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Pan, kaiso invade Christmas

By Terry Joseph
November 10, 2003

Last weekend offered corroboration to those who complain of an encroachment on dedicated Christmas festivity by the increasing requirement of Carnival bands and steel orchestras to market their products long before the turn of the year.

Friday night, within one square kilometre in Woodbrook, Port of Spain three such events took place, although the soiree called Pan, Pork and Parang put on by the BWIA Invaders Steel Orchestra at the St John's Hall could well argue its embrace of Christmas.

The event was however staged to raise funds for the purchase of Tragarete premises on which the legendary steelband has been rehearsing for the past five decades and, apart from San Racas parang group, featured on its playbill names equally well known in the Carnival arena.

On the ground were the host band, Angostura Woodbrook Playboyz and DJ Crosby Sounds, while calypsonians Kenny J and Marcia Miranda (and the parang group) worked the stage, much to the delight of hundreds gathered for dinner prepared by Dune Ali's Rib House, a crowd that included now former Culture Minister Pennelope Beckles.

Virtually around the corner from the Invaders fete, relatively new mas band Skandal-Us hosted a section launch for the group Sweet Lime, attracting scores to its Taylor Street mas camp, with a presentation of modelled costumes and really well delivered music from DJ Darren, while Singer served a rich corn soup.

Less than three minutes north of those affairs, Trini Revellers launched their band The Arabian Nights at Harvard Club, that gathering topping the lot for crowd attraction, offering the music of bpTT Renegades steel orchestra and DJ Production Sounds.

Unveiling designs by three-time winner of the King of Carnival title, Geraldo Viera jnr, Trini Revellers also presented live demonstrations of the kinetic version of their costumes, but that spotlight was shared by the evening's pure-party element.

Even as junior and senior parang competitions advanced at various venues Saturday, the evening was shared with the pan component of Tunapuna day, at which several top steel orchestras were invited to perform along the Eastern Main Road in the village. A power outage conspired with a rainstorm to scuttle much of the event, although Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars were among the bands that soldiered on regardless.

Yesterday, Birdsong Steel Orchestra celebrated its 30th anniversary at UWI with a luncheon and performances, while later, Barbarossa was scheduled to launch its 2K4 band Mythropolis, this time around in collaboration with Funtasia, at Pier 1 in Chaguaramas.

Christmas, we are advised, is still on the cards.

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