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SuperBlue’s fantastic renaissance
Sporting a blue wig and blue fishnet vest there was no question as to who Rio Claro resident Ann Marie Riley was supporting in Friday’s Play Whe International Soca Monarch competition.
Her faith was not misplaced as Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons came away with a share of the Power Soca Monarch honours.
Riley was among legions of soca lovers, from all over T&T who were firmly behind the return of SuperBlue after an absence of many years from the competitive arena.
Lyons tied with Machel Montano at the C2k13 edition of Fantastic Friday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
Among those witnessing the spectacle were chairman of Caribbean Prestige Foundation William Munro, Operations Manager Kareena Sukhu and several prominent personalities including a handful of showbiz celebrities from the US.
Lyons brought the entire stadium to its feet with Fantastic Friday and had everyone singing, waving or bouncing frenetically. Montano also held the audience spellbound when he sang Float in the Power category. He also retained the Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch title with the popular Fog.
Montano’ theatrics also captivated the crowd.
Asked who she was supporting, Riley offered the obvious answer: “Blue. It’s Blue all the way.”
Along with throngs of party goers, Riley made her way past the Paramin Blue Devils and the Siparia Rhythm Section at the stadium. On the sidelines, Marcelline Morris sported a Chinese sailor outfit reminiscent of J’Ouvert yet to come.
Balancing a helium balloon, Venezuelan born Ryan Schroeder, who resides in Petit Valley said: “We have nine helium balloons on display. It is just about adding fun and excitement to the Soca Monarch.”
Aside from traditional mas characters like Gasparillo resident Radica Chadee’s depiction of a Fancy Indian—complete with multi-coloured feathered head dress—the colour blue was ubiquitous. It was the popular choice for people opting for jeans, fancy finger nails, weaves, curls, T-shirts, tops and even elegant dresses that cut snugly along the knees.
Calypsonian Elsworth James and his wife Margaret also opted for the “Blue package.” It was complete with T-shirt etched with “Water and Powder.” A young woman, Patricia Hernandez, scribbled “Water and Powder”on her extremely short shorts. The men admired it. Maybe, because it didn’t really leave much to the imagination.
“I supporting SuperBlue all the way,” she said.
Among the locals who expressed high expectations for his triumphant return were Winston Thorne who said he was from Tabaquite; Darryl Frederick who came from Flanagin Town and John Guillman who lives in San Pedro.
Random checks with several visitors from overseas revealed they, too, had heard about SuperBlue and, amid the Carnivalesque celebrations on Fantastic Friday, Lyons showed the capacity of the human spirit to overcome adversity and attain success at the highest levels.
He is immortalised for his groundbreaking Soca Baptist and followed it up with classics like Ethel, Rebecca, No Curfew and Flag Party.
This was indeed Lyons’ renaissance.
3 Canal support
When Austin Lyons sent the crowd into a frenzy, he had the support of the popular 3Canal rapso group—Wendell Manwarren, Stanton Kewley and Roger Roberts.
In the backup performance on Fantastic friday they sported tunics from D’Cloth while acclaimed designer Meiling outfitted Lyons.
Asked about how they felt about performing with Lyons, Manwarren said: “It was an honour. The last time we sang with SuperBlue was 13 years ago. It was Soca Matrix and Tribute To the late Sundar Popo (chutney soca icon). We were there with him again and he worked a magic. And we were happy to be there with him.
While he was off the stage, we always had that good working relationship with him.”
Fantastic Friday demonstrated a strong storyline with good lyrics that flowed effortlessly off the tongue. It boasted an infectious and original melody and a chorus and hookline that sent the masses into unbridled soca abandon.
Reverting to 3Canal’ mega hit Blue (1997), Manwarren added: “When the song was being written, we had SuperBlue’s’ Jab Molassie on heavy rotation. We always respect and love SuperBlue from long time.”
Zeroing on the response which engulfed everyone from celebrities in the VVIP section to janitors, Manwarren said: “It was amazing, phenomenal.
“He is truly blessed and meant to be doing what he does. We join T&T in wishing him continued success.”