There is an abundance of talent in the House of Soca Calypso Tent and much of it is young talent. Last Saturday at the Derrick Smith School & Vocational Centre fans got their moneys’ worth and then some.
Amazing Dre is one of the seniors in the tent and also one of the most talented practitioners of the calypso art form around. He showed his quality in the first half of the opening night with Asphalt. The song created a buzz in the auditorium with the general lyrics and the pun on Asphalt which could be also voiced as the “ass fault”. He cleverly wove his lyrics to incorporate not only actual asphalt but when he was brought back for an encore he created an uproar when he tried to pinpoint who was to blame for the Democratic Labour Party’s 30-0 destruction at the May 24 polls. Amazing Dre sizzled!
Billboard’s Sex Change might have created a bit of discomfiture among the acutely liberal in the audience or those contemplating the ‘switch’ but his offering was well constructed, well delivered and totally instructive. He sang “From the time you enter the world you were either a boy or a girl . . . you can’t change your sex” and for the ladies tired of their femininity he added, “It don’t matter who you try to impress, you can’t get a real penis.” His Running Away about young girls who abscond from home was not as impactful, especially in terms of melody and lyrics to a lesser extent, but it nevertheless added to a good night out for the consistent performer.
Returning to the stage after being missing in action last year was 2011 Pic-O-De-Crop monarch Popsicle. He was solid in the first half with Don’t Pin It Pon Me, a melodic piece about situations for which he should not be blamed. He returned in the second half with De Men Ain’t Got No Balls to complete an impressive return.
The youthful Quon was impressiveness personified. He delivered a piece in the first half entitled Why I Sing which dealt with the reasons – social and otherwise – why he was singing calypso. Not only did he deliver his song with beautiful vocals but his confident persona, connection with the audience and the impact of the lyrics made his time on stage one of the highlights of the night. He got a deserved encore for his effort. He is part of the Junior Monarch Competition.
Another impressive performer was 2017 Junior Monarch queen Mhizz Kibabba. Here was a youngster oozing talent and potential and her number A Song For The Children, penned by Amazing Dre, was delivered with the aplomb of a veteran. Her diction was clear, her movement on stage was totally captivating and fans simply loved her. She too got a deserving encore.
Another performer who had a terrific night out was Idea with I Dey and Dress Code. A former junior monarch competitor who disappeared from the arena for a few years, Idea’s sweet first half selection looked at a number of situations where he was prepared to be “there” – punning on the “I Dey” – to make his contribution. His second number revolved around the way both sexes dressed in these modern times and suggested that there was a prevailing lack of fashion sense. This lad has tremendous potential.
After a good year in 2017 Jimmy Dan was somewhat disappointing on Saturday night with Nice Smile and Piece Ah Money especially as it related to his melodies. The former song, in particular, seemed rather melodically disjointed.
The consistent Miss Sammy G gave a creditable rendition in the first half of You Don’t Have The Right which basically suggested that irrespective of a woman’s infidelity or other perceived indiscretion, a man had no right to physically abuse his female companion. Her second offering was entitled House In Order.
Also reaching the stage on the night were Mr DJ, promising junior performer Star Boy, veteran trier Sir Gallon, Jamoo, Lady J, Shaki-K, Rhea, Doyenne (formerly AC) and Ranaan.
Of note was the tent’s backing band which was excellent throughout the night. Emcee for the occasion was the highly competent and charming Yolande Holder.