Cultural Ambassador The Most Honourable Anthony ‘Gabby’ Carter continues to show his prowess in the field and with 75 on the scoreboard, he looks firmly set to remain at the crease.
The musical maestro’s 75 Not Out: Gabby in Concert exceeded high expectations with a solid showing by his all-star teammates.
Gabby’s love for the artform has seen him forge some great partnerships and many of those who have joined him in solidifying a stellar innings stepped in to help him celebrate the milestone. For more than five hours, the patrons that packed the tent at the University of the West Indies Campus grounds were able to enjoy an eclectic range of genres. Some of the familiar faces in the audience included former cricketer Wes Hall and producer extraordinaire Eddie Grant.
Exceptional vocals were on display throughout the night, with both Jamal Slocombe and songbird Nikita showing the beautiful ranges of their voices. Slocombe performed Bridge Over Troubled Water and a spouge melody, while Nikita was impressive with her flawless rendition of Still I Rise. She followed that up with Bridgetown Market accompanied by Gabby’s son Kareem on guitar. Gabby’s young protégé Bit Bit belted out A Change Is Going to Come and his own De Style of Old Calypso.
Former adversaries from years of calypso rivalry teamed up in support of Gabby. Being seated did not hinder the Mighty Grynner from being able to deliver his usual dynamic performance. In fact, for the sake of the comradery that he shares with Gabby, he stood briefly to add in the trademark dance moves with which he is synonymous. The standing ovation was well warranted on his completion.
Through their anecdotal stories, the audience gained a deeper insight into the icon. Among them were Terencia ‘TC’ Coward-Thompson, Red Plastic Bag, Mr. Blood and Edwin Yearwood. Also in the lineup of entertainment for the evening were Richard Stoute, with Vehicle and Goodbye Now My Bajan Girl. They were all backed by the Barbados Police Service Band. The variety concert featured an appearance by dramatist Yolanda Holder and Dancin’ Africa.
The audience was rife with anticipation by the time Gabby made his first appearance, dressed in a resplendent gold suit with equally eye-catching footwear. His first segment included favorites like Boots, Hit It, Culture and Wind Force. After a wardrobe change into a striking azure-coloured ensemble with a hat to match, the artiste sang Haiti and Ole Ashe. Not content to perform his classic music in the traditional format, he was joined by Nicholas Brancker on keys for a stirring performance of Emmerton and by Arturo Tappin for Bajan Fishermen.
The crowd was left thoroughly satisfied when the show wrapped up around 2 a.m. with Dr. Cassandra, with Gabby maintaining an energy that far belies his age. (STT)