Monday, February 19, 2018

‘Excitement’ puts All Stars on top


TOPPED SEMIS: A Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars bassist is in full swing during the band’s performance of “Excitement” arranged by Leon ‘Smooth’ Edwards at Sunday’s National Panorama Large Bands semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. The band amassed 274 points to lead the pack heading to the finals on March 1. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

Mark Fraser

Three hours after the start of the National Panorama semi-finals for medium and large conventional steelbands at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday, former champions Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars came on stage at position eight and literally destroyed all competition.

All Stars gave a highly visual and energetic performance of Leon ‘Smooth’ Edwards’s arrangement of Clive Telemaque’s song “Excitement”. 

They had patrons in the North Stand jumping and, when it was over, there was a collective roar by the 12,000 patrons in both the North and Grand Stands.

Around 6 p.m. in position three, Witco Desperadoes came up the ‘drag’ with hundreds of supporters in tow and they delivered Robbie Greenidge’s arrangement of SuperBlue’s “Spankin”, much to the satisfaction of the audience. 

They were followed by bp Renegades with a feisty rendition of Duvonne Stewart’s arrangement of “In De minor” and they, too, got a collective roar from both stands.

BP’s regional president Norman Christie sat in the front row of the Grand Stand to take in Renegades and after the performance he seemed quite happy.

Also playing in the early stages of the competition were Caribbean Airlines Invaders, Tropical Angel Harps, Skiffle, Solo Harmonites and Birdsong. 

PCS Silver Stars, in position nine, played Liam Teague’s arrangement of “The Reason” and White Oak Starlift performed “Happiest Man Alive”.

Ken “Professor” Philmore and NLCB Fonclaire brought some life to the stage with their rendition of “Big in the Dance”, but it was Republic Bank Exodus’ musical interpretation of Pelham Goddard’s arrangement of “Pan is Carnival” that surprised all and sundry. Exodus proved to be the dark horse in Sunday’s clash.

Defending champions Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove appeared in position 14 between NGC La Brea Nightingales and RBC Redemption Sound Setters. And the announcer had to beg the posse in the North Stand to keep down the noise.  

When Phase II got going, they tried hard to erase the memories of All Stars but, despite Boogsie’s sweet and melodic arrangements of “Jump High”, All Stars remained on the mind.


Large band finalists 

1 Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars — “Excitement” (274); 

2. Republic Bank Exodus — Pan is Carnival (271); 

3.Witco Desperadoes — “Spankin” (263);  

3.Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove — “Jump High” (263); 

3. BP Renegades — “In De Minor” (263); 

6. CAL Invaders — “Jam It” (262); 

7. PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars — “The Reason” (257); 

8. Skiffle — “The Wedding (Shaadi)” (255);  

9. NLCB Fonclaire — “Big In De Dance” (254); 

10. T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps — “In De Minor” (253); 

10. NGC La Brea Nightingales — “Pan In The Atmosphere” (253 ).


Medium band finalists

1.Pan Elders — “All Ah We Is One Family” (278);  

2. NLCB Buccooneers — “Madness” (272), 

3. Petrotrin Katzenjammers — “Spankin” (270);  

4. Valley Harps — “Happiest  Man Alive” (269);  

4. NGC Steel Xplosion — “Dust In Dey Face” (269);  

6. NGC  Couva Joylanders — “Free Up” (267), 

7. Arima Angel Harps — “In De Minor” (264), 

8. Carib Dixieland — “Dis Is It” (263);  

9. Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille - “Poison” (262); 

10. Melodians -  “The Hammer” (259)