They came clutching reminders of their homeland wrapped in brightly coloured cotton, huddled together on a boat, fearful yet excited for the land and adventures that lay ahead and hopeful that...
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No rest for the intrepid
The weekend past was one of those crazy, hectic ones. It began on the Wednesday night at De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp) with Night of Young Monarchs.
With musical accompaniment by Cummings and De Wailers, the cast was headlined by 2011 National Monarch Karene Asche and last year’s winner Duane O’Connor, plus Devon Seale, Helon Francis and Michelle Henry.
The popular Woodbrook showplace was also the venue for the following night’s Caribbean Nights, featuring Pelham Goddard and Roots, and David Rudder.
De Nu Pub was packed to its rafters on the Thursday, no doubt by soca fans who had missed the previous Saturday’s mammoth Rudder 6.0 concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah, as well as those who did attend but wanted a lagniappe of the 1986 national calypso monarch. Seen in the huge audience were Senator Fitzgerald Hinds; Frontline co-founder Wilcox Raymond; Nadie La Fond, Carol Jacobs and Natalie Yorke; Tuco chairman Lutalo “Bro Resistance” Masimba; Solo Harmonites manager Owen Serrette; his Republic Bank Exodus counterpart Ainsworth Mohammed; and artiste Makemba Kunle.
Rudder didn’t disappoint his adoring fans as they surged towards the end of the stage, his perspiration sprinkling those dancing closest to him. Rudder’s repertoire included popular hits Permission to Mash Up de Place, Calypso Music, Hammer, Dus’ in dey face, Live Yuh Life (Like yuh playing mas), and Bacchanal Lady. The next edition of Caribbean Nights at De Nu Pub is planned for Thursday.
Two more spectacular shows await calypso lovers this month at De Nu Pub. On Wednesday reigning Road March champion/International Power Soca co-monarch SuperBlue and “sweet soca man” Baron are headlining a star-studded cast. Supreme calypsonians, multiple monarch title-holders Mighty Sparrow and Black Stalin will star on July 24. Shows begin at 8.30 pm.
Last Friday, a sold-out Queen’s Park Oval was in a festive mood when the West Indies faced off against India in the Tri-Nation cricket championship. Expectation was high for a Windies victory, the home team having won its two previous games in Jamaica.
With the Triniposse Stand in good voice and jubilant mood, the day ended on a disappointing note with India putting a good hiding on the WI, but that didn’t quell the festivities around the grounds, complete with costumed revellers and live performances, including Soca Elvis.
On Saturday, the girls of Hilarians (Bishop Anstey High School) hosted another of their annual reunion luncheons at the Keate Street school hall. While the girls were renewing old acquaintances, the members of Witco Desperadoes were on their way to Tobago for the third episode of Pan in De Countryside, in Speyside.
They shared the limelight with former National Panorama champion (Medium) Petrotrin Katzenjammers, Tobago Pan-thers, Uptown Fascinators and Hope Pan Groovers.
Saturday night saw Guardian Media Ltd producing Blood Line at White Oak Starlift Pan Complex, on Mucurapo Road, St James.
This event was a fund-raising benefit for popular CT Vibe 105.1FM personality Derek “CG Soca General” Silman, stricken with kidney complications.
Hosted by the station’s morning programming duo of George Gonzales and Errol Fabien, the venture brought out several artistes, all thanking Silman for his support in their careers.
South fans calling for encore show
Making a surprise guest appearance was David Rudder, accompanied to the show by his wife Christine, and even making an impromptu performance, a cappella style, of Calypso Music and Live Yuh Life (like yuh playing mas).
The lengthy roster of performers included SuperBlue, Black Stalin, Denyse Plummer, Baron, Shurwayne Winchester, D Mighty Trini, D Diamond, Colin Lucas, KV Charles, Blackie, Gary Cordner, Kenny J, Helon Francis, K Rich, Kenny Marcellin, Derek Patience, Jerome Bissessar, Earl Brooks and Starlift.
On the turntables accompanying the artistes, and doing a superb job at it, was Silman’s 13-year-old daughter Crystal, a student of St James Secondary School. She was later joined by Vibe’s Chris Boynes.
The event was supported by a large turnout of patrons, including former Coast Guard and Defence Force colleagues of Silman, led by Brig Carl Alfonso.
I saw Silman this week and he told me southern fans are clamouring for a repeat benefit in San Fernando.
It was back to the Oval on Sunday for the Sri Lanka vs India game but the weather had other plans as an intense downpour ended all play with the Sri Lankan innings in a precarious way.
The backs of the players going into the Brian Lara Pavilion for the day seemed to be a signal to the Triniposse Stand disc jockeys to crank up the volume for a party, entertained by former Chutney Soca Monarch Ravi B. Patrons who had paid top dollar to access this stand revelled like there was no tomorrow.
The following day saw the resumption of the game, its outcome determined by Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, not in the Windies’ favour. A new addition to the Triniposse Stand was Sapophonics Steel ensemble from Carenage and its performance last Tuesday lit up the stand.
Cricket weekend action actually extended into last Tuesday for the final of the tournament between India and Sri Lanka. In the Triniposse Stand, the turnout was again in boisterous spirit, this time fuelled by the live performances of belly dancer Nalini Akal, vocalists Rick Ramoutar, Rishma Ramlal and Soca Elvis, plus Sapophonics Steel.
Sunday’s rain didn’t prevent thousands from converging on the Savannah, for the annual Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition’s Folk Fair. Community groups from across the land came to the venue with a dizzying assortment of indigenous foods, the evening’s programme seasoned by some amazing performances.
The live entertainment action continues unabated this weekend and one of the big shows is tomorrow’s Youth Pan Extravaganza, produced by St Margaret’s Boys’ AC School Steelband, from 2 pm, at the Savannah.
This show is a follow-up to last weekend’s premiere held at the pan theatre of Junior Sammy Group of Companies Skiffle, in San Fernando.
Joining the junior national Panorama champion steel orchestra will be St Francois Girls’ College Steel Orchestra, bp Renegades Junior Steel, Success Pan Sounds, Sand New York’s Sonata Youth Steel Orchestra.
This evening, from 7 pm, there’s an after-work pan show at Carib Woodbrook Playboyz panyard, on Tragarete Road, Newtown. Today’s star act is celebrated arranger Earl Brooks.
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