It was the turn of the House of Soca calypsonians to make a case for themselves Monday night at the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre, and a number of them gave the Pic-O-De-Crop judges much food for thought.
Principal among them was the very promising Shakki K who delivered the up-tempo Me Man in the first half and returned to complete an impressive showing with That Is De Fact in the second half. In her first song she reinforced a preference for the opposite sex, irrespective of whatever problems that gender might create for women from time to time. In her second number she looked at some of the issues that needed to be highlighted in song by calypsonians. Of course, there were some in the audience who had great phonetic fun with verbalising the fact in song.
Jimmy Dan not only sounded the part, he looked it in his first half rendition of Shaft. Dressed in a fashion associated with the 1970s fictional movie character John Shaft (Richard Roundtree), the impressive Jimmy Dan sang about other instances of people in society being shafted. In the second half he pleaded a case for the gun in I Get De Blame, demonstrating that it was not guns that killed people but people who killed people. He could feel very pleased with a complete package on the night – lyrics, rendition and adequate melodies.
Dre had a solid night with his Meteorological Terms and Granny, with the latter in particular stressing the need for attention to be paid to the wisdom of older and wiser heads. He has been a consistent performer annually without breaking into the finals. He should have made the Pic-O-De-Crop final last year; this year he might struggle somewhat to make the semi-finals.
The highly talented Sammy G also shone on the night with Colour Blind and Optimistic. The latter song in the second half was a refreshingly positive outlook on society and its possibilities. The song tended to promote hope rather than the usual gloom of some calypsos. Her rendition was quite good and neither song lacked for pleasing melodies.
This has been one of Franswaa’s best years in the calypso tents and he accredited himself well with the up-tempo Celebrate, another of the songs acknowledging Barbados’ 50th year of Independence, as well as Who In Charge.
Former monarch Popsicle who has seemingly fallen out of favour with the judges since winning the crown in 2011, offered up Isis and On The Ball for their consumption and did an okay job with the material. He will now have to wait and see whether he has made the semi-finals that he has struggled to reach in recent years.
The visually impaired Mr Deejay delivered Icons and I Done Voting and impressed the fans with his efforts, as did Sir Ruel with Save De EnvironmentPaper View.
Others completing the night’s entertainment were Sharky, RJ, Ranaan, Callie and Malik. Emcee was Yolanda Holder-Capandeguy.