Get it right

Sweet Soca and Party Monarch rehearsals began today and among those making sure the scores were on point was defending Sweet Soca king RPB, who took a moment to go over some areas of Feting with band leader Ryan Blackman.

by Donna Sealy

Veteran calypsonian Red Plastic Bag says that the tents have a responsibility to give the public the highest quality show possible.

The defending Sweet Soca Monarch and Pic-O-De-Crop Finalist also told Barbados TODAY this afternoon after rehearsing at Lester Vaughan School that there were too many tents and the standards have to be raised.

“I always thought that there were too many tents. I think that we really need to make sure that we don’t water it down. In some of the tents they’re some people who are at a very high standard and some who are not at the highest standard. I think that we need to make it harder for people to reach the standard that we want to be the standard by which our music is supposed to be judged. It should not be that easy to become part of the standard by which we want our music to be judged.

“What I’m saying is that you need to work to get to that level. You really need to work to get to that level. I think that we have to start looking at the material that you produce and you’re level of presentation with regards to your performance of the material that you have. We need to keep our standards high.

“This is why we have here and in most countries, a National Standards Institute, because high standards are supposed to be kept. I always thought there were too many tents and if we continue to have these many tents, and if [they] tents continue to join the fray, just think about it, very soon judging will start at the beginning of June. Very soon we’ll be judging 20 tents long before the official start of Crop-Over,” said RPB, who is marking his 30th year in the business.

And to have such an early start to the Festival, he said, would keep pushing the artist to produce the “music earlier and earlier and earlier” and the “freshness of some of the songs might not be there by the time we reach the end of the Festival”.

He added: “I think that rather than having so many tents we need to look at the quality of what we are producing in the tent. The people who run the tents are supposed to be responsible for that and making sure we have a high standard that we’re putting in the public domain. Nowadays, money is hard to come by and when people need to spend their money to see a show they want to see a high quality show that in their minds is worth the money that they’re spending.

“And it’s okay to talk about small tents, they’re some people in the small tents that are of high quality. The thing is if you have 10 calypsonians in a tent and one is at a high high standard or at the standard by which we would like our tents to be judged and the other nine are way below then you can see why we would have a problem.

“We need to look seriously at what we do and notice I am saying, we, because I’m not taking myself away from it. I am part of the calypso fraternity in Barbados and we have a responsibility to give the public the highest possible quality,” he stated.

RPB, also said he was “excited” about performing next Friday night, August 3 and noted that he had a great season.

“The tent [De Big Show] went well. We got good responses in the tent. Tents obviously are not like they used to be in terms of the number of tents that you do, but we had a good time we had a great year. I want to thank all the people who supported us and all the sponsors who came on board and helped us, we really needed the help. Hopefully we can continue and continue to build from strength to strength with the product that we have,” he said.

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