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Tomorrow could be the Future

Eric Smith

Tomorrow could be the Future

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?THERE IS ALWAYS hope for a better tomorrow.
?This was evident after witnessing the preliminary judging on Wednesday night of Tomorrow’s Children, the last tent in this year’s Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
Even to the amateur ear listening and those with eyes fixed on the stage, it was clear these competitors would not move on to the next round. And this was even without makings comparisons with all the other tents.
In what can only be described as an unconditional love for the art form and a passion to discover and expose new talent, the promoter and manager of this tent, Roy Byer, must be lauded for his efforts. With no sponsorship, he persisted. And although he could field only five to face the judges, all was not lost.
With some training, further exposure and encouragement, there may be a future in calypso for two of them in particular: Dan Percie and Tripp.
?While De Torch, De Wizzard and Sweet Shara, really were way below mark, on reflection they must all be complimented for having the courage to get up on stage and present themselves.
?It is easy to criticise their weaknesses, but difficult for many others to match their efforts.
The night got off on the wrong note, with the tent starting approximately 20 minutes late before what turned out to be a very small but appreciative crowd of older diehards. This group included some seasoned entertainers who turned out to give their support in the Francine B. Edwards Theatre at Waterford, St Michael.
?Perhaps, Byer should seek the views of the veterans such as Sir Don, Poonka, Mike Sealy, retired senior public officer and calypso fan Elsworth Young and retired insurance executive Malcolm Squires, all present on Wednesday night, to get their feedback not only on the judging performances but on charting the way forward.
After all the judges would have seen at the preliminary stage this year they too should be asked by the National Cultural Foundation to have some review sessions with the calypsonians from all the tents to say what went right and, more importantly, what was wrong. It is the best way to build a better tomorrow.
High score
??The same approach should perhaps be applied by Dan Percie (André Burgess), who at this stage cannot give up his day job at the Central Bank for his love of the arts. His first song, which was inspired by his grandmother and wife, dealt with the issue of cutting cane. He would not have managed a high score for either lyrics or melody in this one. There was nothing outstanding about his stage presence.
The second song Calypso Calling was better written, much better delivered and also had good arrangement. It dealt with a theme worked by many in the calypso art form and urged a look beyond the stalwarts to deal with the issues. Dan Percie wrote both songs and had Ronnie D (Ronald Davis) as his arranger. With practice he will do better.
The other eye-catcher of the night, Tripp (Anya Lorde), unlike Dan Percie, has previously performed in the preliminaries of the competition. She, too, needs encouragement to continue developing her lyrical skills and must be applauded for writing her two songs: Ole Time Calypso and The Funeral Procession. Fortunately for her, she had a maestro in Andy Williams to arrange her music. Tripp, a professional creative artiste, had good phrasing and worked the stage well.
The other bright spot was the backing band Power Extreme, which has drawn attention to the range of talented young musicians we now have on the island.
One of the puzzling things of the night was the playing of Trinidad calypsos before the start of the show and during the intermission.
?Yes, the theatre is named after Barbados-born, Trinidad-based Singing Francine and no doubt Sparrow’s works should be listened to, but why couldn’t the music of last year and the years before and even this year from the Super Gladiators and Tomorrow’s Children fill the facility? Another issue both Byer and emcee Junior Jordan should address.