I had my first performance in a Panorama competition stage, playing with Woodbrook Playboyz in the single pan prelims on Saturday. It was incredible!!! The streets were packed with people, the band had a constant crowd dancing and looking like we were the best band they'd heard. We set up and played all the way down the
street towards the stage. I felt like I was a new soldier in an army that was going off to fight a war they knew they could win. Even pushing the percussion rack from the panyard to the Avenue felt like I was pushing the artillery into battle.
The players had so much confidence though, I felt really good about what we were doing. When we were waiting to take the stage, once they started playing our tune "I Coming Again", the band erupted in cheers, jumping and dancing. Completely unrehearsed, the bend chipped perfectly into place from the road, and was just, for lack of a better word, CLOWNIN. Once the knocks came to start the tune, everyone was animated and gallerying like they had no concerns about the piece. I must admit there were more parts that escaped me than I really hoped there would be, but all in all I felt good about it.
For those of you planning on playing with a band like this, don't practice too hard in rehearsals before you perform! I wanted to play out in the yard so the director would know I could handle it (and therefore be selected to play.) So after drilling in the yard, carrying the pan through the streets and practice runs leading up to the stage, I was tired before we actually gave our performance! The band ended up in 5th place in the Northern Region prelim round.
I also just got back from a two day trip to Tobago with the foreigners from Starlift, which I must admit was an extremely good time. The island is beautiful, with tons of hills, forests, incredible beaches, reefs, and colorfully painted houses. We spent most of the first day touring the island. We stopped to take a hike up to a waterfall, where were all had our first experience actually getting in a waterfall. After that we ate at a place called Jemna's which was a treehouse restaurant on the beach, with pretty good food to match! We then headed up to the highest point we could find to catch the sun setting on a bay (the name of which has escaped me). We then stopped in to see Bucconeers Steelband rehearse, because two people in the group knew their arranger, Seon Gomes (spelling?)
note the arrangers name is spelled Seion
Gomez). WOW that band sounded great, and Seon's arranging is incredible!! His background parts are fantastic, his frontline was exciting... it was a really professional and moving band. We then headed to check out "Sunday School", a kind of street festival, which we had heard about. Perhaps we were there too early, but to be honest I was a bit disappointed. It was very touristy, the food selection was not great, and we didn't really hear much music.
The second day we spent at Store Bay beach, which was beautiful though saturated with people trying to sell or rent us things. Two of us went on a glass bottom boat out to the Bucco Reef, which had beautiful fish and varied kinds of coral. Word of warning, no matter that I applied 55spf sunscreen three times that day, I still got burned pretty badly... After the tour, we all tried out Crab and Dumplings, which we had been told was a Tobagan delicacy. I have to be honest, I loved the taste but was very frustrated with the crab shelling process. We had these tiny crabs, so to get any meat out, particularly with the legs, required a lot of cracking and scrounging. Concerning the boat trip to Tobago, going there was a REALLY rough ride (which two of the group barely made it through). Coming back was a little better, but still bumpy at times.
That's all I have for now, but as soon as I feel like I can go out in the sun again, I'll have more to report to you!
Life for Pan,
PS the calypsonian we saw was Lord Superior, not Relator. Sorry about that!
Life for Pan,