Amala's View

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Take Over Tent is 25!

“25 years ago rasta couldn’t go in no tent, so they get together and formed Take Over Tent.” That was the opening line from MC Natty as TOT celebrated their 25th anniversary at Gaiety on August 25th, 2007. Well thank goodness it’s been all up from there, certainly not without the struggles associated with running a tent and keeping calypsonians focused in the first instance.
Get Thru, the tent leader started the ball rolling with the tent’s first road march – What De People Chanting. One of the more impressive songs of the night came from Joker, it was called Mad Mad Mad. The song was a brand new song to me but it was engaging and he delivered it with such fervour that I had to enquire about it. Turns out it was released “in either ’84 or ’85 and should have won road march”. I have also concluded that Mr Pringles did not invent madness, he just went ahead and perfected it!
It was great to see Maguilla, Simplicity and Messenger on stage again. Herb Black was certainly a crowd favourite and promised to return to the stage for the 2008 season.
Like Maguilla, XMan and Twop Chans came dressed the part of the songs they performed. They did not go unnoticed by Gilroy ‘Isi’ Hall who shared the MC duties. Former Calypso Monarch Walleigh delivered with his usual animation and was well received. In my opinion the night belonged to Alpha, when he hit the stage in the second round, he certainly took it up a notch. While people were very appreciative of Ashanti and encored him several times, Alpha pulled them into his performance. Looking sharp as always in his black and white fedora and even swankier shoes, he started off slowly with Dancing and went through a string of hits that ended with Down De Road, which for the greater part was performed in the audience. While the crown may have eluded him this year, he has the charisma and talent that will ensure he continues to be elevated.
While Black I, Marie Anne and back to back Road March King Ricky T were noticeably absent. Floopsy, Struggler, Ronald Darius, Paulinus and Black Pearl completed the cast.
The guest artiste was Sir Mclean Emmanuel. Who? Yeah I know, Short Shirt! I remember several months ago when I called Antigua to get his number for this show, I was surprised to hear that the man is knighted and we go around calling him Short Shirt! The power of the arts is something else!
In my opinion the order of his songs could have been different to keep the crowd engaged but he was greatly appreciated and his final track was the most popular – Jouvert Morning. Incidentally, he was crowned Caribbean Calypso Monarch during Antigua’s 50th carnival celebrations this year.
The accompaniment for the night was provided by the tent’s resident band, the Reasons Orchestra under the directorship of Supt. Gregory Piper who also played alto sax and is currently the longest serving member of the Royal St Lucia Police Force. It was great to see Hilary Lewis on trombone again, he’s still in fine form!
Even though the show’s attendance left a lot to be desired, the quality was certainly befitting of the occasion and we wish them well for the next 25 years! Happy anniversary TOT!


At 6:02 AM, Blogger Boyce said...

Congratulations, making it to 25 years is quite an acheivement..


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