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Bandleaders look out!

Come 2017 Betty West is going “to the extreme” with both her Kiddies and Grand Kadooment bands, despite a challenging season in the just concluded Crop Over festivities.

“It was very challenging but we came through in the end. We had a few hitches where delivery was concerned. It was much harder than any other year.

“We manage to get to the stadium, we were number two but because of the traffic and so on we missed the number and we were pushed back to the second last band,” West explained to Bajan Vibes amidst clean up operations at the band house in Maxwell, Christ Church.

Betty West

Betty West

That position would be a first for West, who is celebrating 25 years in the business of masquerading this year and from all indications it was not easy.

She  tells Bajan Vibes her trucks had to speed up at a certain point in Black Rock following a directive from police on time constraints.

“I had a lot of mature people in my band and they were more or less running but it’s a good thing that they had fun on the road after the delay at the stadium, which was beyond me.”

But she said her revellers still had a good time even though the band, which depicted the theme “Bajan Impact”, only copped two prizes – historical and topical – unlike last year when the swept the board.

“I was very happy with my band. When I look back and see the spectacle I couldn’t believe and was just grateful to the people who volunteered to help me. All in all for me I was very happy, I got two first prizes, last year I won seven top prizes but the judges decision is always final. To win Band Of The Year you need a certain number but I don’t know in what area I didn’t place but you know I can’t always win.

“I am prepared already for next year, this year I came with a junior band after three years at it was kind of different to me because we had a lot of young designers which I thought was great. So, I am not looking at [bandleader] Gwyneth [Squires] anymore, I am looking at these youngsters that are coming up because they did very well where design and so is concerned.

“Next year God spare my life I am coming to the extreme with my junior band and obviously I can see all the little loopholes because I do study where have I gone wrong so I could correct it the following year,” West said.

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