Monday 18th February, 2008


Celebration time with Phase II

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Former Attorney General ANTHONY SMART, left, has the attention of LENNY TYSON, centre and KEITH “BIRD” SERRETTE, captain of Phase II Pan Groove.
Joyous members of Phase II Pan Groove in a celebratory mood. From left are: FRANKLYN OLLIVIERRA, JOHANN


Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove got the impetus to win this year’s Panorama title when the panel of adjudicators placed the band second to Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars at the “semis,” according to Errol Skerritt manager of the band.

Playing Len “Boogsie” Sharpe’s arrangement of Musical Vengeance, Phase II dethroned Trinidad All Stars by a mere one point to claim its fifth Panorama victory at the competition staged by Pan Trinbago on February 2.

Venue was Skinner Park in San Fernando, where Phase II also took home the $1million first prize.

Phase 11 scored 481 points while Trinidad All Stars garnered 480.

Skerritt said the decision by presiding musicians to separate the steel orchestras by almost nine points during the semifinal round of the contest—following their preliminary tie—was a blessing in disguise.

At the band’s victory celebrations held last Friday at its panyard at Hamilton-Holder Street in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, he said: “When you are ahead in the semifinal, you are always in a bit of a predicament, because you don’t want to interfere with the music for fear of spoiling it.

“When you are behind, you work harder. I always tell people, you do not put Boogsie in second position and then give him time to prepare. That’s the incentive Boogsie needs to come to the front.”

He said it was common knowledge that whenever the judges placed Phase II in that kind of situation, “Boogsie does turn beast.”

Recalling the moments leading up to the final night’s performance which earned the band victory, Skerritt revealed that Phase II pannists were a bit confused that Trinidad All Stars top-scored in the semifinal by a margin of 8.5 points. Phase placed second on that occasion.

“Had the band lost control of the top spot by one or two points the players might have stayed in their comfort zones and would not have made the effort that led to victory. The score awarded to All Stars had the players upset.

“Remember, Boogsie and the players have been hurting since the Panorama of 2007. We really wanted to capture three consective victories playing our own music. It was a hard blow not to achieve it and the term vengeance was coined that very night,” explained Skerritt.

Phase II took a one day respite immediately following the semifinal contest held at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain, after which he said there was no turning back.

Skerritt said the band’s continuous video review of its performances found that an irregular tempo from the rhythm section was a major problem.

“The combination of Boogsie, Ray, the players of Phase II and Petrotrin - it was difficult for us to be beaten. We had the confidence that with all these ingredients in place, we were guaranteed success.”