|‘Noise’ from North Stand disrupts large bands |
By Andre Bagoo Monday, February 17 2014
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NORTH STAND RHYTHM SECTION: One of the many rhythm sections which provided music in the North Stand, between performances by the competing steel bands...
NOISY festivities from both the North Stand and the now infamous “Greens” yesterday resulted in complaints that they were hindering the Panorama semi-finals which was well underway at the Queen’s Park Savannah last night.
The problem appears to have started at the very start of the semi-final for the large steel-band category when the first band due to take the stage, Invaders, was about to perform at about 5.05pm.
The Tragerete Road, Woodbrook band, was all set to play its arrangement of Roland “Rembunction” Yearwood’s “Jam It” when things seemed to turn sour. A dull, low, but clearly audible thudding sound could be heard.
An MC at the competition said the band was ready to start but noisy tassa from the North Stand was hindering this. However, after patrons informed the MC that the noise was actually the bass from the music being played at the Greens – to the West – the MC corrected this.
“Forgive us North Stand,” he said. “The sound is actually coming from the Greens. We’ll just wait for that to calm down.” They had to wait for about three minutes. Valley Harps went on to bring the house down, earning loud cheers from both the Grand Stand and the North Stand for their rendition of Michelle Huggins-Watts’ arrangement of the popular soca Happiest Man Alive by Machel Montano.
However, when the second band, Tropical Angel Harps, came on and began its performance of Winston “De Fosto” Scarborough’s “In De Minor”, the same noise could be heard. The band played on, and there was no remark from the MC.
But as the sun began to set and the revelry began to reach new highs at the North Stand, there was once more a call for order.
Desperados was due to perform at 6pm when they too were asked to wait until the noise – this time identified as tassa drumming from the North Stand – dissipated. The MC asked the North Stand to tone it down. It wasn’t clear that this was going to happen and so the show went on. Despers went on to perform for 7 minutes and 35 seconds, earning plaudits for Superblue’s “Spankin”.
The North Stand was yesterday packed, almost to capacity. Even President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona turned up with his security detail (Minister of National Security Gary Griffith was spotted behind the stand at one point). There was tassa, and patrons enjoyed music played by the DJ between performances. A sign that the ruction was getting heavy came when the North Stand almost exploded after the Valley Harps, from Morne Coco Road, Petit Valley, took to the stage at the end of the medium-steelband category.
Over at the Greens, which was a good distance to the west of the North Stand and Grand Stand, there was a high degree of activity. Though the much discussed pool party seemed to have not made a splash (at about 4 pm patrons said the pool was still empty), young people came in droves. There were different sections with different sponsors, playing their own music. Somewhere in between the crowd were monitors playing pan. But the vibe was, in fact, more akin to a big fete married with a beach-party.
However, there was a major hitch at the entrance point, with only one set of gates being used for both entrance and exit of patrons. Persons wanting to exit were, at one stage, asked to wait, provoking cries of, “what? This is prison?” Tickets with barcodes had to be scanned and photographs of each patron were also uploaded upon both entry and exit.
There were hundreds of “scalpers” on the outskirts of the event at the Savannah, offering last minute tickets to anyone who happened to be walking in. As expected, things were relatively sedate in the Grand Stand, with many taking in the music, seated in their chairs wearing caps and visors.
Efforts to contact PanTrinbago president Keith Diaz last night were unsuccessful. When the Greens was first introduced a few years ago, there were complaints that noise from the event was interrupting the Panorama competition. In later years, however, organisers said they had worked out how to rectify the problem.