Saturday, February 2, 2008

My Take on International Soca Monarch 2008 (Results and Points included)

Results at the bottom of this post!

This was my first time watching the Soca Monarch in its entirety.

Groovy soca
I tuned into the show with Secondary school champoin performing, He was very energetic spliting and all !! next onstage was the son of the man who sang that first soca tune. Ras Shorty's I son Issac Blackman.

It was straight into the performances of the groovy Soca Monarch.I cant give the best picture because alot of the time i didnt have a picture to work with however i tried to make the most of what i had, considering all the sticking.

We all know its all about the Power Soca Monarch that the big highlight when you talking half million dollars in the prize money and reign of the soca world for a year
you know its no push over. It was my first time taking in the Soca monarch in its entirety and i must say i really really enjoyed it. Its the premeire show in Soca music bringing out alot of showmanship comparable comparable to a small movie production. And I must was I was quite impressed with it.

The Groovy Soca Monarch aspect of the show is the slower and quieter in the greater scheme of things it like an opening to the real showdown which is the Power Soca Monarch. In fact Bunji Garlin thinks of it like 7 - 10 mins for you to put down possibly the best performance of your career.

The Goovy soca monarch had some good entries, I found that the performances were all similar I guess my stream was sticking alot too so i can't really state that too strongly. Based on what i saw i can say that Gyal Farm by Kerwin Du bios and Shal Marshall and Soka Junkie by Mr Dale were the tunes that definately came over as the party songs the others were slower like your were Chippin Down the Road with your own woman or looking for a lil Mo' wuk. Everyone came out and did their role call for all the caribbean nations. shurwayne Whinchester was aa little different in his presentation using a park bench to try to create the atmospher for his tune "Carnival". I didn't get to have a good look at the performances as my stream from C TV was sticking.

At this point I should take some time to commend C Tv on their coverage mainly for filling the slots with interviews of the artiste which would have been done days before the show, They had the entertainers fielding questions not from a lone interviewer but from the public. Yup, the interviews would show with the ariste doing their intro and then pre-recorded clips of questions from their fans. Fans in all shapes and sizes, different age groups and accent recorded in party or on the street or while they were shopping.
Questions ranged from -
What does soca Monarch mean for Soca music ?
what do you think about during a performance ?

I must say it was very interesting to hear the artiste reponses and to see accompanying video when the artiste mentioned some the past competitions in their explanations.

So on the the Power soca I have to mention Ricky T (PRessure Boom) I had seen him perform for St. Lucia Carnival and his performance tonite really did improved as he worked the stage and the crowd well. He certianly woke me up and i am glad he did! This power soca was shaping up to be a big show down between Blaxx, Bunji Garlin, faye-ann and the reign monarch D'Boss(The artiste formerly know as Iwer George).
In her performance Nadia Batson (my Posse) said she was being called the dark horse... but watch out tonite. And boy did she impress. In her interview she said she loved presentation and her presentation was definately on tonite. Nadia came up with an all white set. Everyone wore white. she came out when a dance group around her dancing with an african flavour and I definately had that feel that i was watching a
well choregraphed movie intro ... she performed the song quite well and a little later
she asked the crowd to part in 2 and she had all the big flags centred and a line of Moka Jumbies (silt men) standing in the middle of the crowd holding fireworks in hand looked great but then she spent alot of time directing the moka Jumbies and the flags in the crowd and it definately took away from her performance.

Next was D'Boss with his over you head and the Passa Passa dance. It became obvious that his song was designed for the road march when he started his performance literally over the audience's head suspended in a crane. And he didnt immediately come to the stage either, he stayed out there and interacted with the crowd, while his dancers and back up singers kept the stage filled. D'Boss asked to be put on stage
where he invited more dancers to join him and demonstrate a simple dance put together for the crowd to do. Then he asked the crowd if they wanted to see his passa passa and he broke into "do de iwer, de butterfly, the shadow and wave." He then re entered his crane and ended his performance hovering over the crowd.

Next was bunji Garlin ... flew down on the stage with wings and having them removed he started into his "Firey". From the time he started I could feel the conviction and energy from Bunji's voice was commanding and energetic...and with such a simple intro, you are sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Bunji then said he had a special delievery and called out 2 boys on stage and explained to the crowd he didnt care about winning this crowd he wanted to make sure that good old music is never forgotten. For those of you who dont know firey is a remake of a song by Maestro and was popular back in the 1970's. the boys turned out to be
Maestro's son and nephew. Bunji explained they were there to show he had their blessing. That was great but the enrgy in his voice make yo uthink something big was coming ..then his words came - Start it! Start it! and the suspense was gone. It was just to pay attn now nothing spectacular ever came. But by then bunji firing on all cylinders. lyrics were flying from his mouth like nothing. you could really feel his passion about not letting the old music die and you forgot the theatrics. After that every direction was a ryhme. He was lifted to the roof in a harness and there spinning in a circle he was over taken by this energy. Honestly Bunji's performance gave me goosebumps and shook me to my core by the time he was done i wants to scream. WOW it was firey!

Bunji's wife Faye-ann Lyons followed him with her popular track "Get on". she started out with nothing hugely spectacular. Well dressed in a costume no one has to tell you that faye-ann body is firey... anyways she really did perform the song and her voice was powerful and commanding. She did sing something to her husband.You can figure out how affectionate it was

"bunji garlin i am your wife,
but i will beating u here tonite
and dont call my phone
till we get home"
(not her exact words but u get the idea).
Her big hoorah came next, she said they call IWer, D'Boss and Bunji, the Fire Man. Tonite she is going to be the silver surfer. She asked for her head piece and then mounted her board! And surded thru the crowd all the while performing .. waveee hold it , waveee hold it .. hold it, hold it ..GET ON ... GET ONE faye-ann did well. And damn she had incredible balance to stay on that board !

She was followed by Blaxx and breathless. I felt sorry for him it became obvious his mic
was not configured properly and although the lights were still off even though the band had already started. when he got the mic he just sang - sort of keep it all business, never stopping to talk to the crowd he just got on a plywood similar style to fay ann and finished most of his preformance in the crowd He was too far away for the camera to pick him out in the dark. He returned to the stage and left.

After that came problem child and pelf, who did well but really could not touch the kind of energy or the previous acts....

Before your get the results I should make a note here that in an interview after his performance Bunji said alot of things went wrong and alot he planned to do didn't come off and he was not pleased with his performance. If only Bunji had seen himself lol.

anyways with not futher a due

4th 250 - nadia my posse
3rd 254 - fay-ann lyons
2nd - 257- iwer george
1st - firey - bunji garlin

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