Desperadoes’ musical tribute to the late prime minister Patrick Manning did not start at the appointed 8 pm time on Friday; however, it was well worth the wait for steelpan lovers.
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Calypso Revue opening Skatie scores with Jack and Jill
It was Skatie (Carlos James) who easily ran away with the night’s honours for his scathing political commentary titled Jack and Jill, at the opening of the Calypso Revue’s season at the Arima Velodrome last Friday night. The calypso, fashioned as an itemised account of the perceived failings of the current People’s Partnership (PP) administration, created quite a stir, and won multiple call-backs.
In comparison, leader of the tent and two-time national calypso monarch Sugar Aloes (Michael Osouna) offered two very good but rather tame songs in Changes and Political Traffic Light. Speaking to the T&T Guardian after his performance, Skatie said Aloes’ focus was changing, as he was concentrating more on making the tent a success and highlighting new talent.
“People are not aware of how hard he works, and the number of sacrifices he makes to keep this tent going,” he said. “These days he is not about looking to be a star in the tent, but trying to ensure that the Revue delivers a balanced product to its loyal and faithful patrons, and giving exposure to new calypsonians.”
Almost every singer of the 25-member cast received an encore when the Calypso Revue premiered its 2014 season at the Arima Velodrome on Friday. Most encores were earned, while the remainder benefitted from the audience’s charitable mood.
From the opening act, with Maze doing Hold On TnT, to the closing performance by the veteran Swallow (Rupert Philo) of his ever-popular Fire In The Back Seat around 1 am yesterday, patrons thoroughly enjoyed a variety of melodic, lyric-laden songs enhanced by brilliant musical accompaniment from the John Walcott Revue Orchestra.
Patrons stayed the distance in the four-and-a half-hour-long programme to hear the reigning National Calypso Monarch Pink Panther (Eric Taylor), who appeared after the interval at 11.30 pm. He sang Not Tonight, skillfully constructed and delivered with his hallmark appeal and finesse. Brian London, who has switched camp from Kaiso House this year, was among the crowd-pleasers, doing Callout Your MP, a differently-styled, fast-paced composition. Newcomer Bevon St Clair sang Another Flambeau, a soulful lament on crime.
Also popular were: Teniel Cooper—No Coming Back; Original Tempo—Promise and Divorce; M’Ba—Enough Is Enough; Dr Witty—Ah Fraid; Ninja—What To Write; Devon Seale—FDAT; Bally—Advice To Gangsters; and Chalkdust—Guest List and Ah Miss De Bards.
Deputy Mayor of Arima Anthony Garcia declared the tent’s 2014 season open, after which co-show host CG (the Soca General), aided by the chorus singers, encouraged the audience to sing the late Richard “Nappy” Mayers’ hit song Old Time Days to start the programme. The Calypso Revue opened in Port-of-Spain at the SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, last night.