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Let’s start the kaiso

Published: 
Friday, February 21, 2014
Carnival 2014
Skinner Park favourite Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins will be singing Pious, Poor but Proud.

Skinner Park, San Fernando, is expected to burst at its seams tomorrow when Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) and the National Carnival Committee (NCC) stage the 2014 National Calypso Monarch semi-final—Kaiso Fiesta—from noon. 

 

Forty calypsonians have been selected to contest the semi-final, each vying to earn a place in the Carnival Sunday night final, in an attempt to dethrone defending monarch Pink Panther.

 

Just as spectacular is the post-competition party which features some of the festival’s biggest bands and artistes.

 

Of the 40 semi-finalists, six are previous national monarchs—Chalkdust (Dr Hollis Liverpool); Karene Asche: Kurt Allen; King Luta (Morel Peters); Singing Sandra (Sandra Des Vignes Millington); and, Cro Cro (Weston Rawlins). Among them they share 18 national titles so the contest is expected to be extremely keen, with several young and upcoming calypsonians also chosen. Also in the line-up is 50th Anniversary of Independence Monarch Chucky (Roderick Gordon), as well as 2013 Young Kings Monarch Stephen Marcelle and this year’s winner Bevon St Clair.

 

Expected to sing We Only Passing Through, veteran Klassic Ruso elder All Rounder (Anthony Hendrickson), and a protege of the late Kitchener and Pretender, and the Mighty Sparrow, is oldest bard in the semi-final.

 

Through the years, Kaiso Fiesta has had several memorable moments. Among the more unsavoury were the pelting of Denyse Plummer in 1986 and the toilet paper attack on current government minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters in the ‘80s, and the rough treatment meted out to De Fosto and Crazy in 2011, in the wake of the 2010 general elections. Last year, former monarch Sugar Aloes also ran into much derision from the audience, most of them peeved for him singing She’s Royal for prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at a political rally. 

 

More pleasant memories include almost all of SuperBlue’s performances, especially Signal to Lara in 1995; David Rudder’s Hammer in 1986; Black Stalin’s Bu’n Dem the following year; Cro Cro’s 1988 treatment of Party; Tambu’s 1990 performance of No No, We Ain’t Going Home; and, more recently, Karene Asche’s 2011 rendition of Uncle Jack. 

 

Calypso’s most colourful fans and supporters have always been regulars at Kaiso Fiesta and coming easily to mind are the southern trio of Joannie, wearing her elaborate sunglasses, Drina and Patsy Calliste, wife of calypsonian Black Stalin, always easily located up front and centre in front the stage. Unfortunately, Drina died last year.

 

Though without a pool, like last weekend’s national Panorama semi-final at the Savannah, Kaiso Fiesta is a full-blown picnic and party with patrons, many attending as crews, wearing specially designed jerseys, assembling with a wide assortment of cuisine and drink. Posses attend from every nook and cranny of the country and taking up positions annually on the cycle track of the Park, just beyond the covered stands, are the Defence Force’s Bilge Crew, and their counterparts from the police and fire services.

 

Kaiso Fiesta is sheer energy and excitement, with a pulse which doesn’t end until late on Saturday night. This year will be no different as the after-competition party, organised by TUCO promises to be the best ever. For starters, it will be served by former International Soca Monarch Ronnie Mc Intosh & The Experience Band; Dil-e-Nadan, featuring 2013 Chutney Soca Monarch Raymond Ramnarine; and, Kelly Green & Harmony. Also on the cast are Black Stalin, Shadow, Baron, Scrunter, Mr Killa, Iwer George, Denise Belfon, Cassi, Explainer, Swallow, Johnny King, Nelson and Poser. 

 

That’s not all, TUCO has also hired three powerful rhythm sections to provide non-stop jamming, including Laventille Rhythm Section, Point Fortin Iron Giants, and Siparia Rhythm Section. All of this entertainment and music will be augmented by DJs Mr Desmond and John Boy.

 

Expected to sing We Only Passing Through, veteran Klassic Ruso elder All Rounder (Anthony Hendrickson), and a protege of the late Kitchener and Pretender, and the Mighty Sparrow, is oldest bard in the semi-final.

 

Through the years, Kaiso Fiesta has had several memorable moments. Among the more unsavoury were the pelting of Denyse Plummer in 1986 and the toilet paper attack on current government minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters in the ‘80s, and the rough treatment meted out to De Fosto and Crazy in 2011, in the wake of the 2010 general elections. Last year, former monarch Sugar Aloes also ran into much derision from the audience, most of them peeved for him singing She’s Royal for prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at a political rally. 

