Shining Stars Calypso Show started their opening night on a sombre tone as they gave a tribute to the late Don Sir Don Marshall.
His daughter Juliet ‘Windchaser’ Marshall spoke glowingly about her father whom she said was a disciplinarian and she thanked tent owner Julianna Julie Sealy for deciding to pay tribute to her late father.
The show started with a passionate tribute from Admiral International who told the audience that Sir Don was a father to him, and he was deeply saddened by his passing. He spoke highly of the level of penmanship that went into the songs Sir Don crafted and the creativity and phrasing that he placed into each one.
His tribute was followed by a dance from Unity Dance Troupe which was followed by a riveting performance from Trinity Clarke who sang her original song God Is Good.
Cultural Ambassador to Barbados The Mighty Gabby eased the sombre tone by sharing fond memories of himself and Sir Don and sang two of his favourite pieces, Well Done and Culture.
Mr Blood also paid tribute to the late Sir Don as he sang the first songs ever written for him by the Kaiso stalwart Calypso Owes You Nothing and Sexual Harassment. He then flipped the switch to sing the classic Born Free.
Julianna Julie Sealy also performed her tribute which was written by The Mighty Gabby entitled Keep Me Posted. In it, she spoke about the way the prominent social commentator would tell calypsonians he wrote songs for, to ‘keep him posted’ on the developments of the song in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
Engrossed with the performances were entertainment stalwarts such as Sammy G, Sir Ruel, Charisma, Ishaka McNeil, Mark Williams, Richard Stoute, Eric Lewis, De Announcer, Apollo, Colin Spencer, Shirley Stewart, and Kareen Clarke. Former Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett and his wife Eleanor Blackett and Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley were also in attendance along with Reverend Kim Welch and the widow of the late Sir Don, Joan Marshall.
The mood of the night changed from sombre to excitement as the reserve singer in the Scotiabank Junior Monarch competition Kiki Boo, the sister of Bit Bit, sang This Category. She highlighted the benefits to be derived from changing the Junior Monarch to three categories.
Queen T gave a commendable performance of The More Things Change. The song notes that a lot of the social and political ills in Barbados have not changed and songs done by former calypso stalwarts could be played again today and still apply to these social issues.
Despite forgetting some of his lines, RS Cyclone received the first standing ovation of the night. His song Men Have No Rights argues that men in Barbados have no rights as it relates to sexual harassment, child maintenance, and abuse, just to name a few. He had members of the audience in the palm of his hand as he delivered a commanding performance of the song which has been receiving a lot of airplay in the past couple of weeks.
Seven-year-old Bit Bit is definitely one to watch in the Scotiabank Junior Monarch. His song, In The Style of Old Time Calypso, speaks about the topics and style he needs to deliver so that this year he would win the crown and not come second again. In his delivery, he always showcases his dance moves on stage to the audience’s delight.
Newcomer to the Pic-O-De-Crop, Mr Electric was in fine voice with We Must Unite which implores the Caribbean to come together and work as one.
Lady J is back this year with Ah Pray and The Pirates. The former speaks about her prayer for Barbados that the violence would cease and the latter highlights that some calypsonians are not passionate about calypso as they have only returned to the competition due to the prize money being raised.
Mr Impact was the strongest vocally on the night as he delivered Ah Waiting To Hear De Verdict. It highlights many of the social ills in Barbados such as corruption and repeats the refrain ‘Ah Waiting To Hear De Verdict’ on these topical issues. He also closed the night performing his up-tempo song Up In The Air with shaggy bears, stilt walkers and dancers for the ultimate climax to a generally good show.
Pop Daniel definitely came to Shining Stars Calypso Show to have a good time as he sang Kiss Mass Goodbye. If patrons did not understand the double entendre that was being portrayed, the veteran calypsonian gave them a demonstration by hitting his buttocks and singing the words ‘kiss mass goodbye!’ The audience roared with laughter during his performance.
Receiving the second encore of the night was Jude for his performance of Acid. The song blasts the judges at the National Cultural Foundation for ‘unfairing’ him year after year. He attempts to ‘pound them’ as he sings lines such as ‘My talent is bigger than the water woes, my talent is bigger than Freundel nose’. This had the audience in stitches.
Veteran entertainer and Soca Monarch semifinalist Bumba also graced the stage performing Ya Sweet and Tell Me When Ya Coming.
Julianna Julie Sealy also presented an award to the veteran entertainer Richard Stoute for his assistance with the creation of her classic Lay Lay Man video and Muhammad Nassar who would have mentored her in the rental business in 1987.
The show continues with a vintage night on July 13, 2019 at Solidarity House and the tent is the last one to face the judges on July 19 at Solidarity House, St Michael at 8 p.m. (LG)