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Blood off with a bang

by Yvette BEST

Blood off with a bang

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MEMBERS of the new Soka Kartel were in control at the Headliners opening “fent” at the Plantation Garden Theatre on Thursday night.
Whether it was the tent or the fête segment of the show, Anderson Blood Armstrong and Michael Mikey Mercer were large and in charge.Blood was arguably the toast of the tent aspect, earning encores for Sing and Not My Son.Even before he opened his mouth to sing the former, the shaved head and red shirt gave the audience a clue as to what he would be singing about. Sing is a response to people who have been calling for the likes of Red Plastic Bag to bow out, and make way for the younger crop of artistes.The song speaks directly to RPB, who could make history in the region if he wins a tenth calypso crown this year.Acknowledging that RPB did not need him to champion his cause, Blood pointed to a number of sportsmen, calypsonians and the like, who have been participating in their various fields and winning for several years, and noted that there were no calls for them to quit.He said that RPB like anyone else, had bills to pay, wanted to put something aside for a rainy day, and would want to send his children to university.Of course if RPB continues to sing, there is something in it for Blood. They have unfinished business. The “miscalculation” three years ago, which saw Bag edging him out at the final by half-a-point, is still very much on his mind and he wants to settle that score. He has three words for the defending monarch: “sing, Bag, sing”.In Not My Song, Blood assumes the persona of a parent who defends a child to the end. Rather than resisting when the police turned up with a search warrant in the early morning, he allows them in and proceeds to list all the wholesome things his dreadlocked son was involved in.The other encore was given to guest artiste John King of De Digicel Big Show. King has a response for those who want the stakeholders to step aside and make room for the younger crop. The song Ah Go Dun would probably be music to the ears of those who share that view, but King has several pre-requisites that will take a number of years to be realised.Good presentations in that half also came from Pastor G, Blank, Basil, and guest act Apache (Experience).Bumba did not appear on opening night, but manager Roxanne Forte said he would be appearing later in the season. She explained that Bumba had indicated he would be taking this year off, but recently said he was bitten by the bug and was currently getting his material ready.The fête got off to a slow start in the second half and picked up with the appearance of each act. Lorenzo, Brett, and Contone stoked the flames lit by Summer, Elle, and D2; but the place caught fire when Mr Dale took the stage with a medley of WI Culture, Soka, Junkie, Come Out and this year’s Drop It (We Having A Ball).Soka Kartel Commanders Blood and Mikey continued on that tide and rocked the place and by the time they finished around 12:30 a.m., the whole place was mashed up.They had the hands and bumpers going with hits like Slow Wine, Boom Bam, I in Dat, Riddim Section, Foot on Fire, and Whole Place Mash Up.There are two more “fents” to come and management might want to leave the area in front of the stage clear from the start so that there is no mistaking that there is a fête component.During the first half, trombonists Adrian Boo Husbands and Christopher Cumberbatch played Human Nature in tribute to musician Anderson Salters Griffith who passed away last Sunday. MC Andrew Pilgrim did a good job of keeping the show flowing and entertaining patrons with his unique brand of humour.