The Spicemas Corporation has managed to redeem itself somewhat with the staging of this year’s Panorama competition following the cancellation of the show in 2017 due to an incomplete stage to facilitate the pans and the players.
Pantastic Saturday saw nine competing Steelbands with defending champions, Flow Commancheros managing to hold onto the title playing Scholar’s controversial song, “Pum Pum” with 285 points.
The show attracted a much bigger and better stage and massive turn-out of patrons to send a message about last year’s fiasco.
Arranger with Flow Commancheros, Andre Greenidge told reporters that the song was selected because of its popularity.
He said, “The strategy wasn’t created by me, it was created by the public, in that the song was a very popular song, so we had nothing but to bring it 100%, 150%. You couldn’t come with the “pum pum”, half a “pum pum”, three quarter, you had to come 100%.
“The strategy was to keep it exciting, keep it entertaining, so you always involved the audience. We used a lot of musical movements, so you win on the judges on it but you must win the public … so no matter what we did, I had that at the back of my mind”, he added.
According to Greenidge, the issue of Panorama and the fact that there was not an event in 2016, is something that was seemingly needed for the revival of the competition.
“I am actually happy that that happened last year, when I say happy, it needed a break and it needed to speak to the issues so that’s why I said…the issue of what happened last year is something boiling. If you remember the year before, I was the only person left on stage and I still can’t figure out how two stages cheaper than one.
“The issue of Pan and its involvement in Carnival and our culture… I had to speak on the issue last year and the PM (Dr. Keith Mitchell) asked for an inquiry and we have an executive for the Steelband Association, we have the media and nobody asked the PM for the inquiry…if it’s the Steelband Association responsible, let’s fix it, if it’s Spicemas responsible, let’s fix.
Greenidge noted that he was excited to do the song “Pum Pum” by Scholar in which he sought to blame CEO of SMC, Kirk Seetahal for the panorama fiasco.
“I run with that because it spoke to the issue, the numbers here were incredible tonight and that’s because of the issue of pan. So, what we have to do now is keep fixing it,” he remarked.
Although there was a much better stage this year as compared to what was being built in 2017, Greenidge addressed some of the issues he had to deal with in putting forward his presentation on panorama night.
“What happened last year, can’t happen again. That stage, my drummer fell off the stage tonight and he was hospitalised, so, what they did here, it wasn’t adequate either for tonight. We had a presentation…to show a video but no screening. So, I don’t see why two stages are cheaper than one satisfactory stage for carnival,” he said.
Republic Angel Harps took second place in the competition gaining 281 points for their arrangement of the song “Hit after hit” by Dash.
Manager of the Band, Brian Sylvester who spoke to reporters described 2008 as “a successful year for us”.
“…If you look at all the bands who participated in both Junior and Senior, I think we’ve had the best results, a first and a second.
Falling into the second place, it is a little bit disappointing but you can’t always win them all. Congratulations to Commancheros, it’s kinda like a sister band to us in some sense and there has always been a good relationship between Angel Harps and Commancheros, so congrats to them. But all in all, it has been a successful year for us,” he said.
“I have always asked the question and no one seems to be able to answer or is willing to answer. All the problems that we’ve had when it comes to pan and staging of Panorama, it is simply because of a stage erected that can only hold two out of three of the major carnival shows and no one is willing to answer the question as to why is that so.
Sylvester went on: “I have been in Pan for quite a number of years, over 35 years and stages have always accommodated both Mas, Calypso and Pan, so all of a sudden to be building a stage or erecting a stage that cannot accommodate Pan, it baffles me as to what is the thinking of the authorities and why is it continuing to happen…
The veteran panman also condemned the quality of the grounds designated for steelbands to roll out of the stadium.
He said: “…The condition there is terrible and we have thousands of dollars of instruments rolling into a road between the two stadiums, it’s absolutely terrible. It makes you wonder, why Pan keeps getting that level of treatment. Most of the problems that associate with Panorama comes from the fact that they build a stage to accommodate only Calypso and Mas and, in my view, just probably Calypso or their White show.
“Somebody has to tell me what stake that the government or the Ministry of Culture or whoever has in this White show because I can’t understand, I simply can’t understand why you push your culture aside for a show like that,” he remarked.
The third position in the Panorama competition was captured by Rainbow City All Stars with their arrangement of Ajamu’s “On the road Again” which saw them land 264.5 points from the judges.
According to Arranger for the band, Othniel St. Clair, Rainbow is is pleased with its performance and “feels good” with the position given to them.
“We have mostly youth now and us doing that it means that we might have more players coming in because what happens is that, let’s say you continue coming fifth all the time, then people may not want to send their children because it looks like the band is not making no progress. So, the third place is just to boost them…”, he said.
Following are the placings of the other bands – fourth place Coyaba New Dimensions (261 points), 5th was Suzuki Pan Wizards (243 points), 6th Pan Ossia (233.5 points) 7th Florida All Stars (219 points), 8th Grand Roy Pan Angels (218 points) and 9th ninth was Melody Warriors (212.5 points).
Republic Bank Junior Steel Orchestra captured the Junior Panorama title with their arrangement of “Top Striker” by Lil Natty and Thunda which secured 281.5 points from the judges.
Arranger for the Steelband, Jevon Andrews said the band did prepare itself well to win the competition.
“We prepared very diligently and very early, we started since May. I do my due diligence very early. This is only my third year arranging.
I came second the first time and I won last year and I won again this year, so I am still young in the business, but I have a lot to learn still,” he said.
Second place went to Coyaba New Dimensions with 271 points, Flow Commancheros took third place with 264.5 points, fourth place went to Wiz Kids (261 points), followed by Pan Ossia in 5th position with 243 points, Rainbow city All Stars came in 6th position on 233.5 points, followed by Florida All Stars in position number seven with 219
The 8th position was filled by Grand Roy Pan Angels (218 points) and in the cellar was Melody Warriors (212.5 points).