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High-end Headliners

John Sealy

High-end Headliners

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Emcee Adrian ‘Boo’ Husbands, with his incessant, largely irrelevant chatter, almost killed the spirit of judging in the Headliners calypso tent – but partygoers still had a ball.It was Thursday night that the tent went before the 2010 Pic-O-De-Crop and Party Monarch judges at the Plantation Theatre, and who goes where will be left solely to their “judgement”. But from the opening theme of heavy neo-soul influences enhanced by the cool beat of spouge, to the energy-filled climax by Soka Kartel, featuring Blood and Mikey as Headliners, it was high-end entertainment driven by a well orchestrated band.Basil set the stage with Trading Places. This philosophical piece addressed relationships: “Who are you to stand and judge another, who are you to put a foot in his face,” Basil asked. Good voice and stage personality. Basil’s next song, Forking De Ground, was party in nature, reminiscent of Foreigner Frank’s Lawn Um Down.Pastor G was quite busy, making three appearances. His first presentation was Eowo (each one wins one), followed later by Get Out and then De Quake. Note: Pastor, you were in good voice and performed well on stage, but your title must be appropriate to your theme. Listeners must not have to scratch their heads to connect, as was the case with Get Out and De Quake. Blood was in fine form with Not My Son: lyrically relevant, accompanied by nice flowing horns on a steady rhythm, and deserving of the loud applause. He maintained his consistency with Sing, a tongue-in-cheek dig at reigning king RPB, and then he finished his solo appearance with the infectious Foot On Fire .Then there was Blank, with social commentary De Answer and Jump and Wave. He must be encouraged.The inimitable Contone reinforced his fan base with Money and You Is A Idiot, while D2 teased with Lick E TingJohn King and Apache, the latter of Experience tent, made guest appearances. Apache has grown vocally, and exhibited excellent phrasing ability as he dealt with some sophisticated and tasteful arrangements in Wicked Hearts. Rising stars solo acts Elle, with Blowing Wid Me Whistle, Yannick Hooper, Not Leaving Tonight, and Brett, who did Can’t Stop, are cut in the mould of natural performers and enhanced the party section of the judging. Mikey did not rise to last year’s heights with My Party and was flat vocally. This became more evident when he was paired with an atomic Blood during the Soka Kartel session. Mr Dale gave a preview of what would happen on Grand Kadooment Day when he appeared on stage during the mini “fent”. He has grown into a class that can be described as untouchable, based on this year’s favourite Drop It. Lorenzo and D2, though not exceptional, still must be acknowledged for the part they played in the night’s session, which began around 8:40 p.m. and finished at about 1 a.m.It might have lasted longer had not the emcee received, in his own words, “strict instructions from backstage”: “Don’t talk no more”.