It was all about making memories at the first edition of Mahalia’s Corner for the 2018 season last Sunday.
It was a line-up of a legend and legacies.
The legend was Soca Queen Alison Hinds, who took the audience on a stroll down memory lane as she opened the show with You Make Me Feel Special − a definite oldie but a goodie.
The British-born multi-genre singer was resplendent in an olive green dress adorned with black leggings, gold heels and pearls, looking regal with her hair in bantu knots on stage at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael.
Hinds was sauntering but picked up the pace as she rolled off some of her hits, including Carnival Baby and Iron Bazodee, accompanied by pannist Andre Forde. She went on to chant Wave Wid Me, a 2009 collaboration with Peter Ram.
She took it down a notch when she performed a piece by famous Brazilian composer Carlos Jobim and then did Billie Holiday’s God Bless The Child.
Hinds said time was tight and she would have to make a choice. The audience enthusiastically and emphatically told her she had to perform Roll and Faluma before the curtain fell, while others called for Raggamuffin.
To please all, she performed Roll as a ballad, shouting out songwriter Shontelle Layne. However, the highlight of the show came when 2 Mile Hill’s bass guitarist Kris Clarke strummed the opening lines of Faluma and began the song himself.
Hinds took back the reins and slowed the song down so the audience could learn the words. The curtain closed with Square One’s 2011 hit song Togetherness as all hands across the hall went up in the air, proving why Hinds is the undisputed Caribbean queen of soca.
2 Mile Hill, led by Mahalia, showed off their abilities as they did Mary J Blige’s Real Love. They kept the rhythm going with Chronixx’s Skanking Sweet.
Mahalia, clad in a sheer mesh skirt with attached black short pants and butter yellow blouse, teased the audience with her right leg as the band also offered two of their originals – Get Over and Conversation – along with the Fugees Killing Me Softly and Erphaan Alves’ Overdue, before ending their segment with Let It Go (Le Te Te).
The spotlight artiste of the night, Kweku Jelani, dazzled the standing room-only audience with his trumpet, opening his set with Damien Junior Gong Marley’s There For You.
The open mic segment saw four offerings for the night as contributor Corey Narq Springer graced the stage for the first time at Mahalia’s Corner doing his version of John Legend’s Ordinary People. (RA)