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$1m Panorama prize not enough
Fantastic. This was how Len “Boogsie” Sharpe said he felt after his arrangement of More Love earned Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove its sixth National Panorama title and $1 million first prize at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday night. However, he still feels panmen are not being given the respect they deserve, adding the prize was still not enough for the effort they put out for the fans and the country during the Carnival season.
Phase II scored 283 points to dethrone defending champion Neal and Massy Trinidad Steel Orchestra, which placed second with its rendition of Clive Telemaque’s Bounce and Drive arranged by Leon “Smooth” Edward. Sharpe, who spent most of yesterday resting after the victory, said he had a strong feeling the band would be victorious.
“I got positive vibes from very early we would win and I felt very comfortable about the arrangement and I just knew we would be on top,” he said. More Love, which was vocalised by Black Stalin (Leroy Calliste), was a simple song but with very positive messages, Sharpe added. And it was also an encouragement for people to live up to the song’s meaning.
“It’s about simple things like saying ‘good morning,’ ‘please,’ and just displaying that kind of love to your fellow man...that’s sadly lacking in society today and that’s a big part of the problem, a breakdown of morals and basic manners,” he said. “We need to get back that way of life, where people looked out and appreciated each other.”
Saying he could not do it alone, Sharpe thanked those who made the victory possible, including Stalin, Phase II’s manager Errol Skerritt, arranger Leston Paul and most importantly, the players, who Sharpe added worked tremendously. While the taste of victory was sweet, Sharpe again called for a greater appreciation of the national instrument and recommended that the first prize be increased.
“We don’t appreciate the pan as we should...We need to cherish what we have because the international world is watching,” he said. “We need to appreciate our pan players who practise day and night...doing what they do is not easy. To share a $1 million first prize among so many people is difficult. It would really be encouraging for the Government to increase the first prize...it’s about time we show more love for pan and those who work to keep it alive.”