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OUT & ABOUT: SOS for live bands


TRE GREAVES, [email protected]

OUT & ABOUT: SOS for live bands

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REMEMBER BACK when live bands dominated Barbados’ music scene?

If your answer is yes, well you are in good company because entertainers Adrian Clarke (AC) and Alison Hinds both have fond memories of when their respective bands ruled and the use of deejays and computerised equipment were secondary to the drums, the bass guitar and the trumpet.

Addressing the audience at the Press launch of the Digicel Barbados Is Music at Kensington Oval, AC, the two-time calypso monarch was feeling nostalgic.

While remembering the days of the bands Square One and krosfyah and Coalishun, he said the support the bands received was always great.

“Those were the days when bands ruled in Barbados. Sorry DJs, but DJs were secondary and I wish those days were back,” he said, as the audience responded with loud applause.

He said he has been asked by some tourists where the bands were.

Hinds of Square One, backed him up.

She said she was not trying to bash DJs but she felt that performances are better with live instruments.

“I can give you a good show with tracks but I can give you a better show with musicians and this is not a diss to DJs because DJs always were a part of the musical landscape but the DJ at that time was there to keep the hype and keep the people moving so that by the artistes come back on, the people were ready for the real thing,” she said.

The soca queen said a combination of factors had led to the decline of live bands.

“The economy did take a downturn worldwide and that took a toll on things. In terms of the promoters, it is easier for them to have an artiste and use a DJ and tracks.”

But she also said in Barbados there was a lack of venues and she called for better infrastructure. 

“In the late 1980s and 1990s, we had a lot of venues, we had a lot of clubs, all the bands were working at least six nights a week. We had the venues to support that, but unfortunately we don’t have that anymore.

 “To see a change there would have to be clubs with stages that can host live bands and to get the public back on board with live music,” she added. (TG)

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