Gladiators on the attack
A YOUNG PROMISING calypsonian who promised to dethrone RPB is back, and a witty young singer/emcee has brought a refreshing breeze across the Stadium Road for Crop-Over 2010.These two – Ken Clarke who won the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest in 2003 with Bag’s Hair and Competition, and MC Appollo – have signalled their intention to bolster the ranks of the Super Gladiators, which also boasts solid veterans like Jah Stone and Francois, formerly known as African.Clarke, who left the scene in 2004 to marry another entertainer, Jamie Depeiza, and start a family, returned to Gladiators on its opening night last Thursday with the self-penned More Time and I Can See.In the former, the audience asked for the night’s lone encore as Clarke admitted that while time waits for no man, he was basically seizing the moment to try to better things around him.It was a pity, though, that his good lyrics and attractive and melodic horn lines gradually became the victim of “first-night blues” as he and the band, which was tight otherwise, were out of sync during the encore verse, part of which Clarke forgot.He redeemed himself in the second session, stating in song that he doesn’t need anyone to write his songs for him since he can see society’s woes for himself. It was a biting response to offerings about “sight/site” and “dun see” that proliferated recent Crop-Over seasons.Appollo, meanwhile, was not hilarious but engaged the crowd in his take on youthful trends and mimicked Jamaican dancehall acts to a “T”. A teacher by profession, he also was able to give an incisive look at some advantages and vagaries of working in the Civil Service.He rendered a witty number titled Going To Paris, in which he commented on the burning national CLICO issue without, according to him, “calling nuhbody name”. His hookline clinched it for listeners as he advised them “de nex’ time somebody do you anyt’ing, tell dum go to Paris instead of going to France”.The other offerings on opening night came from Jah Stone who repeated a verse while rendering Federation, which asked for his constitutional rights to be respected “by Immigration when he flew in from any Caribbean country”; Iteebah, a young lady with potential, with Tell Dem and I Mean It; Musikal who sang Solution and Flag Above; Francois with AIDS and National Colours; Dré with Entrepreneurs, the uptempo Yellow, and former junior monarch Malika.