It was a perfect blend of social commentary, party music and laughter when the House Of Soca calypso tent opened its doors last Saturday night at Divi Southwinds Resort.
House Of Soca uncovered a pot that was filled with something for everyone –– and even some was left over.
Social commentary was the highlight of the night, however, with many of the performers presenting strong offerings.
The audience, which included former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford, just could not get enough of the music, sitting quite contentedly through the show that started just after 8 p.m., finishing well after midnight.
Dre was the star of the night, bringing the house down with his piece Pick Ah De Crop that received two encores. The song addressed many things that had happened over the years during the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
Dre’s second half offering I Am Barbados, which he rendered dressed in the National Colours, highlighted how much he believed in his country. It can serve as a nation-building song.
Also receiving an encore was Gallon, whose song Criteria addressed issues regarding the competition judges. He claimed that some were too young to judge calypso even if they had degrees, or not. The song also charged that year after year the judges had sent calypsonians through to the finals with songs that had no melody and had been poorly rendered. The audience agreed.
Gallon returned in the second half with Change Dem Laws, urging lawmakers to make urgent changes to some legislation.
Veteran calypsonian Malik was excellent in his rendition of It Massy So. It is lyrically powerful and quite sweet in melody.
Former Pic-O-De-Crop monarch Popsicle gave two good renditions of Gem Of The Caribbean and Same Sex.
The latter was more comical, addressing the issue of same-sex relationships and playing on the words: he would always have “the same sex” with his wife –– no matter what.
Peter Ram too delivered a “serious song” in Bajan Cry, stamping his authority and thus announcing his return to the social commentary stage.
Reigning Junior Monarch Sammy G showed that she was indeed good enough to rub shoulders with the big “dawgs”. She delivered clean, strong and powerful performances of her Pic-O-De-Crop offerings Revival In Barbados and Please –– not surprisingly. She is always a pleasure to watch.
In her rendition of Revival In Barbados, she alluded the “last days”, pleading with Barbadians to step away from negativity and focus on the positive. In Please, she addressed the issue of begging that seems to be plaguing the country. Becoming a begger herself, she beseeched Barbadians to put their country first and make it better.
Another former Junior Monarch Sir Ruel, who is celebrating ten years in calypso, reminded the audience why he was once a king, suggesting he had the potential to become one again.
He delivered two very strong performances of Young Stars and Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams. He told Bajan Vibes he wanted a song to speak about his ten years, but also to serve as encouragement for to others. Thus in the song he urges the young and old artistes to keep striving for what they want.
Also delivering strong social commentaries were Shaki K, Jimmy Dan, Franswaa and Queen T.
The party music was not to be left out. Standing out was Deano, who presented a groovy and very catchy sweet soca piece in Solo Winer, which should do very well this season.
Newcomer to the tent, Kadeem, but definitely no stranger to the soca stage, gave a good and promising performance of his sweet soca offering Horizon.
MC Yolanda Holder provided much comic relief for the audience between performances.