Dre’s magic night
As hyperboles go, had management of House of Soca Calypso Tent charged patrons an additional fee after witnessing the performance of Dre last night at Divi Southwinds, they could have made a compelling case for their actions.
Barring the sudden spread of early Alzheimer’s disease among the entire judging panel, Dre should make the Pic-O-De-Crop semifinal list having delivered the defining performance of his calypso career thus far.
In the first half, he created an uproar among the crowd with Pic-O-De-Crop, a witty, melodic piece that looked at his part in the annual competition, as well as others who might have found greater favour than he has over the years.
In delivery, diction and connection with the audience, Dre simply was in an hitherto untravelled zone. Judges, being Homo sapiens, displayed nothing untoward in the spontaneous tapping of feet under their table.
And to complete the package Dre returned to the stage in the second half with I Am Barbados, another sweet selection that preached the resilience and capacity of the island to overcome economic and other adversities.
It was an overall performance worthy of a finals night.
Truth be told, the judges and fans had a number of quality performances to whet their appetites. Sir Ruel sizzled with Youngstars in the second half, an up-tempo number that sought to promote the youth and their potential. The song had arguably the best melody of the night and its lyrical content must have garnered him significant attention on the score sheets.
His earlier rendition of Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams should be enough to see him waltz into the semi-finals.
Shaki K has talent in bushels. Her Two Mouts was one of the most thought-provoking offerings of the night. Though politicians might not think so. “Politicians talking through two mouts. . .the most lied people that they got about . . . some of them should shut their mout, to stop the diarrhea from coming out . . . two mouts, I wish we could vote the two of them out . . .” Shaki K was punching hard and doing it in infectious manner. She also rendered A Question of Two in the first half and impressed all at Divi.
The highly promising Sammy G continued from where she left off last year and provided two solid performances with Please and Revival. In the former song she said Barbados had become a nation of beggars. In the wake of violence, she said, some were begging for peace; in the context of the economic times, others were begging for an ease. She complemented that treatment of ‘begging’ with her beseechment of citizens for a positive response to their tribulations.
Popsicle had a good night before the judges as well with Same Sex and Gem Of The Caribbean. Indeed, the latter song could be adopted by our tourism officials, in much the same way Eric Donaldson’s Sweet Jamaica and Land Of My Birth were used to promote that island in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Also accrediting themselves well last night were Franswaa with The Files Of Calypso and Succeeding; Queen T with Come Together and Ah Can’t Tek No More; Honesty with Yuh Don’t Owe She and Respect Due; Jimmy Dan with Wet Dream and Room For Answers; and Miss Wiggins Last Son (Peter Ram) with Bajan Cry and Don’t Shoot. Gallon put in a commendable effort with Criteria and Change Dem Laws.
On the cast as well were Malik who made a guest appearance, as well as Deano and Kadeem. Emcee was Yolande Holder and the House of Soca’s band provided excellent musical accompaniment.