School fetes leading the way

23 Jan

This time, in one month, Carnival 2015 would have been done and dusted, and most of the post-festival events, including Pan Trinbago’s Champs in Concert, would have been held. In fact, Catholics would have already gone to church and had ashes crossed on their foreheads.

Having given some sobriety and reflection to this weekend’s column, allows me to plunge you in the headiness of the ongoing season of revelry and abandonment.

With a mere three weeks left before the reign of the Merry Monarch, with a whole lot of stuff squeezed into the period, what does a Carnival peong do?

For starters, the fund-raising all-inclusive fetes hosted by educational institutions continue to be successful. Tomorrow evening, Machel Montano stars at St Mary’s College Grounds, Serpentine Road, St Clair when St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union holds Fete With The Saints 2015, at 5 pm. Following an awesome performance at last Sunday’s UWI Fete, Montano, his band and quartet of male dancers are expected to push the envelope even further. Also on the billing are Roy Cape All Stars, featuring Blaxx, Ricardo Drue and Darnella Simmons, and DJs Nuphoric and Private Ryan.

Girl factory at Bishops

Last Saturday night, Old Hilarians maintained the high standard its fund-raising event has become renown for. At the 19th edition of the fete held at Bishop Anstey High School in Port-of-Spain, it seemed that the Hilarians had a factory churning out beautiful and elegantly-attired women.

Women outnumbered the men at this affair, opened by Barbados Road March champion duo Leadpipe and Saddis, formerly Porgie & Murda. Their hit single Ah Feeling set the tone for the rest of the evening.

A rejuvenated Dil-e-Nadan followed with frontliners Raymond Ramnarine, Dr Seales and Esther Dyer lifting their previous game, generating a healthy and infectious synch with patrons assembled in front the stage. This energy was continued when Roy Cape All Stars hit the stage, fronted by vocalists Blaxx, Drue and Simmons. In fact, they worked up the crowd to the point that women began tossing money on the stage to get Drue to shed his clothes. He obliged but only removed his shirt. Not to be outdone, Blaxx followed suit.

With DJ Duchess keeping patrons in a bouyant mood, The Asylum Vikings made its entrance with Fay Ann Lyons’ Raze. Both she and husband Bunji Garlin were elegantly attired, she in black lace and Garlin in a black suit, complete with slim tie. Making guest appearances with The Vikings were Crazy, Ataklan and Granny (Nikki Crosby). As usual, The Vikings outfit sounded well rehearsed and maintained a lively rapport with its audience.

Apart from hot soca items like Ola, Phenomenal, and Like ah Boss, Ducking is another party-pleaser, complete with its unique dance. Raze, whether its performed by its originator Fay Ann or any of the other popular band female frontliners like Esther or Darnella, is also a mega hit, especially for women.

The Old Hilarians party ended just after midnight, but, intrepid youths, still bursting with energy went to Soaka at O2 Park in Chaguaramas and Fire Foam Fete in the Queen’s Park Savannah.

The best of UWI

I will stick my neck here and boldly state that Sunday’s UWI 25 fete was probably the best organised and produced all-inclusive fete I have attended for some time; compliments to Dennis Ramdeen and his team of hard workers and the UWI volunteers.

Celebrating the 25th year of this fete, every artiste payed tribute to Black Stalin who had graced the party almost every year.

At 2.30 pm, Veerendra Persad’s JMC 3 Veni gave the party a good start, featuring Chutney Soca favourite KI and UWI engineering graduate Nishard Nehroo on vocals.

These two vocalists are blessed with good voices and know how to engage an audience.
Compared to its first performance at Soka in Moka, Dil-e-Nadan has improved by 150 per cent.
On top if its game on Saturday at the Old Hilarians fete, the band was even better at UWI.

Songs that underscores the band versatility and effect are Dr Seales’ cover of Crazy’s Respect Yuh Elders, Ronnie Mc Intosh’s On the Road, and Fadda Fox’s Ducking; and, Esther Dyers amazing delivery of Lyons’ Raze and Destra’s Lucy. Overall the band is awesomely powerful, especially when performing On the Road.

Attired in all black and accompanied by four male dancers, Machel, this year as Monk Montae, had patrons eating out his hands throughout his two-hour-plus performance.

Showing magnanimity, he congratulated Bunji Garlin on winning a Soul Train award last year.

In constant communication with fans who surged forward, Montano warned rumour mongers: “I am on to top of my game and I have no shame.”

The defending NLCB International Power Soca Monarch sang most of his 11 new original compositions.

Performing Pop a Bottle, Montano made a brief exit off stage, introducing Barbados’ soca diva Alyson Hinds and Farmer Nappy.

At 6.30 pm Roy Cape All Stars occupied the stage vacated earlier by 3Veni. The aggregation continued the high intensity, full bodied performance established since January 4 at Trinity College’s Soka in Moka.

Primarily hyped by Blaxx, the All Stars has a danceable and infectious repertoire.

I must mention the work done by DJ Alicia D Duchess for two successive nights, and the hosting of the UWI stage shows by radio personality Jus’ Jase.

This Sunday’s two big music events are the International Soca Monarch semi-finals and Yorke Inc’s Masquerade at Trinity College East, Trincity. This well loved all-inclusive will be served by Roy Cape Stars, The Asylum Vikings, Dil-e-Nadan, Olatunji, Benjai, Kerwin Dubois, Leadpipe & Saddis, Point Fortin Engine Room, DJs Private Ryan, Kabuki and King Int, tassa and more.

Gates to the Soca Monarch semis, being held for the first time on De Greens, Queen’s Park Savannah, are scheduled to be opened at noon with the first performer in the Groovy Soca category facing the judges at 2 pm.

Panorama this evening

Outta De Box, composed by Mark Loquan, Sion Gomez and Gregory “G (B” Ballantyne and sung by Shanaqua (Rachel Fortune) is the Panorama tune of choice of six steel orchestras in the National Small and Medium Conventional categories scheduled for this weekend. Competition will commence with North Region bands appearing at The Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, from 6 pm.

Outta De Box will be played by Pandemonium, UTT La Horquetta Pan Groove, Valley Harps, Tokyo Steel Orchestra, Nu Tones and St Margaret’s Super Stars.

Others opting for 2015 selections include Humming Birds Pan Groove and Tunapuna Tipica (King Birdie); Laventille Serenaders and Highlanders (Chords); Merrytones (Steelband Coming Down); SupaNovas (Dr Samaroo); Belmont Fifth Dimension (Rave); Siparia Deltones (Ola); and Tamana Pioneers (Ah Feeling). The rest, which is the majority, have chosen music of yesteryear from 1973 to 2014.

Fifty-four small steelbands and 25 medium bands will be competing in their respective categories. Judging of the two categories will be conducted by separate panels on the same day.

The National Panorama preliminaries continue tomorrow with East Region bands facing the judges at the Velodrome, Arima, at 6 pm.

The South/Central Region steelbands compete on Sunday, at Skinner Park, San Fernando, from 4 pm. Tobago Region bands will compete on Monday, at the Parade Park, opposite D#1 Hardware, Bacelot, Tobago at 7 pm.

Tickets cost $75 and are being sold at the regular outlets, Regional offices and on the day of the event at each venue.

Patrons attending the

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Small and Medium Conventional Bands Preliminaries can use one ticket to any one of the same advertised competitions at any of the four venues.


Source: Trinidad & Tobago Guardian 

Follow our Blog for updates, and Visit us at:

Metro Caribbean Official Website

Metro Caribbean Twitter Page

Metro Caribbean Instagram Page

Metro Caribbean Pinterest


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