Xhosa Barbados is promising to make amends with masqueraders this year after a disappointing 2017 performance. The Grand Kadooment band, now in its fourth year, launched its 2018 theme Circle of Life to curious patrons at the National Conservation Commission’s Botanical Gardens on Sunday.
Last year, Xhosa won the top prize for Large Band of the Year, Best Party Band and Most Colourful Large Band, but it was heavily criticised for its distribution and road experience.
Band Leader Jeremy Nicholls revealed that the organisers went back to the drawing board for 2018 to figure out where they went wrong.
“The team has looked at the overall experience. We were successful in 2015, 2016 [and] we looked at what changed in 2017 and tried to make sure that we stopped those things from happening again,” he said
True to Xhosa’s mantra, We Don’t Pose, We Party, the band launch was also a cooler fete with a deejay line up consisting of Jus Jay, Mali Fresh & Scott Le Roc, Infamous & Boom Mafia and DJ Kareem.
The gardens were packed with patrons eager to see the nine sections from Circle of Life: Bloom, Phoenix, Ari, Ceres, Aja, Anake, Lignum Vitae, Reaper and Teratai.
The theme explores the journey and the rebirth of Xhosa Barbados and examines the deities that guide and control fate, whether successes or failures.
Nicholls indicated they were expecting at least 900 masqueraders to be jumping down Spring Garden Highway on August 6, however, he was committed to ensuring that Xhosa Barbados delivered on the carnival experience.
“My main focus is not the number of people, but [our] quality of the service. It is about making sure the experience matches the brand,” Nicholls said.
“We are definitely ready to go on the road, the product is going to remain the quality people expect it to be,” he added.
Band designers include regional artists Marlon Smart, Christian Boucaud, Tanya Duncan, Rawle Permanand, Humzee, Whitney Shand, Simone Nielson, Keisha Als and Sherise Stewart. (KK)