The FLOW Oistins Festival reached its climax on Monday night with the Bajan Story Telling and Folk Concert held at the Festival Stage.
Droves of locals and tourists crowded the venue for nearly three rousing hours of music, dance, song, poetry, and storytelling. The ‘storytellers’ for the evening included the celebrated and talented actor/director Cecily Spencer-Cross, comedian Carl Alf Padmore and popular deejay Patrick Salt Bellamy. The trio delighted the audience with their quintessential Bajan poems and humorous outtakes, but the audience swelled when the musical numbers began.
The popular Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) Band accompanied by the local award-winning dance troupe, Dancin Africa brought smiles to the faces of all Barbadians gathered with their rendition of traditional Barbadian tunes such as John Belly Mama and Brown Girl. The band transported the audience into yesteryear with Island In The Sun and Yellow Bird by Irving Burgie, Gabby’s Boots as well as a medley of hits from the founder of spooge, the late Jackie Opel. The band also performed an ode to Jamaican folk music.
In their tribute to the cultural ambassador, Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire, the lively dancing of the Dancin Africa troupe and the infectious music from the RBPF band was electrifying. The crowd was energized as they performed Bag’s 2017 hit Boat Ride as well as I’m Alive and Hold On and Dance but they unified for the band’s closing performance of Mikey’s Feting Family.
The Barbados Community College (BCC) Ensemble brought a vibrancy and freshness to the stage during their set. The last act of the night did not disappoint. The ensemble which included students from the college music and dance programme gave exceptional performances. They opened with a medley of sweet reggae classics such as Beres Hammond’s I Feel Good, Tempted To Touch, Half Pint’s I’m Not A Substitute Lover and Skankin Sweet by Chronixx. The reggae and dancehall captured the waning interest of the crowd as patrons congregated.
The ensemble also played a medley of 2019 soca hits like Famalay by Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, and Skinny Fabulous, So Long by Nadia Batson and Hookin Meh from Farmer Nappy before closing the show just before 9 p.m. with all the members of Oistins Festival committee dancing on stage. The celebration of music, culture, and heritage was the ideal closing for the week-long festival.