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  July 26, 2005  

Countdown to New York Panorama 2005

Despers USA Pan Launch
and a Friday Evening
A Great Combination




If you happen to be a pan lover, and one of those who simply cannot get your fill of steelpan in what is always too short a pan season, then last Friday evening provided the perfect after-work opportunity in which to revel.  The Despers USA pan launch for 2005 made it a Friday evening event like no other.  Most other launches are held on Saturday or Sunday, but it is a rare opportunity when you can actually set the tone for your weekend with sweet pan after a week's toil.  Everyone seemed to have heard that this band launch was the place to be if you loved pan, and wanted to jump start your weekend.  The intimate, Classon Avenue-located Despers USA Panyard was crowded with people atop in the small loft area overlooking the actual panyard, and in the rehearsal/performance area, with the rest overflowing outside on the sidewalk and making periodic forages into the panyard proper.

Steel Orchestras on hand to perform at the band launch were CASYM, Pantonic, Marsicans, and of course, hosts Despers USA.  Though people milled around long before in anticipation, it was CASYM who got things musically started at 10:00 PM.  This they did with a rousing set which included numbers like Glen Miller's "In The Mood", the late Anita Bostik's "All Is Yours", "Ah Hook", "Just The Two Of Us", (which is on CASYM's 'D Blueprint CD) and their World Steelband Music Festival arrangement of Kitchener's "Pan In 'A' Minor."  The more mature pan crowd showed their appreciation for the Glen Miller piece, and also the rendition of Pan In 'A' Minor which closed out their performance about 10:50 PM.

It was Pantonic's turn next, and they kicked off with "Perfidia" around 11:27 PM.  With a performance set that held the crowd's attention for exactly one hour, Pantonic dropped known favorites from their repertoire one after the other, including tracks from their much-anticipated forthcoming CD such as Shania Twain's "You're Still The One" and Lord Nelson's "Disco Daddy."

Marsicans was third in the line-up, keeping the pan momentum going from around 11:45 PM.  The camaraderie and enjoyment was clear in the spirit of the band.  As they went through their paces, which included well-received musical staples like Baron's "Tell Me Why,"  Marsicans' pannists who were not actually playing, kept the tempo hot with their fervor and enjoyment as they danced between the pans to the music of their fellow pan players.

Last to perform for the evening, but of course making their usual profound musical statement, were Despers USA.  As expected, they gave the crowd exactly what they are known for - precision, and sweet pan.  No one complains when Despers USA puts their sticks to steel in the name of such standards as ABBA's classic "Dancing Queen."  That's just the way it is; think of it as signature Despers USA if you like.

With a few raindrops developing into a bit of rain just after 2:30 AM, it was time for some pan lovers to make their exits, but even then, they simply made way for those others on the sidewalk outside the pan loft, to now have their turn inside the panyard.  The sheltered section provided safe haven from the rain, as well as the perfect setting for the remainder of the extremely successful and very well-attended 2005 Despers USA band launch.


Basement Press Corp.
2005 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

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