A tropical wave dumping heavy showers on Brandon’s beach could not dampen the resolve of Barbadians who were determined to get the most from this year’s Pan Pun De Sand celebration.
Large colourful umbrellas swayed freely and patrons danced effortlessly to the sweet sounds of local and regional steel bands, who, from time to time, were accompanied by Barbados’ finest soca artistes.
The Central Bank Young Professionals opened the show with an entertaining set, which showcased the country’s up-and-coming talent and gave the assurance that local steel band is in safe hands.
An element of fashion was nicely incorporated into this year’s show as numerous models, sponsored by the department store Cave Shepherd, donned the catwalk to show off numerous trendy styles, particularly in the area of beachwear.
Antiguan steel band, Panache, which did not disappoint, followed the catwalk session and took the event to the next level. They did not limit themselves to mainstream soca, but flirted with other genres including Soul and R&B. Their rendition of Etta James’ At Last certainly stood out.
Unmatched on the night was the National Cultural Foundation’s Combined Steel Orchestra, which, that night, boasted 60 members strong. Their impressive performance was only made stronger by the sounds of seasoned calypsonians Mikey and Cultural Ambassador Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire. While Mikey’s hit song Feting Family was expectedly a crowd-pleaser, he went deep into his bag of tricks to give partygoers a wide array of his hit songs.
Silver Stars Steel Orchestra, hailing from Trinidad’s land of the steel band, was nothing short of amazing, delivering a tribute to the Mighty Shadow and Ken Professor Philmore in a performance which featured Professor Liam Teague.
As the showers got heavier and lightning pierced the Sunday night sky, patrons understandably became wary and started leaving the venue. But those who remained were treated to a premium performance by Trinidadian band, Phase II, Len Boogsie Sharpe and Barbados’ very own, the esteemed, Dr Anthony Mighty Gabby Carter. (KS)