Sunday, July 25, 2010

TRIBE and BLISS Band Launch – The Aftermath

Date: Saturday 24th July 201

Venue: Queen’s Park Savannah

Cost: $260 (free rum, beer and vodka)


I got home at half past 4 this morning after a long, but fun night at TRIBE’s band launch. Last night TRIBE presented their costumes for 2011 in the form of "The Way of The Warrior" (TRIBE) and "The Warrior Within" (BLISS).

If yuh missed the BLISS boat, BLISS is TRIBE’s second "intimate" option for its masqueraders, there will be a separate route, mas camp, website etc.

The night started early for me as I was attending the media launch and working for Triniscene as their resident tweeter for the night. I met up with Saucy and her hubby Prince Namor and we made our way to the Savannah at about 7:45, and we were actually the first visible media persons there.

We were able to set up, have some drinks and take in the layout a bit beforehand. The actual media launch was scheduled to start at 8:30pm, and while it did not start on time we were able to take in the TRIBE video that was being aired on a loop and get a look at some of the costumes.

DSC02920The media launch eventually began and we were treated to Capoeira and African dancers, then Adrian Raymond came on to start the ball rolling.

I was totally shocked when at the beginning of his speech, Adrian (or whoever wrote his speech) took time out to acknowledge “the bloggers who promote Carnival 365 days a year” (aka Saucy is the only blogger I know who does exactly that! LOL). I was literally like WOW! Total shock. Bloggers didn't get much applause from those present though.

Up first was one costume from BLISS and then 13 from TRIBE as well as Miss T&T Universe’s Latoya Woods National Costume “Calypso”.

We were asked to not post any photos form the media launch online until after the full launch at midnight.


After the media launch we made our way backstage to set up for the actual launch. We took the opportunity to use the bathroom (D’John with air condition putting Andy Loos in the shade), go get some drinks, upload pics and get familiar with the costumes in the booklet.

At this point my instant and clear favourite was Xi’an. Gorgeous, innovative, fierce and not a feather in sight!

As the minutes ticked down to midnight, expectations were high and there was a lot of action happening backstage with the Capoeria dancers practicing, the Triniscene crew tweaking the live feed and costumes starting to line up.


When the show finally got underway at a few minutes past midnight, I was tweeting based on the backstage lineup and what I was seeing on screen. From what I could hear over all the drumming it seemed as though the crowd “oohhed” and “ahhed” more for TRIBE than BLISS.


At the grand finale fireworks were launched, and from backstage this sounded SUPER LOUD! One of the fireworks that exploded overhead “escaped” from its pattern or whatever and made its way straight toward me with a hop, skip and a jump. I got up and scattered so fast, the guys were calling me Bolt. I could care less I wasn’t going to have no awol fireworks burn my ass. (remember the first Alternative Concept? Oh ho) LOL.

Once the launch was over, it was time to respond to feedback on twitter, take a bathroom and drinks break, and start uploading pics. Because of my position backstage I have very few pics except those that Prince Namor took backstage which you can see here.

Overall I would give the costumes in TRIBE a solid 8 out of 10, and BLISS gets a generic 6 out 10. I liked Caprika with the similar headpiece to Iroquois and the all white elegance of Titans in BLISS, and among my favourites in TRIBE are (in no particular order): Xi’an Warrior, Amazon, Iroquois, Massai Tribal Warrior (male and female), Mayan Eagle and Mongol Warriors Individual.


DSC02998 DSC02937

I left the venue just after 4, just in time too, as Hypa Hoppa took to the mike. What I really did NOT like at the launch was the music. I doh care what anybody say…if it’s a Carnival band launch, I want to hear strictly soca. I doh wanna hear who is de general in de hot gyul army or where anybody get dey Clarks from or if anybody have a feeling, save dat for 51 or Zen.

Other than that, the drinks were flowing freely, the bar staff were efficient, the bathrooms backstage were great and kept clean all night, and were an excellent place to cool off. I hear de doubles real lash too. I didn't have any as I am not a fan of doubles.

I didn't get a media kit, but I did get a booklet at the end of the evening so I was cool with that. If had a TLC, I would have no qualms about playing in TRIBE.

Let the battle begin!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

J’ouvert in July – The Aftermath


I am not a big J'ouvert lover. 

For the record, I have only played J'ouvert once and that was back when I was 15 or 16 and I found it to be too dark, too cold and too dirty, and I realised J'ouvert was not for me.

So I was not planning to go to Cocoa Devils' J'ouvert in July until I got two free tickets late on Friday evening.

Now doh get tie up and think because is July and they say party is a stoosh ting. No. This is full on J’ouvert, where yuh getting rub dong in cocoa (not me). So after shopping for some appropriate J'ouvert clothes on Saturday afternoon (don't judge me), I was ready.

We left St. James at about half 2 and made our way down to Pier 2 with very little traffic, and we got inside the venue at about 3:00am.

