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A SLICE OF LIFE – Wednesday night talent thrills

Wendell Callender

A SLICE OF LIFE – Wednesday night talent thrills

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A midweek concert starting at 9 p.m. sharp in rural Barbados?
One did not know what to expect, especially with the thought of this event being played out in the most easterly part of St Philip and bordering St John – in a place called Fortesque Land.
Upon our arrival at Mamee Pot and Bar, the vehicles parked in the environs suggested that there were patrons in respectable numbers inside. Gone are the days when rural villagers are tucked in their beds shortly after sundown!
Jerome Davis, the long-standing Philippian community practitioner, who extended the invitation, had scored once again.
Wednesday Night Xplosion, as the event was dubbed, saw a showcase of singing talent from the surrounding areas, and Davis noted that Mamee’s was a regular karaoke spot that attracted singers of much talent.
He said the idea was therefore conceived to use some of the talent to stage a show, where the singers would not have the benefit of the words on the screen. At the same time they would be encouraged to present themselves like celebrity performers. This idea came to fruition in May, and it continues every last Wednesday of each month.
In this community effort, proprietor Aaron Bancroft serves as director of the show and keeps a keen eye out for promising talent, while Victor Sealy fills in as manager, sound engineer and technical director.
Among the guests on show was Sammi Jane from Vineyard, St Philip. The well-known Pic-O-De-Crop contender from The Experience tent rendered her original Time For Change and gospel selections Sing Of Your Love and Give Praise.
She performed with her back-up singers, Cynthia, Magnelle and Natasha under the name Sammi Jane And FMC, which is the abbreviation for Faith Miracle Church, of which she is worship leader.
“I started singing in the church and we usually perform at churches. This is what Sammi Jane does outside of the calypso season. This is spreading the gospel,” she stated. 
One of the youngsters who caught the eye was teenager Sade Lampitt, a recent contestant in Mr & Miss Who, organised by students of Springer Memorial School and St Leonard’s Boys’.
Davis described Sade as having a good attitude and a willingness to listen and learn, while Aaron Brathwaite complimented her ability and said he was preparing her for big things.
Aaron, who also served as master of ceremonies, confessed that in that role he was able to bring out the best in himself by conquering his shyness.
One performer who had come a long way was Cathy-Ann Payne, who held the crowd in the palm of her hand and made them answer her every call. The former Richard Stoute Teen Talent contestant and hotel band lead singer was a crowd favourite last Wednesday night.
Other celebrities among the night’s performers included 1994 Teen Talent winner Gay Melody Man Harewood, Cyclone and karaoke singer Zelma Taylor.
St Philip has produced outstanding entertainers and cricketers, so it was expected that conversations about the game would surface against the backdrop of the musical talent.
So much so that one could not help overhearing comments on the captaincy of Brian Lara and his batting ability,
the selection policies of Barbados and the
West Indies, and similar issues, laced with historical references that boggled the mind.