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Carnival Melee: The party now start!
What going on with soca artistes and literacy? In Unfinished Business, Iwer spelled mas (as in masquerade) m-a-s-s and a mohawk-less Swappi has transformed chaos, pronounced (kay-oss), into something that sounds like char-oose in his latest song Cha-os.
We might need a soca school and while they are at it, they might want to teach socialisation skills because the wining criminal got charged for “wining like that.” I wonder if he told the judge: “If yuh want to lock me up, yuh could find me by the truck!”
Anyway, Machel Montano’s sentencing is supposed to take place next Thursday so we’ll know the status of the Machel Monday concert by then. The Melee is confident there won’t be jail time and we also hope not, because how else will we “fog up de place”?
The winery and feting officially began this weekend and Carnival Melee started it with the first sold-out event of the season, the cooler fete, Tribe ICE.
With performances from Kees Dieffenthaller, Lyrikal, Ravi B and a masterful performance from Bunji Garlin, ICE delivered a fantastic event.
On Sunday, we went to Maraval for Trinity College’s Soka in Moka. What a time! The organisation of the fete was top notch, from the food, to the bar to the entertainment.
In typical all-inclusive style, there were several types of food on offer (Indian, Creole, Chinese, bake and shark) and except for the amazing Chinese food, the lines were relatively short.
The live bands for the evening were Dil E Nadan (with adorable lead singer Raymond Ramnarine, who will be entering the Chutney Soca Monarch for the first time this year), Roy Cape All Stars (Blaxx, making people Leh Go, was supported by two new singers Junior Don and Darnella) and Kes the Band (who managed to energise the crowd even though he doesn’t have a big hit as yet this season).
Also gracing the stage were Iwer George, Shal and TC, Patrice Roberts, Benjai, Chucky, Zuki and Tim Tim, JW and Blaze, Kerwin DuBois and impromptu appearances from Bunji and Fay-Ann. Looks like this party gets a tick in the yes box for next year.
Where de power gone?
It’s either everybody forgot that Carnival 2013 is a short season or we are having a replay of last year. Where all the Power Soca songs? To be fair, we have more Power Soca songs out than last year.
The T&T Guardian reported that over 400 songs had been released for Carnival 2013.
If radio-station playlists are to be believed, less than ten per cent of those releases are Power Soca offerings.
Of the Power Soca songs out right now, and three of them come from Fay-Ann Lyons—Rum Please, which features Fya Empress (This song won St Vincent’s Road March competition), Crossover, which features Edwin Yearwood, and her Road March contender De Stage Open.
Some other worthy mentions are Kes the Band’s Trinidadian, MX Prime’s (formerly Maximus Dan) Real Vibes, Roy Cape vocalist Darnella Simmons with Level Jamming and Super Blue’s Fantastic Friday.
On the bright side, Groovy Soca continues to evolve into something sweeter. Who would have thought this was possible after the beautiful groovy songs we got last year?
And the grooviest of all comes from the Viking of Soca, Bunji Garlin — Differentology.
It is arguably the biggest song of Bunji Garlin’s career. It is the definition of a monster track.
Differentology was released on November 7 and three days later, thousands of positive fan reviews of the song spread across social media. It’s possible that no other soca song that has been mentioned as much. Ever.
We’ve seen him perform it twice, at bmobile’s media lime in December and the second time at Soccer Fete in Sangre Grande last Tuesday and he was impressive in both performances.
Machel Montano’s Fog is going to cause problems this Carnival. People are sure to leave fetes looking like ghosts with the amount of powder that will be pouring. I predict powder will replace last year’s buckets as the must have Carnival accessory. We’ll see.
Montano has also released a song called Don’t Judge Me, but it hasn’t gained popularity yet.
Blaxx has what he calls a “surprise hit” with Leh Go and Prophet Benjamin (who threw wine on “Kamela” last year) is back with the chutney-infused No Lokani. Prophet Benjamin is a semi-finalist in both the Soca Monarch Groovy category and the Chutney Soca Monarch.
In other Carnival bacchanal
This year, the National Carnival Commission wants fewer trucks on the road (how’s that going to work for the mega all-inclusive bands?) and Soca Monarch has instituted an exclusivity clause for competitors so they can’t perform anywhere else on competition night.
And even more bacchanal comes from the Carnival Kings and Queens, who are protesting a change to the Dimanche Gras format which moves their final judging to a show on Carnival Friday night. The mas makers don’t think it makes sense for their show to compete with the International Soca Monarch competition for coverage and patronage.
Hopefully we’ll see a resolution soon.