of the best composed ditties this
year, Because of Greed.
It wouldnt be either Carnival or calypso if it didnt
have bacchanal. Not surprisingly, both the national monarch
and groovy soca monarch are being accused of being less
than honest with their winning selections. People are saying
that Cro Cros song is an old composition, while many
are accusing Biggie Irie of piracy at its finest with Nah
Going Home, allegedly lifted from a past U2 hit single named
I Still havent found what Im looking for.
In all fairness to its organisers, and taking all things
into consideration, vindication must be what the organisers
of C2K7 are feeling at present as all the haphazard plans,
with the blessing of God and Mother Nature, worked relatively
Feeling strongly that the soon to be constructed cultural
edifice at the Queens Park Savannah will not be completed
or available for C2K8, one can only imagine that come next
Carnival all shows/competitions by the NCC and its SIGs
would remain at the same venues as this year. One can only
hope that the powers-that-be, cognisant that Carnival Monday
and Tuesday next year is much earlier, on February 4-5,
would initiate plans for the festival as soon as possible.
With the hurly burly frenzy of Carnival, a number of popular
cultural passed away with few realising it. Among those
who passed were Cmd Jack Williams who led the once popular
Mavericks mas band to glory during the 70s; and, dancer
extraordinaire Jonah Regis.
Pulse extends condolences to their families and loved ones.