|July 24, 2005|
Countdown to New York Panorama 2005
- Despers USA's pan launch is always one of the most anticipated and
serious steelpan music events in the city.
It is, as the other
launches, by invitation only. However, there is a significant
difference at this launch compared to the others. That
difference is the audience. When you play in front of Despers
audience, you are playing in front of people with the highest steelpan
music IQ in the business. Their knowledge of the finer points of
steelband music is unquestioned. This audience is the most
reserved, critical, uncompromising and discerning you will ever come
across... If you're going to play in front of them you better
come well prepared or you could get you feelings hurt - twice. This is
not a 'wine, dance and jump' crowd; they come to a Despers USA launch
to listen. They are all ears. If your band is 'sneezing'
or has 'skaters' they will know. And they will 'rightfully so'
talk about you like a dog. If you are a real steelband any where
in the world, you need this invitation. If you are a steelband
fan, this is where you want to be.
While being the best band, or
having the best stage side during the pre-panorama season guarantees
you nothing at the panorama competition, it does set the stage for the
attitudes of those bands, that do carry over to the respective larger
panorama contingents. Things like cohesiveness, discipline and
execution are contagious. The pre-season band launches have become
serious business and the number of bands and players involved have
And so on Friday, July 22, Despers
USA Steel Orchestra located in central Brooklyn were hosts to the
fourth, and so far arguably the best, pre-New York panorama launch to
date. What made this launch particularly interesting was the
presence of four of New York's heavyweight contenders for pan
supremacy for the year 2005. CASYM, Marsicans, Pantonic and Despers
USA. Missing only were the 2005 panorama champions, Sonatas, to make
it a Pan-perfect launch. There was indeed a heightened sense of
anticipation rippling through the crowd. Despers USA's Pan Loft is a
special place, where an invitation to perform is a premium
opportunity. One could see many of the fans closing their eyes as they
took in the music, or just appearing to stare blankly at their own
space, as they zoned out to their surroundings, but tuned in to
ascertain ONLY the quality of the musical performances set out for
CASYM started off the launch with
an energetic set, including a couple of pieces that really captured
the audience. One was their performance of ''Pan
In 'A' Minor' which give
the audience an idea of what they missed if they did not catch the
band's original delivery at the World Steelband Music Festival at the
Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Pantonic gave a very good account
of themselves as their captain and full-time arranger, Keith Roberts,
them with a set that highlighted their musical versatility and skills.
They were very well received by the audience. Any doubt in terms
of the group's resiliency due to last year's disappointing and
puzzling placement in the 2005 panorama competition were once again
laid to rest. Pantonic will clearly be one of the "big dogs" in
Marsicans were also quite
enthusiastic, with a very strong musical set. What onlookers and pan
lovers saw and heard from the Marsicans' presence and delivery was
that they too, are ready for panorama. They definitely pleased
the pan critics in their time in the spotlight at the launch.
Despers USA as always displayed
their musicianship and command of the pan instruments, which always
places them in a special signature category when it comes to the feel
and touch of the steelpan. Their seasoned repertoire was appreciated
by all present.
Despers USA Pan
Loft was clearly the place to be this Friday evening.
Those bands who believe they have what it takes to be considered for an appearance at the exclusive, invitation-only, Despers USA pan launch next year, should contact Despers at 621 Classon Ave. (between Atlantic Ave. & Pacific St.), Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Marsicans Band Launch 2005 Despers USA, Sesame Flyers, Sonatas and Marsicans
|©2005 Basement Recordings, Inc. All rights reserved|