Bouncing Monday Mas
By LARA PICKFORD-GORDON Tuesday, February 12 2013
The energy of thousands of masqueraders was unleashed yesterday as they crossed the “Big Yard”— the Queen’s Park Savannah Stage “bouncing”, “wining” and “getting off the ground” for the seniors Parade of Bands.
The battle for the Road March title was on with the two big guns–Austin Lyons-Superblue’s hit “Fantastic Friday” going against another big hit for the Carnival season “Float” from Machel Montano. A check with personnel from the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Association (TUCO) indicated by 2 pm Montano’s song was played about six times while Lyon’s was played more than 20 times.
The parade was scheduled to begin at the QPS stage at 11 am, but actually started 11.26 am with a mini band–in the History category. Is Chinese Minstrels from Simply Cultural put an oriental theme on the traditional minstrel costume before a very small audience in the spectator stands.
They were soon followed by the first band in the large band category “Bliss” whose 2013 presentation was Savage Beauty.
To the strains of “Super Super” the intro to Fantastic Friday masqueraders rushed the stage and gave a vibrant display. Masqueraders were in sections although the visual impact of their costume was lost as they did not have on their full costumes in keeping with the norm of Carnival Monday. The band comprised seven sections and took 18 minutes to cross. Following closely was Butterflies, Beasts and Bacchanal, Tribe’s 2013 presentation. While the clock had started running for the band, the first section had not started crossing the stage. The music truck eventually moved up and got the revellers from the section “Ray of Light” moving. At noon “Tribe” was still crossing the stage. Getting caught up in the moment was a group of men who sat at the end of the stage and kicked up their feet while keeping time with “Fantastic Friday.” Tribe took 23 minutes to cross and kept within the 30-minute time-frame set by the National Carnival Bands’ Association (NCBA). Points were deducted from any band which overstayed their time on stage.
Visually striking with their bright shiny coloured costumes was The Original Jab Jab presentation Original Tradition Tribute to Winston Alfred who put on a presentation by cracking and duelling with their whips. More traditional mas followed with Vintage People’s Satinka–Magical Dancer in the Fancy Indian category.
The first medium band was Wee International’s Magnifique...Earth’s most colourful creatures although the main colour yesterday was purple, with female players wearing t-shirts and tube tops the male masqueraders wore polo shirts and t-shirts.
There was a steady flow of large bands across the QPS. The fourth large band “Fantasy” had 11 sections and took about 17 minutes to cross, next was Trini Revellers Brazil Brazil led on stage by King Ted Eustace and Queen Avernell Johnson portraying “The Evolution of the Amazon Lady.”
Carnival is a time for all and sundry to have fun and among the masqueraders was President-nominee Anthony Carmona who was sighted in “Tribe” while outgoing President George Maxwell Richards was also in “Tribe.” A total of 16 large (601 players and more), 12 medium (251-600), 14 small (51-250 players), 25 mini (11-50 players) bands were registered to compete. Seven large bands had crossed the stage by afternoon and the eight–Harts’ Je’Taime Carnival was at the stage entrance, one medium and two small, including the Catholic Band Word and Associates “Leviticus.” President of the NCBA David Lopez said the NCBA and judges were ready for the start of the parade at 11 am. He did not think there was a major delay. He observed that a band of minstrels were ready to cross the stage on time.
Lopez said, “the traditional band went across the stage and since then we have been going really smooth. The NCBA has stated the ruling is that no band has more than half hour on stage. Large bands have half hour and medium bands 15 minutes.” There was a “green light” for bands to commence crossing the stage and a clock keeping time. He said Trini Revellers took only15 minutes 13 seconds to cross.
The NCBA has also “cut down” on the number of music trucks which bands should have. This will be reviewed. Lopez said everyone was looking at Carnival and the NCBA was streaming so we have to be disciplined.”
Commenting on the move to improve the presentation, he said TT had a good Carnival and to achieve this, the rules must be implemented, “We continue to work on the drawing board to see how we can improve Carnival. It is not just about one band. It is about all of us coming to have a good time.”
The Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG), was yesterday blocked by the NCBA from airing the Parade at QPS on its ctnworld.com website yesterday. Chief Executive Officer, CNMG Ken Ali issued a release apologising and said negotiations were ongoing with the NCBA to resolve the matter.