Following the announcement of many changes and plans for Crop Over, 2016, veteran calypsonian Red Plastic Bag has aired is views on them.
Last Friday evening, Crop Over was launched and Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley highlighted some of the changes, including the venue for the Pic-O-De-Crop Semis and Junior Monarch Finals, inclusion of the new show Monarchs In Mas (to replace Cohobblopot), among many others.
While noting that he had not yet heard of all the changes, one the ten-time calypso monarch had definitely found favour with was the decision to continue having two songs for the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
“I’m very glad that we are sticking with the two songs. I believe that to have one song would in my opinion water down what it means to be calypso monarch in Barbados. I think Trinidad tried it one year and they went back immediately, because they recognized you need to sing two songs in a competition.
“That’s what we grew up on, and I think it is good that we stick to that,” RPB said.
However, he was a bit unsure about the location change, calling into question the sound quality at The Oval.
“I have always questioned the quality of sound at Kensington. But there is obviously a reason logistically or otherwise for them to move it into Kensington.
I trust the decision-makers –– Darcy Boyce, who obviously knows his game very well, and the others. They know what they are doing. It’s obvious they would have given it great thought,” RPB added.
But his speaking out on the Pic-O-De-Crop changes does not in anyway mean he will be back.
“My mind is not there –– to Pic-O-De-Crop, that is. I just want to make music, and enjoy the music, and be part of Crop Over, in terms of performing at the fetes. I will stay around the Sweet Soca Monarch competition.
“I’m all for Crop Over growing and becoming better each year. As far as my being back in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition, I don’t see it happening,” the former king revealed.
RPB also threw his support behind the new show Monarchs In Mas, saying “it sounds like a good idea”.
“I think it’s an opportunity to rebuild something for that Sunday of Crop Over. I have a view of Cohobblopot. I believe that if Cohobblopot is supposed to reflect all of what Crop Over was all about, it should reflect that . . . .
“Maybe we should be thinking of going back to what we used to do, and creating a broader show. And I hope this show is not just a show where people come onstage and sing a song; it has to be more than that,” RPB stressed.
He added that he especially liked the idea of bringing back the Kings and Queens Of The Band aspect
to the show.
“I think it makes it a better show. So it won’t be just another fete where artistes come onstage and sing a song. I think they should look at some of the things that we did in the past that worked and bring them back, so that we can definitely call it a Cohobblopot,” Red Plastic