If Barbadians felt the high winds had died down with the passing of Tropical Storm Ernesto Thursday, those who attended the MQI/Banks/Lime Pic-O-De-Crop Finals last night knew much better as ten calypsonians competed in the first half for a shot at the Calypso Monarch title at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
In spite of the moving of the event from Kensington Oval because of the weather system, each performer was in fighting spirit.
Mighty Gabby was first out of the blocks with CBC Pruhnography, a commentary about an incident involving pornographic sounds on the television during the reading of the weather news. The nine-time calypso king rendered the song well, using lots of repetition of “oohs” and “ahs” to create the imagery that he wanted to convey.
He was strong in all the criteria: lyrics, melody and rendition, which carried a maximum of 35, 35 and 25 points, respectively, and presentation, with its mere five points.
Defending monarch Popsicle fought valiantly and scored well in melody and rendition in Bail Out. His melody, however, suffered at times while he articulated his lyrics, as he came over as almost talking. Maybe it was his early “dub” influence coming out.
RPB, who has also copped the calypso monarch title nine times, paid tribute to calypso for the support it gave him through the years. In I Thank You, RPB invoked the spirit of Mr Harding, the title of one of the songs with which he won his first crown. He would have scored well in rendition and melody.
Then it was the turn of former two-time calypso king Adrian Clarke.
He was in exquisite voice, and his rendition was bang on in I Ain’t Frighten. Clarke tremendously enhanced his chances of snatching the crown.
Adonijah, although bringing down the tempo in Congratulations, kept the standard high with his musicality and stage performance.
Chrystal’s gave Why Ya Tek Me Fah Sandra Doh one of her better treatments for the season. Well composed, it was given a delightful twist at the end when Singing Sandra appeared on stage and endorsed Chrystal.
Ian Webster introduced Hollywood Tree with a pictorial sweep of the negatives that come out of California. Dressed in theatrical gear, he then proceeded to paint a picture of how the Caribbean was affected by Hollywood. Webster was strong in all areas – lyrics, melody, rendition and presentation.
Blood was methodical and should score well in rendition and melody with his Suggestive Lyrics.
Smokey Burke seemed in a hurry with Wait. He was falling over himself lyrically in spite of the song’s beautiful melody.
De Announcer brought down the curtain in the first half with Barbados Today, a song about issues affecting the island. His lines were delivered with lots of wit and clarity.