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Poets thrill Crop-Over read-in audience

marciadottin, [email protected]

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Poets, musicians and lovers of the spoken word gathered on the grounds of the historic Barbados Museum and Historical Society on Thursday night for the sixth annual CMMB Crop-Over Read-In.  When the show got underway with a tuk rendition of the National Anthem by the Pompasetters Tuk Band it should have indicated to the standing room only audience that they were in for a unique show.  Under the theme Don’t Care Where You Come From international headliners Heru and Comrade Fatso brought two different but equally thought-provoking styles of presentation.  The Ghanaian-born roaring lion Heru, who has been dubbed the best spoken work poet on the planet, endeared himself to Barbadians with a smooth lyrical flow similar to that of local artist Adrian Green, whom he inspired.  In fact, the lyricist invited Green who had been performing master of ceremonies duties, to share the stage with him.  Before dropping some of his more popular pieces including the pro-woman Goddess of the Perfect Black, Heru paid tribute to I-akobi Maloney.  Meanwhile, Zimbabwean radical street poet Comrade Fatso was humorous in engaging audience but his heavily political writings told of the turbulence in his homeland.  Backed by local songbirds Indrani and Rhesa Garnes, he delivered impassioned line after line in a mixture of Shona and English.  His set included My Streets and his first poem House of Hunger.  The Pride of Wilson Hill folk group was energetic as usual performing an interpretation of Peter Tosh’s African.  Meanwhile, DJ Simmons demonstrated that the word is manifested everywhere no matter where you come from or what genre of music you perform.  His contribution was therefore tinged with soca, ska and rhythm and blues.  Former local Actress Of The Year Sonia Williams was the first wordsmith to use humour and it was well-received by the audience.  She delivered a risqué Fatology which is an excerpt from her collection Plain Talk.    The godfather of local performing arts Winston Farrell performed Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite’s Rights which is a post-mortem of a cricket game.The multi-talented poet Trina Headley then collaborated with Hip Hop freestyler Sun Rokk much to the crowd’s delight.  Azman, creators of the indigenous genre Fling, reminded the audience that whether they are “from the heights or the slums” they can shape what they become. (NB)