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ALL HAIL PHASE 11

By JOAN RAMPERSAD Monday, February 11 2013

click on pic to zoom in

NOT EVEN an earthquake, felt throughout the country during the early morning hours yesterday, could stop Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove from shaking up the competition and grabbing the 2013 National Steelband Panorama title in the Large Conventional band category at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.

In the process, Phase II put an end to Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars’ quest for a hat-trick of wins. The tremors left in the wake of Phase II’s performance shook the pan world and left the Woodbrook band with bragging rights for the next 12 months.

Playing its arranger’s Len “Boogsie” Sharpe’s composition “More Love”, Phase II seemed to have gotten everything right and with the stars aligned in its favour, got the nod of thousands of fan lovers in attendance and the judges. Phase II registered 283 points en route to winner’s row and the handsome $1 million first prize. All Stars, champs for the past two years, had to settle for second place despite another exciting performance of the tune “Bounce and Drive” composed by member Clive Telemaque and arranged by Leon “Smooth” Edwards. They garnered 278 points and $700,000.

Bp Renegades, who held a minute’s silence for front line member Anthony Lewis who passed away last week, honoured his memory with a stellar performance that was good enough for third place after executing Duvonne Stewart’s arrangement of “Shock Attack” with ease and precision. They got 275 points and the $650,000 third prize.

Contacted yesterday, “Boogsie” Sharpe was still revelling in the victory. “It always feels good to win. The players worked hard and I want to thank them. The sponsors Petrotrin, Captain Ronnie Howell, manager Errol Skerrette, tuner Roland Harrigin, drill masters Natasha and Gary Padmore and our supporters.”

All Stars’ “Smooth” Edwards was gracious in defeat. “The band that performs the best should win. Congratulations to Phase II and better luck next time to all other bands which did not make it to winner’s row.”

Renegades’ leader Michael Marcano expressed happiness at placing third. “We felt we put on a good show. It was an improvement from last year’s 4th position. I think we are moving back to the Renegades of the previous successful years. After a post mortem, we intend to come right back on top in 2014.”

Pelham Goddard, who arranged “Gold” for Republic Bank Exodus was perplexed as to what the judges really wanted. Having dropped from second place (behind Phase II) in the semis to fourth in the finals, Goddard was not a happy camper.

One of the surprises on the night was the low placing of PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars. Playing in position one, the band, who members were dressed in white suits with fluorescent prints, dazzled with their playing, so much so that when it was announced the band placed eighth, a roar of disbelief rose from the crowd.

Arranger Edwin Pouchet wasn’t in the best of health yesterday and didn’t comment on the placing of the band. Another surprise was the placing of WITCO Desperadoes which was fourth in the semis but placed a disappointing sixth.

Entertainer David Rudder preceded the band’s playing of ‘Hammer Time’, with his own immortal ode to pan icon Rudolph Charles – “Hammer”. During Despers’ performance the band was able to relay that heavy hammer presence with the sweet sound of their pans. Arranger Robbie Greenidge told Newsday: “Until I could see why the judges did that, I can’t really comment. I have to see the score sheets.”

Arranger for Junior Sammy Group Skiffle, Ray Holman, stated that he was very pleased with how the band played. “I enjoyed every bit of it,” Holman said. Playing “Supna – The Dream”, a song about the marriage of the two major races in the country, Holman was able to capture that cultural merger on pan which pleased the crowd immensely. It was played at a nice pace with the melody being heard throughout the performance. The finals, which began on Saturday ended during the early morning hours yesterday. (SEE PAGE 5)

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