Amala's View

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Go Rachel, Go Rachel!!

It is always a joy to go to events at Samaan’s Park, simply because of the certainty that the venue will be transformed to suit the event. Tonight was no different and the Comedy Cabaret has certainly kept up with the entertainment I’ve seen in November to date.
The first (hopefully of many) Comedy Cabaret had four acts. It opened with the winner of the local Courts comedy show. Barbados’ Trevor ‘Dynamite’ Eastmond was next and was keen to point out that a cell phone is a dangerous thing. He cited several examples to make his case.
Blacka Ellis from Jamaica, dressed all in white took the stage after Trevor. He started his routine by complaining that he had been accommodated at Rendezvous and it was couples only and there was no TV in the room. He felt that it was a lousy excuse to say that men watch sports and the TV was a distraction. They need to find more creative ways to watch TV. He certainly hammered home the point that women have it easier than men in this world.
The night belonged to Rachel Price. I am sure she’s considered a national treasure in Trinidad & Tobago, or at the risk of being controversial, she definitely should be. She is hilarious, naturally. She has the ability to talk about herself and laugh and she makes you do it too. She almost seemed like a counsellor or sister and not a comedienne. She spoke candidly about sex, race, family life, religion and politics. Towards the end of her performance she used music to remember the old days and highlight how children now are influenced by music. It was quite entertaining.
While we laughed a lot at what was said, there will no doubt be internalisation and introspection. Humour brings us together but when the jokes on you, it may not be as funny. Tonight, all the acts demeaned and discredited Guyanese. As a proud born and bred Guyanese, it makes me wonder how being industrious and open to change makes for such dislike. Not all Guyanese, not even the majority have to run when you say immigration! I realise that it certainly goes beyond the fact that we can laugh about it. However, because I love to laugh and have risen above the indiscretions, I would actually go back to see any of these acts, they are good at what they do and Landmark Events is to be commended for putting them on the same cast.

Monday, November 03, 2008

World Creole Music Festival 2008

2008 saw the staging of the twelfth edition of the World Creole Music Festival. This was the second consecutive year that the festival was held in the Windsor Park Sports Stadium. The opening night set the tone for the festival and patrons knew that there would be no stopping until the sun was firmly planted in the sky after sunrise each day! Each night saw the festival open with a segment called Festival Wive (festival has arrived) where a Dominican band would get things started as only they know how. Friday it was First Serenade’s turn. Ophelia Marie with Grammacks was next. Ophelia is always a joy to watch and she sang some classics as well as tracks from her new CD Celebration. Jeff Joe took the stage after her and gave the crowd a superb performance. When Oliver Ngoma took the stage, the soukous music filled the venue with a richness that confirmed that the creole music festival was underway. Dominica’s reggae superstar Nasio Fontaine added his voice to the night’s lineup. While he was mellow at times, persons from neighbouring islands who may never have seen him, got their opportunity. Nasio lacks the vigour that we have grown accustomed to in reggae music but his voice is solid and his songs are memorable. Carimi did not disappoint with their energetic performance that appeared a bit short because of their dynamism. The pioneers of bouyon music WCK closed the show at 7 on Saturday morning, their repertoire is quite extensive and they gladly delivered several tracks to the delight of the audience.

The second night of pulsating rhythms began with a local group MFR that absolutely blew the crowd away. Swinging Stars with Soca Monarch Daddy Chess took the stage and rendered a few numbers prior to the likes of Dice, Hunter, Wizard and other calypsonians. Djakout Muzik was up next and started off the zouk music for the night. it was interrupted for a while when Jamaica’s Sean Paul took the stage and absolutely turned the beat around! Having arrived on the island mere hours prior to the show, he delivered a stirring performance complete with his brother as his hype man, Farenheit as a sidekick and dancers as a welcome addition. Tabou Combo brought back the creole flavour and Triple Kay, one of Dominica’s hottest bands closed the show after sunrise.

The final night got off to a late start with Cornell Phillip followed by Belles Combo. Julie Mourillon former member of Exile One was next. When Kassav took the stage, the temperature rose a few degrees. Every track they delivered was a hit and they perform just as well today as they did in 1979! From Siwo to Kaye Manman to Zouk la se sel Medikamen they kept the crowd frenzied and even singled out the St Lucians for special mention. By the time Machel Montano HD hit the stage, it was absolute abandon and he gave one of his signature performances. He started with a high energy track and sustained. Farmer Nappy, Zan and Patrice Roberts also delivered within the ninety minute set. The dancers were a show in themselves and certainly looked sharp. Midnight Groovers brought the curtains down on the festival and what a great one it was. There was great food, ample drinks and of course the fun element.
Worthy of note, is that this year St Lucia’s host with the most, Mr Pringles graced the stage at the festival. He was a welcome addition and thrilled the crowd with his ease of movement between patois and english and of course his inimitable style. The other emcees were Dominicans Alex Bruno and Franklyn Moses.
Dominica celebrates their 30th anniversary of independence this year and the festival formed a part of the year long celebrations that ended with a reunion. As the island continues to develop, albeit at a slower pace than the sister islands, it continues to hold a natural charm that keeps visitors coming back.