 

More pleasant memories include almost all of SuperBlue’s performances, especially Signal to Lara in 1995; David Rudder’s Hammer in 1986; Black Stalin’s Bu’n Dem the following year; Cro Cro’s 1988 treatment of Party; Tambu’s 1990 performance of No No, We Ain’t Going Home; and, more recently, Karene Asche’s 2011 rendition of Uncle Jack. 

 

Calypso’s most colourful fans and supporters have always been regulars at Kaiso Fiesta and coming easily to mind are the southern trio of Joannie, wearing her elaborate sunglasses, Drina and Patsy Calliste, wife of calypsonian Black Stalin, always easily located up front and centre in front the stage. Unfortunately, Drina died last year.

 

Though without a pool, like last weekend’s national Panorama semi-final at the Savannah, Kaiso Fiesta is a full-blown picnic and party with patrons, many attending as crews, wearing specially designed jerseys, assembling with a wide assortment of cuisine and drink. Posses attend from every nook and cranny of the country and taking up positions annually on the cycle track of the Park, just beyond the covered stands, are the Defence Force’s Bilge Crew, and their counterparts from the police and fire services.

 

Kaiso Fiesta is sheer energy and excitement, with a pulse which doesn’t end until late on Saturday night. This year will be no different as the after-competition party, organised by TUCO promises to be the best ever. For starters, it will be served by former International Soca Monarch Ronnie Mc Intosh & The Experience Band; Dil-e-Nadan, featuring 2013 Chutney Soca Monarch Raymond Ramnarine; and, Kelly Green & Harmony. Also on the cast are Black Stalin, Shadow, Baron, Scrunter, Mr Killa, Iwer George, Denise Belfon, Cassi, Explainer, Swallow, Johnny King, Nelson and Poser. 

 

That’s not all, TUCO has also hired three powerful rhythm sections to provide non-stop jamming, including Laventille Rhythm Section, Point Fortin Iron Giants, and Siparia Rhythm Section. All of this entertainment and music will be augmented by DJs Mr Desmond and John Boy.

 

performers

 

 

National Calypso Monarch semi-finalists,
monickers and selections:
Alana Sinette—Sea Lots 
Alex Gift— Tobago Chalkie— De Same Pedigree 
Allan Fortune—Brother Mudada—The Parliament Tent
Allan Welch—Soil Technician
Amrika Mutroo—Doh Judge Meh
Anthony Emerold Phillip—Brother Valentino—Constitutional Reform
Anthony Hendrickson—All Rounder—We Only Passing Through
Bevon St Clair—Another Flambeau
Brian London—Call Dem Out   
Carlos James—Skatie—Jack and Jill
Devon Seale—F.D.A.T.
Erphaan Alves—Piano Unplugged
Francine Edwards—Singing Frnacine—Honor Them
Georgia Mc Intyr—The Messenger—Make the Right Choice
Giselle Fraser Washington—G.G—Save de Land
Heather McIntosh—Nutten eh Good
Heaven Charles—Snakey—The Dhoti Song
Hollis Liverpool—Chalkdust—The Guest List
Karen Eccles-Thompson—Karen Eccles—Values of Life
Karene Asche—Malice in Wonderland
Kerice Pascal—KeKe —Fix it and Hush
Kurt Allen—The Last Badjohn of Calypso—Sweet Sizzling Summer
Lesley Ann Ellis—Blessed with Beauty
Lornette Nedd Reid—Fya Empress—Just
Marlon Edwards—Leave it Dey
Morel Peters—King Luta—No Guns No Weapons
Myron Bruce—The Incredible Myron B—One More Sip
Neville Brown—Bunny B—Milk
Nicole Thomas—The Love We Owe
Roderick Gordon—Chucky—Wah Yuh Tink
Roger Mohammed—Body Guard—False Papers 
Rondell Donawa—Yes We Can
Rosemary Mitchell—Young Rose—Message to the Bad Man
Sandra Des Vignes Millington—Singing Sandra—Madiba
Sean Daniel—Psalmist—Gospel
Selvon Noel—Mistah Shak—Bois
Stephen Marcelle—Almost Doesn’t Count
Tammico Moore—Spicey—Man in Dat
Victoria Cooper—Queen Victoria—Political Love Affair
Weston Rawlins—Cro Cro—Pious, Poor but Proud

The reserves are Michael Legerton (Proector) and Lynette Steele (Lady Gypsy).