Amala's View

Monday, February 27, 2006

Rallying Call

This time next year the region will be abuzz with the activities connected to Cricket World Cup 2007. In the continued thrust towards public education, there was a concert and exhibition held at Pigeon Island. The local organizing committee sought to use the opportunity of having a huge crowd in one place to disseminate the message. Cable & Wireless seems to have wrested their way back to supremacy in the cricket world and they had the signage and presence to prove it.
A number of things were perhaps responsible for the low turn out at the event and these become even more important when the show is free. Nonetheless, the artistes on the show ensured that those present had a good time. Diamond Steel Orchestra took care of the early warm up. They were positioned in a welcoming spot and ensured that upon arrival you were put in the mood. Che Campeche used their spot onstage to deal with the all important issue of ambush marketing. Lion I and Sally Elwin each did one song followed by a 12 minute medley by Invader and then 2005 Calypso Monarch Walleigh did three numbers. Nicole David was introduced with quite a bit of theatrics then it seemed anti-climatic when she hit the stage and she was hoarse. She gave a very good account of herself though while battling the flu. She went through her set in fine form and reminded the patrons at intervals that St Lucia will be on show come next year.
David Rudder was the last to take the stage, an artiste now synonymous with cricket, he did not disappoint. Backed by Wayne Bruno and the Rapid Response, he begun with strains of Trini to de bone, playing on the first line of that song “welcome welcome one and all to the land of fete”. Very early in the set he did Rally and a tribute to former West Indies player Omari Banks in one he called Bankie’s Son, then went on to other big numbers like Bahai Girl, Calypso, Mad Man’s Rant, Dust In Dey Face, Haiti, The Hammer, High Mas and the like. In typical Rudder style he delivered the hits effortlessly and without much fuss much to the delight of those present and particularly those close to the stage. While to many it was just a concert, the fact that he ended on the Banana Death Song should reiterate that we all need to play our part indeed. Many of our islands are similar and what will set us apart is our people, bananas are dead and we depend heavily on tourism to bring us foreign exchange and for some people, tourism is their daily bread. Let us play our part before and beyond 2007, the world is watching!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hooray for Shurwayne!!

While I am not in Trinidad physically, I am certainly there in spirit!! Having listened to the International Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch on the radio, I think I had a fantastic seat at the show. Shurwayne has been consistent with his offerings from the beginning and the fact that he was able to sweep both titles tonight is certainly a feather in his cap. Time will tell if he clears the road too for to be a triple crown monarch like Edwin Yearwood did in 1995 (albeit not the same combination of crowns).

I guess it's no longer appropriate to say "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" after all he has two road march crowns to his name in as many years!!

Germany will definitely be the place to be and now Shurwayne has cemented his place there with the Soca Warriors!!

Reign long and propser!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Junior Panorama Photos

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea??

The much anticipated Sponge Bob In Paradise show came to Gaiety in February 2006. Little did we know the show held at 3pm would have been in the carpark at Gaiety!! The fiasco that it was, saw children standing in the fence, being hoisted by adults or just playing around and kicking up dust!
The show started late because the promoters said they were trying to rectify the lack of chairs. The St. Thomas based promoters said they had sent a rider with specifications and they did not know what went wrong. However, they seemed to have the stage side of the show down to a fine science because that went off without a hitch, it being outdoors and all.
The script was that Sponge Bob Square Pants and his friends came to St Lucia at the invitation of a little girl who had seen him in St Croix. He decided to bring along a few of his friends and they went around St Lucia to enjoy the island. Sponge Bob Square Pants brought along Patrick, the starfish, Bob The Builder, Dora The Explorer and Jimmy Neutron. The visited the capital city of Castries, Morne Coubaril Estate, the Pitons and went to the beach. They learnt to dance calypso music and a good time was had by all. They related the story and thanked the little girl who invited Sponge Bob Square Pants.
While adults were complaining about the logistics, the children seemed to have had a fun time and perhaps were totally engaged by the cartoon characters or the over-priced toys that all else paled in significance. Next time though, invitation or not Sponge Bob Square Pants should stay in his pineapple under the sea if the conditions for the patrons are not as comfortable as Patrick is under his rock!

Junior Panorama showcases young arrangers

Nobel Laureate Week came to an end today with a bang. True to the theme of the celebrations - Unlocking the potential within – today’s exercise, Junior Panorama 2006 allowed budding arrangers to shine. It was agreed that the arrangers for Junior Panorama must be youngsters themselves. All of the arrangers were 20 years or younger and they can not arrange for more than two years in succession, thereby giving another youth a chance to develop their skill. Fantastic!
Today’s competition saw six bands, all adorned in t-shirts bearing the sponsors name, the name of their band and in some cases the name of the test tune.
The competition got underway shortly after 4pm with St Joseph’s Convent Steel doing a medley to warm up then Nicole David’s Queen of the Jungle as their test piece. They seemed to lose their timing at points of the test piece but nonetheless they were given the support of the audience. The Leon Hess Secondary School band was next, sponsored by Bumper 2 Bumper, they were hot from the get go with the Alison Hinds Roll It as their warm up piece, complete with dancers. They did a very good interpretation of TC Brown’s Mucho Pan for their test piece.
The highly anticipated Cable & Wireless Diamond Steel took the stage next. Their warm up medley was a luke warm rendition of Waistline Shots and a surprise inclusion of Sean Paul’s We Be Burnin’. The crowd was extremely jubilant from the first strains of the Sean Paul number and in true Diamond Steel showmanship, they wheeled it!!! The test piece was an excellent interpretation of Messenger’s Boom Boom Bye Bye. They managed to remind the audience to Stop The Violence and ended with a shout of “peace”. Miguel Joseph is to be commended for his arrangement of the test piece.
Busta Emerald Steel were up next, while their numbers seemed smaller than the allotted 35, they managed to have fun on stage while doing Alpha’s In De Arc as their warm up. They did Jaunty’s We Shall Hop as the test piece.
Digicel Pantime, clad in red were next. They had the entire front of the stage eating from their pans when they did a medley of Machel Montano’s Craziness and You to warm up. Both them and the audience were hot by the time they got to Invader’s Take My Money for their test piece. Just like Diamond Steel and Leon Hess, they played with expression, deviated from the melody and came back and in general showed that they understood the music and the criteria. Their pieces were arranged by Yannick St Juste and Shakir Lubin. The final band had been much anticipated too owing to their rivalry with Diamond Steel. Somehow when the South Shoe Store sponsored North Stars took the stage, even with their warm up piece, there was something left to be desired. They did a medley then moved into Jaunty’s Ooh La Lay as their test piece. The applause at the end of their performance was not as warm as it was for their arrival.
In the end, third place went to South North Stars. In pan, as in business, the two mobile phone companies battled for supremacy. Cable & Wireless Diamond Steel was beat into second place by one point and the Digicel sponsored Pantime showed that they were the bigger, better steelband! The arrangers are to be commended for their efforts and the CDF too for a job well done. The future of steelband is certainly in good hands and while we would all like to receive the gold medals, Diamond Steel’s members should be taught that there is such a thing as losing gracefully and we are all winners. I look forward to seeing Marie-Grace Michel (the Minister’s daughter), who is the captain of Digicel Pantime and her band at the opening of St Lucia Carnival 2006.