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Mosaic Steel Orchestra Rocked City & Sand for 2012

by Nevin Roach

Bridgetown, Barbados, W.I. - Once again, Barbados’ Mosaic Steel Orchestra did not disappoint, when it came time for the 2012 Crop Over festivities.  And in focus were the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Pan in the City and the Neal & Massy/Republic Bank Pan Pun de Sand which celebrated another year of existence back in July.

Crowd with Mosaic Pan-round-the-neck band in the midst
Crowd with Mosaic Pan-round-the-neck band in the midst.
Image provided by and copyright (NCF) National Cultural Foundation

After a teaser in Pan in Black on the night of Crop Over Friday, Mosaic headed to Bridgetown on Saturday to set Independence Square on fire, and did just that with a 12 piece Pan-round-the-neck band. With popular tunes from calypsonian Red Plastic Bag and other artistes, Mosaic led hundreds of Pan fanatics around the square in a mass congo line.

Congo line around Independence Square with Mosaic Pan-round-the-neck band
Congo line around Independence Square with Mosaic Pan-round-the-neck band.
Image provided by and copyright (NCF) National Cultural Foundation

On Sunday the vibrant and youthful band took to the sands of Brandon’s Beach to perform in Barbados’ biggest pan event, Pan Pun de Sand. Despite persistent heavy showers, thunder and lightning, and an island-wide power outage, scores of Pan lovers came to Brandon’s Beach to enjoy the event.

Mosaic Steel Orchestra at Pan Pun de Sand on Brandon’s Beach
Mosaic Steel Orchestra at Pan Pun de Sand on Brandon’s Beach.
Image provided by and copyright (NCF) National Cultural Foundation

The show started at 3 p.m. with local bands such as Pan Extreme performing in front a moderate crowd. By 6:30 p.m. the sand was packed with an estimated 1500 patrons when the highly-anticipated Mosaic Steel Orchestra took the stage. With a deep urge to rise to the same level of steelbands in Trinidad & Tobago, Mosaic used pan racks for the first time, as the 30-piece orchestra flooded the stage with the widest variety of pans in Barbados.

David ‘Zige’ Walcott (r)
David ‘Zige’ Walcott (r).
Image provided by and copyright (NCF) National Cultural Foundation

At the first tap of the pan by arranger David ‘Zige’ Walcott, members of the band put on brightly coloured shades waiting for the count, hinting towards the caliber of performance about to be given.

Mosaic opened their set with the theme song from Sesame Street, much to the enjoyment of the one thousand plus-strong crowd. The band then played a wide range of songs from Adele to Lil Rick, with the entire Brandon’s Beach dancing to the sweet rhythm. As a surprise to all, Mikey, the reigning Party Monarch, took the stage to perform his popular hits ‘We Loose’ and ‘No Behaviour,’ ably backed by the Mosaic band and dancers. The band left the crowd begging for more as they exited the stage, bringing an end to their vibrant performance.

Topical Steel followed Mosaic, taking the tempo down a notch, and then Trinidad & Tobago giants Exodus Steel Orchestra wrapped up proceedings on the beach with a resounding performance, including appearances by Barbados’ Red Plastic bag and Trinidad & Tobago’s Black Stalin.

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