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Pan gorn clear!

by Queen Macoomeh

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Ontario, Canada - Oh goooode!  I get christen over again! Dem pan jumbie hole me in a full Nelson and douse my head in holy water till ah ketch de power an bawl for murderation. Hear nuh man. Talk bout bess? Steupse....it was more dan bess. It was Most Bess!

If you en know what I talkin bout den you real miss out oui. October 30th in Toronto it had a show call Autumn Leaves on Steel. Yuh girl take she fass self and say she MC’ing part of de show. I bade, powder up and went. I never been in dis show before eh. Ah did hear bout it yes, but din really know what to expeck. I say a lil panside go come and give we two chune, we siddong, we clap and we go home. Little did I know papa.

 When I reach in de place, I hustle finish dollsin up myself because I done know my mudda girl chile have to be put away. I en want nobody say how I come looking greasy, as doh I jes finish make market. I even get a makeup artist name Niki Doorbal to do meh makeup. She had me looking like people.

Ay ay. I fly backstage to take my place and peep at de stage. It was set up wid a regular band - keyboard, drums, a bass guitar, percussion and ting and a saxophone. I say I in de wrong place. Where de steelband? Is only when I see Andy Phillips do so and put he single tenor in de middle of de stage dat I get lash wid a OR HORRR Stick and realize is pure pan I come to hear.

De back-up band was de Liamuiga Project. Dey start wid a lil toe tappin jazz ting while people settlin een dey seat. I ease out chippin on de stage and start skylarking wid de audience. Yuh know yuh girl like de ro-ro, so it was nice to see meh people to ole talk wid. I introduce Andy and my boy start a dingolay. Hear nuh man. Skill dong de line eh? Not no simple do-ray-me. It was far-so-lah-tee in yuh pweffen! Den he give we some vocals to sweeten de business. Yuh shoulda see me backstage bussing a two step. I nearly heng mehself wid all dem wires an cords.

Den Darren Sheppard come. Backstage I akse he what he going and do for we. De man say he coming wid pure love whole night. He en lie nuh. Darren come wid This Masquerade and mash up de place. He find we en mash up fine enough, he turn arong and lash we wid some jazz. What get me wid Darren is de control he had over he sticks. Man play wid de rubber end, switch up and play wid de udda end. It had a part where Liamuiga Project sorfen to a whisper and Darren strike de last two note so sorf but so clear and Tony Pierre on percussion start to rattle some shells - it sound between a lil Shango and birds and yuh hearing de tinkle of a crystal pan. Hear nuh man. Meh skin walk FUSS it was sweet! I stan up in de wings like a mook, so taken wid de zaffairs dat I nearly forget to come back on stage. When I come on I tell de audience is me who learn Darren to play pan and dey laugh at me. I cah even fine de C note on my tenor widdout looking. Dis man fine notes I din even know it had.

Dane Gulston performs at the 2010 Autumn Leaves on Steel
Dane Gulston performs at the 2010 Autumn Leaves on Steel

After dat we had a lil intermission and den Liamuiga Project come back and play for we. We had door prize an ting and den Dane Gulston come.


I en know Dane eh. I am not he gawdmudda, tanty, sister or chile so doh say how I pushing ting. But dat boy lick up dat pan until de pan nearly start to talk. Papayo! It had a time I couldn’t even see he hand fuss he was moving so fass. I had to lean on something to hole me up. Tonné! I never see nutting so! Energy was bess, accuracy was bess, delivery was bess. It din have a place on dat pan, dat Dane din use to make we bawl. People clap till dey schupid. Dane was dripping wet by de time he done. My heart had palpitashun. Is a good ting by den Elton Jones had take over de job of MC because I was weak. Dane boy, yuh have a gift oui. I doh normally give people a ten out of ten. I does keep back one point for manners but garçon! Gardez La...take win!

By dis time now, I done change my clodes and was moving around taking snap. I hear de MC call out de next solois - Duvone Stewart - people clap.

Duvone Stewart commands the mic and pan at the 2010 Autumn Leaves on Steel
Duvone Stewart commands the mic and pan at the 2010 Autumn Leaves on Steel

De place quiet, stage darkened, spotlight come on and I see Duvone reach. You could see dis man wasn no stranger to a stage. He come in a tuxedo papa - deck awf for days. Real saga ting. Den he proceed to wipe up de stage wid style. He haul he music from over so, to over so. He sing along wid he music. He even play de new E-Pan dat a fella by de name of Salmon Cupid invent. All yuh ever hear de E-Pan? It interesting boy.

Duvone tell we it have a important lady in de audience dat he want to big up. Duvone mummy come quite up in de cole to see she son play and sing for de firse time since he leave Tobago. Gorme, it was a nice moment. He went on to douse we wid music, from R and B to jazz to reggae. You could see dis was a real showman because he had we involve in de business from start to end.

What a night! Toronto was cole like dawg nose but in dat auditorium it had a warm breeze blowing. Pan gorn clear eh all yuh. Doh doubt me. If yuh din know before, yuh know now. Pan belong on a World Stage!

Ah gorn.

Pictures by Queen Macoomeh
Queen Macoomeh:  Macoomeh@hotmail.com

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