'Whap! Cocoyea'
by Mr. Panist

Trinidad and Tobago Panorama 2004 was a night to remember. I had the opportunity to get down to T'nT and seized it immediately in anticipation of witnessing a classic. Undeniably a Bradley/Desperadoes fan, I was in search of a 'Whap! Cocoyea' victory. I heard the semis over the radio and thought 'damn' - how is [arranger Clive] Bradley going to make up eight points, Exodus's [semi-finals] margin of victory?

Quite frankly, I thought Despers played as well as they could play and if they had not already convinced the judges, they would have an exceedingly difficult task of changing their [the judges'] minds in the finals.

So - fast forwarding to the [Panorama] finals' result and I found the 'Whap! Cocoyea' I was searching for. Only I was the recipient. It is not my first Panorama and so Despers not winning was fathomable, but losing by thirteen points was shocking, to put it nicely!

Was Exodus that much better? When Despers bring the whole population of Laventille [in support, for the Panorama finals], it is usually in anticipation of a win, or something close. The Grandmas of Laventille do not always make that trip and I saw quite a few of them on stage initially on Saturday night.

Seriously though, Exodus with Pelham Goddard's well-executed and 'correct' arrangement did not move me, nor did it move the audience. Yes, Exodus received the obligatory applause after the performance, but none during. Why? Because Pelham arranges 'correct' but boring music. Exodus executes it.

I challenge you to recall one or two interesting parts of Pelham's arrangement. I'll do the honors for Bradley's [arrangement of] 'Cocoyea'. Let's start with the minor section. The segment that introduces that part uses the rhythm and bass to summon the spirits. The rhythm borrowed from the African Big Drum. Bradley must know a little about the 'Cocoyea'. I could go on, but needless to say, I am in favor of Bradley's Cocoyea.

Not to ignore the second and third place bands, but since they are separated by one single point, subjective license allows for such a small margin. To clarify, I feel Despers [additionally] beat Phase 2 and Trinidad All Stars. But a one point difference is much easier to justify than twelve or thirteen points. Such a margin suggests that the judges believe the competition was not even close.

Again I pose the question, was Exodus that much better than Despers, Phase 2 and Trinidad All Stars? If so, please explain? And in exactly which ways? I would be interested in viewing their score sheets. I wonder if Pan Trinbago would post the score sheets (with comments) on their web site?

Maybe this would appease those angry Laventille Grandmas! At the very least, devout pan fans and all alike would have something to try and make some sanity out of this insanity.

 

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2004 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Date: 02.24.04

 

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