The Headliners Calypso Tent faced the judges Thursday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre and presented a plausible case for some of their members to advance to the semifinal of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
Fabee has evolved into a quite confident and competent performer and he showed both qualities in his renditions of Freundel Speak sand Sing What The People Want To Hear. The former selection, as the title suggests, was a well executed take on the popular misnomer that the nation’s prime minister doesn’t talk. His second song, and better of the two, was one where he was advised by a grandfather not to sing for the calypso title but to sing what people wanted to hear and leave the rest to fate. He could feel pleased with his night’s work.
Smokey Burke’s prowess with the pen always makes his songs worthy of close listening and once again his King Kaiso and All De Way To De Bank demanded attention. The latter in particular was filled with the literary nuances for which he is well known. Singing about the plight of calypsonians, Burke suggested that many in the art form were subjected to what frequently occurred behind the Drill Hall. The song was witty, effective and well rendered.
Shirley Stewart of The Escorts fame delivered two interesting selections in Buzzwords and Drug Lords. He is an excellent vocalist and handled the songs well. Drug Lords was among one of the most melodic songs in the tent last night, though not particularly strong lyrically. With Stewart the feeling always is that whenever he gets two very good songs, his natural talent will take him far in the competition. But whether 2016 is the year this happens is in the hands of the experts.
Blood was his usual professional self with Female Monarchy and How To Get Away With Murder. Rendition is and perhaps always will be his forte and he was the best in that category last night. In his second offering he sang about some of those who were getting away with “murder” in Barbados, inclusive of those responsible for the heavy imposition of taxes.
Unlike previous years in the tent, the numbers facing the judges were limited but the overall package was quite entertaining and smoothly presented to such an extent that by 11 p.m. fans were heading for the exit. But not before being sent on their way by a riveting performance of Turn On De Speaker by the 2016 Road March king-in-waiting, Mighty Grynner.
Others contributing to the night out were De Devil, Bumba, Queen T, Faith Callender, Sim Simma and Fearless. Emcee was Mac Fingal and the backing band played with much aplomb. (WG)