Nov 03, 2008 News
By Alex Wayne
As anticipated, the Mighty Sparrow and Byron Lee’s ‘Dragonaires’ teamed up at Thirst Park on Saturday night to unleash a soca/calypso invasion that would be long remembered on the local shores.
Although the action actually picked up somewhere close to 22:00 hrs, the Mingles Band kept the steadily building crowd enticed with renditions perfectly suited for the occasion.
Patrons soon got to their feet and moved closer to the stage as the revelling intensified.
The soca hit ‘Carnival’ was met by wild cheering, and many males sang, ‘Oh gal ah really want you’ in unison as the band belted out the favourite. Next it was time to ‘Catch de Cat,” before the band expressed the need for ‘A Woman by my Side’.
They then plunged into several soothing reggae selections, before heading for the dancehall segment with ‘Tek Way Yuhself’ and several other hits popular with the dancing audience.
The Mingles Band indeed paved the way for the next act with a stalwart performance, but next to come, soca singer Wilbur ‘Lilman’ Levans, for some reason seemed unable to create the needed vibes or energy to evoke a wholly festive response from the crowd. Nonetheless, his ‘Soca Music Nice’ and ‘Put Yuh Hands in de Air and Wine’ were met with favourable applause from the audience.
Representing the Dragonaires, high energy singer Oscar B totally wooed the female audience with several reverberating soca hits that sent them screaming wildly, even as they executed smoothly some of the most technical dancehall routines.
He was soon joined by Guyana’s own Jomo ‘rubber waist’ Primo, and the two took things to a screaming crescendo in which the crowd totally surrendered to the pulsating soca fever seizing the venue.
Primo thrilled with ‘Wine Up Pon meh Curry’ and many others, before simmering sweetly with ‘Too late to Apologise’, ‘African Queen’, ‘Look pon de Gullyside’ and a string of upbeat slow songs that had the crowd waving their approval and singing word for word in some instances.
Remembering the need for musical ethnic equality, he plunged into ‘Nanny Wine’, ‘Rum Till I Die,’ and some of the more spicy Indian ballads.
The back-up female dancers were all undulating hips and frenzied bodies trembling as they represented for the dancehall divas on stage.
Primo and Oscar B soon had the crowd moving to various directions on the field as they plunged into the much liked ‘dance instruction’ routine popularly used by artistes to keep audiences alert and entertained.
The Mighty Sparrow may be an aged entertainer, but he certainly put his spurs to work as he came smiling onstage to deafening roars and cheers from the thousands present at the event. ‘Jean and Dina’ was excellently performed, making way for ‘Lizard’ and a vast line-up of his most selected hit pieces, to which the audience screamed its approval.
Soon tables and chairs were tossed carelessly aside as the entire pavilion was transformed into a massive melee of gyrating bodies, soaking up some of the most rated soca and calypso rhythms.
To spice things up even more, Sparrow added some very agile foot movements and a little ‘hip rolling’ which took the audience spiralling to a calypso peak that displayed their obsession and love for the music form.
All manner of suggestive dance moves were adopted by the females when he belted out the Caribbean favourite ‘Saltfish,’ before creating a ‘music mix’ where his calypso tempos took on a sudden stirring dancehall groove.
After the Sparrow left, amidst screams for encore, the Dragonaires returned to the stage and served up a bonus package of yesteryear soca selections that took the show way into the wee hours of the morning.
When the show concluded, sometime before 03:00 hrs, the radiant smiles of the thousands filing out of the venue told the tale of a night spent in enjoyable soca/calypso revelry.
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