the signs of an impending deepening tension between the Cultural Development Foundation
and the Select Carnival Stakeholders Committee loom large, let us reflect on
some aspects of Bacchanal 2012, focusing on the Power Soca Monarch!
I told you before that St. Lucians were fed up with the Trinidadian-invented
“Rag and Flag” syndrome which has over the years supersaturated our Soca shows,
would I have been vindicated by the outcomes of our just concluded Carnival? Did
we see some evidence pointing in that direction in the song “Gallop” by Soca
Psycho is simply known as “Cuffy”. He works at DHL. He wrote “Gallop” on his
own but the song was produced by Fross and mastered by Fross and Starchild
(Darton “Reeves” Charles) from DOTCOM Sounds. Soca Psycho does not drink
have been following the "Rag & Flag" movement ever since it’s
early inception by exponents like Iwa George and lately Machel Montano. No
doubt, it has been an effective crowd participation technique; but lately I get
the impression that it is losing its spontaneous appeal - a probable indication
that it is losing some ground and hence its relevance among our local
that sense, gallop came in as a breath of fresh air blowing away the monotony
of the "Rag & Flag" and "Panty & Bra" malaise which
has taken over our bacchanal. Yes! It virtually blew them away in the Road March
I first heard "gallop", I was ambivalent about it. I dismissed it as
just another version of Twanche; but the more I listened to it, the more it
dawned on me that the song was a beautifully-crafted and creative construction
with universal audience appeal and which spontaneously engaged audiences
wherever it was performed.
Lyrics are simple but innovative:
year is people complaining
after year is de same ting
Rags, Flags, Flags, Flags . . .
request a vibe to raise de temperature
it come to jump up, this one has no remorse
year we come out fit like a horse
gallop; run to de back of de truck
up to the front of the truck!
up . . . .
girl doh want no donkey, donkey, donkey
her a stallion, stallion, stallion
too tired, tired, tired
request a thoroughbred to pick up de pace
horse is on the track
no turning back
onto the bridle, bridle, bridle
onto the bridle, bridle, bridle
on your saddle
getting ready to “pété pak” (mash
despite the vast potential of the song, Soca Psycho didn’t do justice to it on
the big stage on the night that mattered, even when he had overwhelming crowd
support. He obviously needs more lessons in timing!
said all of the above, I have to confess that I'm afraid that "gallop"
might just be another “freak Soca” song like Alpha's "down de road,
Exodus' "metay brakes", and Ninja's "OK" etc.
"gallop" was a commendable creative attempt, then "Born to Mash up" had all the
elements of a veritable creative earthquake and Superman HD deserved the Power
Soca monarchy. I particularly liked the tag line “everything’s gonna fall in here,
everything is gonna fall!”
caustic poetic flavour of the song thoroughly impressed me. The rendering and
performance of it were masterful and superb and raised the bar by quantum
leaps! The professionalism, theatrics and structure of/in the production
approached the quality of a science fiction movie. HD had masterful introduction
which flowed delightfully into a clear "line of development” culminating
into a soothing closure which perhaps restored the equilibrium of the audience
when the performance was done! We have to rank Superman HD’s performance as one
of the greatest we have seen. He was explosive and made Ricky T look
T needs another quantum leap to reach Superman HD’s standard. To add insult to
injury, I would say that his performance this year was like a “recycled
dancehall act” from last year with too much “rag and flag” and “1-2-3!
ready to go” antics. He sounded infantile and mundane.
was way below national standard and looked like he is on his way out of the
arena! It appears that Machel Montano’s influence has not had the desired
impact on his pursuit of success. He is a far cry from the original Alpha we
knew him to be.
“She loves my clock a lot” turned overtly “x-rated” when he placed a clock
hanging from his neck down to his genital region and then invited his sexy
dancing ladies to whine on the clock. At that point, it became clear that Yardie’s
song wasn’t about his clock; but something else.
Lancelot’s performance stood out in some measure; but his “lyrical conversation”
seemed to lack poetry and organization. His lyrical mix tended to be too
conversational and ex tempore. He was just bunching words around and that
robbed him of a measure of professionalism.
the Soca Monarch had the potential to be a superb show but the organizers might
have “piped” the segment when the patrons were waiting for the results. I
didn’t think the slot given to “DJ HP” at that point was a well-thought out
move. In my opinion, it took away the "euphoria" element from the
show and brought the quality down a few notches. It was an ideal slot to fill in with some guest artistes like Mancius, Kakal
or the good calypsonians that didn’t make it to the Big Stage. It was a way of
recognizing, encouraging and appreciating them, not to supersaturate the
patrons with more “panty and bra” effluvia from a dancehall DJ!
a silent suggestion that Carnival Stakeholders Committee/Cultural Development
Foundation does not seem to have a clear and comprehensive policy for the
development of the art forms; but that's for another show. Perhaps, it's a good
time for the Stakeholders committee to pass the baton to Petrus Compton and his
CDF team and to let them start the planning for Bacchanal 2013.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cokes and Esai did not MC the Power Soca Finals; they MC'ed the Calypso Finals. I have edited and removed the references to them. My apologies for the the mix -up!
Thanks to "Anonymous" for pointing that out!
Anonymous, HP did perform at the beginning of the Show and I have absolutely no issue with that! My issue was the slot given to him during the "judging interregnum". I thought it was declasse for a show of that magnitude!
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