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Now it’s only pace
Wow! What a busy weekend we had and it’s still two weeks away from Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
The action climaxed at the highly anticipated Soca Monarch semifinals at a ram-crammed Arima Velodrome and when the results came out yesterday, Carnival Melee was surprised to see that Lil Bits made it to the finals of the Power soca category with a song that almost nobody knows, while usual suspects Nadia Batson and Iwer George only qualified for the Groovy.
We were also shocked to see that K Rich will not be “wining back” in the Groovy finals and Lyrikal whose song 25/8 has been an anthem at all the fetes was also been sidelined for the big competition.
What doesn’t come as a surprise is the fact that Austin Lyons (Super Blue) was the first name announced in the Power category.
At the semi-finals his performance of Fantastic Friday was a cut and a half above the rest. He walked onto the stage, welcomed by the voices of powerful rapso group 3canal and sent a wave of energy into an already crazed audience and they sent that energy right back to him.
It was clear to us that his performance was being subtly guided by the wildly energetic 3canal. Super Blue’s fans ate it up, begging from more when he had departed after his five minute performance.
Carnival Melee is considering lobbying for an increase in the prize money for the Groovy category because while the Power soca seems to be something of a foregone conclusion, (we suspect fans will riot if Super Blue does not win) the Groovy is filled with high-quality songs and it would be hard to guess a winner at this point.
It’s also hard to guess a winner for the Road March race. And it’s just 18 days before bands hit the road. On radio call-in programmes, the public has been showing a lot of love for Fantastic Friday, Fay Ann’s De Stage Open, Machel’s The Fog and Bunji’s Differentology.
In the meantime, we are enjoying the feting. Saturday night, after a man we suspect was a scalper attempted to purchase tickets from us for twice the actual price (we are guessing he was going to resell it for triple the cost) we walked into Red Ants’ cooler fete Stumped.
The performances were short and sweet.
Bunji Garlin delivered a typically fantastic performance during which the sold out Oval sang every word and Machel Montano kicked up the energy with most of his releases for this year.
His performance of The Fog demonstrated that powder had indeed become a Carnival accessory. Patrons took the message to heart and began throwing powder into the air. We’ll admit, we preferred the smell of baby powder to the smell of sweat and alcohol.
We were disappointed that Montano did not perform Posessed. He did perform his recently released power track Float which got a good reaction from the crowd.
His song Witch Doctor got an even bigger response but was interrupted by technical difficulties.
On Sunday, technical difficulties provided an opportunity for Bunji Garlin to demonstrate exactly why he is called the Viking of Soca. The lyricist, instead of waiting for technicians to work things out at the Red Edge Fete at the Queen’s Park Oval Greens, made up an entire song on the spot.
The song, had three verses and touched on topics from the technical difficulties, to the reason he pulled out of the soca monarch competition to social issues.
It was brilliant. The video is online and at the end of it you, like the crowd on Sunday, will be repeating the chorus of “Hurry up and fix it!”
Carnival Melee is waiting for Bunji Garlin to release a music video for hit song Differentlogy. Bunji, why are you stickin’?
Meanwhile, several other soca artistes have been putting out their videos, like KI Persad, who last year promised to be Single Forever, he’s released the video for his 2013 offering Friends For The Night.
Two really good releases last week were Kes The Band’s reggae-influenced Tuesday On The Rocks and Machel Montano’s remix of 2012 hit Represent featuring the Freetown Collective.
The 13-minute Represent remix video is impressive, with a terrific story leading up to the actual music. The video for Montano’s The Fog, isn’t as impressive.
It is almost exactly like the video for Mr. Fete but with lots of unnecessary public displays of affection. The make-out session was not needed!
On the note of women and fashion, it’s all about butt cheeks and bras! Those appear to be the fashion trends for Carnival 2013. We have been seeing the lower half of the female backside from Destra Garcia’s titillating outfits to Miss T&T Universe Athaliah Samuels outfit backstage at the Soca Monarch semifinals competition at the Arima Velodrome on Sunday night.
Samuels paired her denim booty shorts with a classy colourful top and looked great in it.
Lots of women are going for sheer filmy tops over brightly coloured bras—they’re wearing just slightly more material in fetes than they will wear on the road for Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday night, Carnival Melee visited three pan yards to get an idea of what pan preliminaries were like. It was a free and fantastic lime and the pan was pretty good. Carnival Melee visited Witco Desperadoes, Solo Harmonites and BP Renegades and spotted some celebrity culture lovers like TT Chamber of Commerce head Catherine Kumar as well as soca icons David Rudder and Denyse Plummer.
While all the steelbands were great, Renegades musical selection blew our mind. It is a piece of music that tells a very intense story. We love it.
Anyway, until next week. Do stock up on vitamins and water. There are still two more intense weekends to go before the greatest show on earth.