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Machel, Destra reunite

By Angelo Marcelle Wednesday, February 26 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Machel and the Boyz: Machel Montano perform with Shawn Stockman, left, and Nathan Morris of R&B group Boyz II Men during the Machel Monday concert at ...
Machel and the Boyz: Machel Montano perform with Shawn Stockman, left, and Nathan Morris of R&B group Boyz II Men during the Machel Monday concert at ...

The rift between soca star Machel Montano and Destra Garcia seems to be over. At least that is the impression the duo gave the public last Monday night, when the latter appeared on stage to perform at the Machel Monday concert.

Whatever the reason for the initial fallout which started since 2003, nothing seemed to matter on stage as the two reminded the packed stadium of how powerful their hit “Is Carnival”, was and still is. Machel and Destra embraced each other at the end of their set. Destra was the last guest performer on the night.

The concert which was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, saw a steady stream of patrons filling the inner field from as early as 6.30 pm.

Live entertainment started promptly at 8 pm with Imij & Company, followed by Olatunji Yearwood who brought life to the stage as he started with his popular ditty, “Tadow” before singing “Wining Good” (Bharatiya Laraki) and “Wah Do.” After a five-minute count down was shown on projector screens throughout the stadium, the main segment begun at 10 pm, with a spoken word piece.

Machel came on stage with his power soca hit, “Ministry Of Road” and had the crowd waving, singing and jumping uncontrollably. He went into delivering a few more of his road march hits before slowing down the pace with a melody of Bob Marley favourites.

After introducing London Future as the producer of his 2014 song “E.P.I.C”, Machel introduced Barbadian singer Nikita Browne as a new addition to the band after which the two had a miniature singing battle between them.

Although Machel indicated that Patrice Roberts will always be family and continues to perform with the band, Nikita may be a subtle replacement for former Road March winner Patrice Roberts, who is now managed by Ian Pantin.

The big performances on the night came when Nigerian singer Timaya sang his Machel collaborated song “Shake Yuh Bum Bum.” The latter hinted a Nigeria tour with the singer that may happen this year. Later in the show, Grammy Award winning South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela sang briefly during a performance with calypso maestro David Rudder. Masekela is in Trinidad recording an album with south steelband Siparia Deltones.

In the “Real Unity” segment, Ravi B sang the remix to the Chutney Soca song “Breakaway”, which features Machel and Indian Bollywood star Mahalakshmi Iyer. The Bollywood celebrity was present to perform the song. Local chutney singer Drupatee Ramgoonai was also included in the segment.

Grammy Award-winning R&B singing group Boyz II Men also made a short appearance on stage. While the group sounded as good as ever, visibly absent was Wanya Morris from the trio. Only Nathan Morris and Shawn Stockman were present. The group collaborated on the song “Can’t Let Go” with Machel.

Also giving a stellar performance was Farmer Nappy (Darryl Henry) who competes against Machel, his fellow HD singer, in the groovy segment of the International Soca Monarch competition on Fantastic Friday with his hit “Big People Party.”

During one of his sets Machel sang several of his soca rival Bunji Garlin’s (Ian Alvarez) hits. Bunji won two international awards last year, from Soul Train and MTV, for “Differentology.”

Los Angeles based DJ syndicate Major Lazer, Skinny Fabulous, pan men Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe, Andy Narell and Johan Chuckaree, Lyrikal and Menace (M1), Baron (Timothy Watkins), Johnny King, Poser (Sylvester Lockhart) and Denyse Plummer were also on the cast. A full performance was done by songwriter/producer and singer Kerwin Dubois.

The show ended at 2.30 am.

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