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Another Side of Pan

My First Pilgrimage to the Mecca of Pan - Entry 11

Posted by Eric Mannweiler on February 13, 2011

Trinidad & Tobago

Eric

Hello everyone,

Panorama 2011Well, last night was my second go at Panorama prelims, as I played with Express 21. My involvement with this band was a sobering experience on many levels. First and foremost, I experienced first hand the affects conditions in Laventille had on the band, and how some bands really have an uphill battle during Panorama. Last week's panyard shooting (which happened not too far from Express 21) left many of the band's players afraid to attend rehearsals. The arranger was left with mere days to find enough players to qualify, finish the tune, teach it to us, and try to get the group ready to compete. While some bands have pretty developed panyards, this band was cramped under tents in front of a house on a busy street, and with plenty of things to distract them. It was clear the band was fighting through a lot to get the job done. Despite all that that had going against them, the came together and really pushed to get the job done. Regular players stepped up to drill the band on the Avenue yesterday when the arranger had to leave the band to deal with things. Though it was a stressful process, and many of us were frustrated before we played, when it came time to take the stage the band came together and enjoyed themselves. Though we may not have given a perfect performance, the band came out and as much energy as we could. Knowing what the band went through, I couldn't help but be troubled about the crackshots that wanted to take the tune on the road yesterday, though they may not have intended any disrespect.

I haven't had any new Trini food to speak of, but I have tried two new Roti places. Patraj in Woodbrook was good, Sherry's on 5th Street in San Juan was better. I went to Sherry's twice, the first time I had goat, which had a couple small pieces of bone, but was otherwise the best Roti I've had thus far. The second time I had chicken, which I quickly realized they don't offer a boneless option. I'm not sure I understand the idea of putting chicken wings in a sandwhich... In anycase, Sherry's is so far the reigning champion, but I'm told Sylvia's (also in San Juan) is the best Roti around. The battle for the best Roti continues, and I'm loving every minute!

As we get closer to Panorama, I'm getting busier and busier, and as I run out of time I will be trying to get out and experience as much as possible. I may not be updating as regularly as I used to, but I'll do my best! Until next time

Life for Pan,

click to view entries - preface - 1 - 2- 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 -19 - 20- 21 - 22

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