Saturday, February 24, 2018

...MacFarlane: Long and boring


MASTER PERFORMER: The Black Stalin performs, 'We Can Make It If We Try' at Sunday's new-look Dimanche Gras, Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. The show featured various elements of Carnival: traditional mas, steelpan, calypso, soca and pretty mas. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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Six-time band of the year winner Brian MacFarlane described the new format of Sunday night's Dimanche Gras as "long and boring".

Speaking to the media just before crossing downtown on Carnival Monday, MacFarlane posed for photographs as his masqueraders signed his t-shirt.

"If you want to do away with the final night competition aspect that's fine, but there are so many other elements. The show should have at least showcased the creme de la creme of this year's Carnival," he said.

MacFarlane's King and Queen performed at the show.

His King, Gerard Weekes who tied for first place in Friday's finals was the last to cross the stage just after 1 p.m.   

He would only say "ah shame", when asked to describe the show.

"I have never seen so many last-minute changes, so many disasters backstage," he added.

Bandleader of d'Krewe, 2012 Carnival King Roland St George yesterday dismissed the new format of Sunday's Dimanche Gras as "absolute rubbish".

Roland was not asked to participate in the show that ended after one o'clock Carnival Monday morning.

The new format took away the competition segment from Dimanche Gras and was a showcase for soca, calypso, steelpan and mas bands.

But St George cried shame on both the National Carnival Commission (NCC) and the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) for "ruining Carnival".

"I am ashamed that this is where my culture reach at the hands of the NCC and the NCBA," an irate St George said yesterday.

St George is part of the newly-formed Trinidad Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA), a breakaway faction of the NCBA, said he tried to watch the show but soon fell asleep.

"It wasn't worth my time," he said.

The show was advertised as a "tight three hour show" by NCC head Allison Demas but it lasted more than six hours and the fireworks finale was displayed for a handful of people.

Backstage at Sunday night's show, there was some chaos that was not seen on stage as two larger costumes, invited to perform had to be turned away because of the props on the stage.

The show played to a small but appreciative audience who were unaware of the hiccups backstage.

But according to St George those with experience could tell all was not well with the show.

Rosemary Hezekiah, bandleader for Veni and Friends also expressed her disappointment with the show.

"It was way too long. We have so much talent in this country but we haven't been able to harness it and control it," she said.

"We need to have shows that are tighter so that at the end of it, the audience is not asleep in their chairs," she said.