If you were looking for traditional calypso at Super Gladiators, then you got that and more.
The show, which started a few minutes late, made up for it with the sweet melodies and powerful commentaries from the veterans in the art form.
However, there appeared to be a notable decrease in the number of patrons who attended the show. This could be attributed to the fact that some of the tent’s big names have moved over to new tent, Shining Stars Calypso Show.
On stage for the grand night was newcomer to Pic-O-De-Crop, Big J, who did a witty rendition of Sparrow in which he paid tribute to veteran calypsonian The Mighty Sparrow.
It is apparent that the move to have one song in this year’s Pic-O-De-Crop competition has brought a lot of the veteran entertainers back to the fold such as Gregory G who returned to the competition singing Beggars Plight. The song, which examines the many ways in which Barbadians are beggars, is one that persons have to sit and carefully listen to in order to understand the message being put forward.
Also returning was the Chairman who sang No One Song. The song gives the history of calypso dating back to slavery and notes, that never before in history has it been a ‘one song’. The melodic structure of the song is pleasing to the ear.
Longfellow was the first to receive an encore for his song Not A Fact. The song, wittingly written, discusses topical issues of the day such as Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley forming his new party, following the Democratic Labour Party’s defeat in the May 24 general election as well as social ills affecting Barbadians. He is definitely one to watch on judging night.
Despite being a newcomer to the calypso tent Frank White received an encore for his song Nothing Ain’t Change. In the song, he noted that although the Government has changed ‘the suffering remains the same’.
After three decades of sitting out of the competition Ranking Moss returned with his song Hope.
Papa Cloud brought his De Gunz to the stage, lamenting the spike in gun violence. He warned, “Live by the gun, die by the gun, no guns, no guns!”
A familiar face bidding for a spot in this year’s Pic-O-De-Crop is PJ, who sang the classic Rice Gone Up. This year the six-time Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finalist is back again with his song Tranparen ‘C’. His song calls on competition judges and the Government to be transparent with their handling of the Pic-O-De-Crop and the island’s affairs respectively.
If an award could be given to the best vocal rendition of the night, then Colleen Brewster would receive it as she showcased her strong vocals and range when she sang her nation-building song Renew Your Vows.
Soca Monarch semi-finalist Mike Thompson closed the first half of the show with his up-tempo song Ah Fed Up.
Apollo who was also the resident Master of Ceremonies delighted the audience with his rendition of De Gospel Truth, which explored the social ills in Barbados.
Closing the night was veteran calypsonian Prince Yellow with his up-tempo song Sophie.
Also performing was Blank – Bajans Wanted Blood; Hammer – Take It Out of We Culture, Rocky-Beat Dem.