Festival fever

What is really the issue this season around the island with the “festival fever” that usually grabs us all?

I am trying to find out if anyone has any idea. I too am lacking in the festival fever department. I just have little drive this season to be a part of anything going on. There is a lot of music out, mainly in the lower BPM scale which says a lot of where music is heading.

The jet plane speed songs are not very dominant this time around and it may be because of people being more aware of the export power of ragga soca. Even though all of the music out will not reach an international audience, there is some effort in recognising what the export market desires — music that one can dance to without falling over with a pain in the side.

Not that there isn’t room for the speed tracks, because the local younger ones love to spin some pooch when they are ready, but like most things the local demand will be made secondary. At least with that demand if there is such.

I have been to a couple of events and I have tried to soak in the performances and the atmosphere, but what burns me is when the chosen disc jocks decide to play dub or rap or make the music of previous years their main set. I love music no matter what, but during Crop-Over it must be soca and more emphasis on recent recordings.

I know some recordings are not too easy on the ears but there are many that more than merit it. I don’t want to get into the local versus regional music thing because many performers depend on travel regionally to make a buck, but it would be good if the djs would give some more respect to the local efforts.

The reason why songs and artiste get popular and are in demand is due to a push from djs. If it is good then play it and don’t worry about who recorded it. Music is made for the enjoyment of all no matter who pushed the buttons in the studio or who mouthed the lyrics.

My query is whether it is that the music is lacking or if there is some sort of depressive wave taking over in 2013. If an event is going on and I choose to stay home I don’t feel like I missed anything. Once upon a time I would be beating myself for missing the event.

I would be asking friends to fill me in on the performances and how the vibe was, only to beat up on myself some more. It is definitely not happening now. My age may be a factor but, I just don’t want to go to a show where the main act is a DJ.

Live bands with performers being able to control the stage and command an audience is what I want to see. It was very evident on Friday at the Sweet Soca semifinal that some of the acts don’t know how to as yet. Too much instrumental backing performances really don’t help. Karaoke style performers will not be a major hit internationally.

One should be able to do things while on stage with the song that we in the audience wouldn’t get to hear or see on a recording. That gives more interest to a performer and a song. It also shows that some should remain recording acts and not live performers. It can hurt your popularity if you lack in the performing arena.

Finally I want to say that I still look forward to seeing other interesting events during the season that will attract the mature audiences some more. They are asking for it but nothing much is happening. After going to a couple of tents they seem to have nowhere else to go until semifinals and finals.

Tents too need to make their shows more attractive besides just having performers sing two songs and wish you a good night after. A show within your show will help a lot in bringing people out. An ex-tempo duel is one way of keeping the shows interesting and can become a part of the calendar of performances yearly.

We can then get to see how many true calypsonians we have about here. Lord Radio, Gabby and a few others can be showcased and encourage many others to try at the art and make it a more exciting night for patrons. If something is done to boost the season someway, maybe we will be lifted from the depressive festival state some are in.

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