Cats were almost purr-fect
Were it not for a second half when The Stray Cats got completely lost, the St Philip-based calypso tent would have pulled off an impressive opening night for the 2014 Crop Over season.
Performing again this year at the luxurious Crane Resort and Residences, the Cats enjoyed an ambiance of comfort that would be the envy of other more noted calypso stalwarts but unfortuntely, not many were there to witness the Jerry Big Bore Cat Roberts-led outfit.
Starting half-hour after the 8 p.m. scheduled time didn’t seem to bother this tent’s followers who warmly applauded the efforts of all performers even when the music for some artistes couldn’t be found, or when De Cheer Man went through three different renditions of his song Let’s Party before he got the version with which he felt most comfortable.
But let’s talk about the positives.
The Stray Cats’ backing band of young mostly Barbados Community College-trained musicians warmed the heart as they kept the sometimes wayward felines in check with a great deal of professionalism. Another positive of the night was the back up Kittens Ayana John and Alana Walcott, who were impressive vocally and very easy on the eye.
Joining them was emcee for the night Livia who kept the evening lively and the audience engaged.
The Big Bore Cat was first out with a catchy song Kitty Jump On Me, which highlighted just how frisky cats can be. Of course, the song had its sexual overtones though it was not embarassingly so.
Up next was Blessed, performing Calypso Classic, a song with potential but needed a stronger delivery as her diction was not clear and many of the lyrics were lost on the audience.
Among The Stray Cats’ trump cards this year would certainly be Coco with his Hook Line And Sinckler which had the audience begging for more. He, like most others, sang about the recession but his humourous hook line got patrons’ attention as the song poked fun at the Oppositions’ failure to hook Finance Minister Chris Sinckler.
Another strong performer of the night was Sobe who tackled a number of social issues in his song We Culture Gone as he lamented the fact that much of the Barbadian way of life was being subsumed by more dominant cultures from outside. Sobe looked comfortable on stage and appeared to be a man preparing for a semi-finals call up.
Annianna was another performer that added credibility to Stray Cats as a tent people should pay atention to this year. A strong voice, clear diction and melody landed her in the tent’s top drawer. She is one of the reasons why more calypso fans should consider attending the show and come with an open mind.
For a good belly laugh, Concrete is the man to see perform. Every tent should have a Concrete or his equivalent – just for plain fun.
Other performers were De Cheer Man – prolific composer and former secondary school teacher Tony Waldron. With the greatest respect, sir – writing is where I want to remember you most. He performed Ark Of Noah and Let’s Party.
The other Stray Cats were Jazzlin, General K and Kadaffi, who closed out the night for the tent celebrating its 21st anniversary.