The music truck was blasting, people were being rubbed down with cocoa (not me) and the drinks were flowing at the bar. While waiting at the bar for my Johnnie and coconut water (sans the Johnnie) , I saw some alcohol soaked saltprunes and had a few. These are always a win in my book.

My one critique at this point was that at half 3 in the morning I came to the party with my belly in my hand, and there was no food to be found.

Around 4am the dj announced that it was officially J’ouvert and the truck was ready to pull off and hit the streets. The music truck pulled off with the fully stocked drinks truck right behind and all the cocoa-down people chipping behind.

It was at this point I noticed the all important corn soup man had arrived and I grabbed a cup and then went back to catch up to the band.

The band headed down Ariapita Avenue chipped to the Foreshore and then made a left to King George the V Park. The music truck did this a couple of times and then settled back down in the main area where Hypa Hoppa constantly talked and talked and talked. And then he talked some more. His mix of music was not great…this is J’ouvert in July…meen wanna hear Mambo No.5 or Living La Vida Loca. Anyhoo…


As the sun came over the hills, anyone walking into Pier2 at that point would have thought that later that day, we were all going to go home, put on our costumes and head out to meet our band to play mas on Carnival Monday. It was dat kinda vibe.


Level winery.

Level fun.

Level vibes.

Later on when the water truck came out and soaked people down to their Blackberrys (I saw a poor guy watching his Blackberry and trying to shake the water out)…it just seemed like the perfect end to the morning. At this point most people were having some doubles, jumping up in the water (not me), taking dat last wine or trying to sober up (not me). 

Note to anyone thinking of doing J’ouvert in July experience next year:

1. Yuh not going to a club, yuh going to play J’ouvert. Leave home de high heels shoes, wedge heels and high heeled boots. Forget the sandals and slippers. Wear yuh best ole sekaers…better yet a pair of rainboots.

2. Yuh not going to a club, yuh going tp play J’ouvert. Leave home de nice clothes and dressy tops unless yuh want dem to get dutty. Wear yuh favorite wife beater instead.

Overall, I give Cocoa Devils’ J’ouvert in July a 7 chip out of 10.

Take in some video of the jamishness here:


Jouvert in July – The Aftermath In Pics

I had the opportunity to go to Cocoa Devils J’ouvert in July, held at Pier 2 in Chaguaramas this morning. I am not a big J’ouvert fan, but this party was great! Ah just woke up to bade and upload some pics, so the review soon come…right now meh eyes burning meh and ah need to go back to sleep!


We reach een de Cocoa!

DSC02838Rum soaked saltprunes by the bar #WIN


People warming up with drinks in hand


Place get ram!


De truck pull off and we head down Aripita Ave…


Onto the Foreshore…


Round by King George V Park!


Daylight approaches! (Time to see if anyone glittering in the sunlight!)


Having a time!


De band makes another pass by King George V Park


When yuh see de band come down…water flowing…

Monday, July 05, 2010

Skullduggery Band Launch - The Aftermath...

Well yes...where to begin? Where to begin?

Last night was the launch of the much anticipated and much hyped new mas band, Skullduggery.

Now being part of the initial group of volunteers, we had seen beforehand some of the illustrations and prototypes. Of course we saw that the illustrations were fantastic and I remember telling my friends at the time that I hoped those costumes were tweaked before they hit the stage cause some of them looked very umm...not completely up to par, especially with all the plastic type elements they were using.
Fast forward to the launch last night and a lot of the same elements were seen. Plastic strips, caution tape, plastic chains.

My feedback:I did not like the overall look of the band last night. While it may look all together on the road as my dad pointed out, I want my costume to look SO good on me that if I was walking by myself on the road, I would still be stopped to ask to pose for pics...and not stopped to ask me if my band won Jouvert Band of the Year.

My suggestions: (from a totally never design a costume in my life standpoint)
The sections with both male and female in most instances have the same style. Make the females standout. Scrap all the pants like elements from the female costume and replace it with tulle a la Skettle-ton, Jagabat and Soucouyant. (which is probably why these costume have been getting the best feedback).

Eliminate the cheap aspects of the costume, which for me is to remove all those strips of plastic in between the costumes and replace it with some fabric elements instead. Some nice plain cotton would be fine I think.

I would also offer a 3/4 pants option for the men, cause I doh think all men would want those long pants.

Make those costumes road and winery ready...I still eh sure bout that barbwire skirt nah, cute but will inflict damage on people boy children.

And what was that we heard about it taking 3 people to dress the models? I hope that was just in the interest of time.

I would have loved to see more versions of the costumes as we were told there would be. Covered versions of the same costume and skimpier versions of the covered ones. Some individual options would have be great to see as well.

I would have also loved to see the varying Coca-Cola models (bottle, tin, Jaliter) that we were told would be modelling the costumes, that was very much MIA.

I really hope that Skullduggery takes in all the feedback that they have been receiving and asking for to make this band and its masqueraders look great on the road for C2K11.

Photo credit: Skullduggery