In the colourful brochure advertising the cast for Kaiso Showkase, young Ronaldo London’s name was advertised in the “also” category.
But the former Junior Calypso Monarch, and fourth place winner in last Sunday’s NJAC Stars of Tomorrow competition, put some of the veterans in the shade at the opening of Kaiso Showkase at Palms Club, San Fernando last Friday night.
Encore after encore greeted the 18-year-old on stage as he confidently delivered the powerful social commentary, Tomorrow. The many call backs caused MC Damian Melville to tell the audience, “Who want him back, come back tomorrow.”
While the song dealt with social ills, such as the absence of fathers in homes, teenage pregnancy, murders and lack of good leaders, London, the nephew of seasoned calypsonian Brian London, avoided the mundane rendition that has been the trend of social commentary with catchy melodies.
“Shape them today so their tomorrows would be okay,” was the message he sent to fathers on how they treated their sons, and mothers to daughters, so there could be a reduction in teenage pregnancy.
The appeal, in crisp, clear voice, was also sent to the gunmen to put down their weapons to change the reality from being placed in a hearse or the back of a police van.
Curlissa Charles, another one of the “also,” was among the newcomers captivating the audience with her contribution about Trinidad being a circus of clowns and characters.
Their contribution was equally matched by one of veteran Michael Legerton, known as Protector, who sang two songs in the first half.
We can do better than that, the first song, focused on the political divide when it came to crime fighting and social problems. He went old school with the second offering, Go down and apologise, maximising on double entendre in his advice to spouses and lovers on what to do when there is a falling out with their partners. This earned him several encores.
The wide-ranging topics from the 25-member cast, ably backed by the band Temperature and background vocals from The Kaiso Flames, ranged from the ongoing saga on the sea bridge, the recession, the environment, tribute to the pan and the war or words between world leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un.
Now in its 26th year, Kaiso Showkase is dedicated to some of the pioneers and foundation members, like Carey Stephens, who sings under the sobriquet Kinte, Ainsley Mayers (El Drago), Christopher Joseph, (the late Brother Kamara who passed away last September), Steve Pascall (Ras Kommanda), and Cecil Mc David (Natural)
Alicia Richards advocated for somebody to make a jail for the suffering of Tobagonians because of the inefficient travel arrangements. She said the inter-island ferry service must be on the front line.
Meguella Simon used the analogy of the awful storm season which wreaked havoc last year, and told the nation to stop blaming God. She sang, “The only natural disaster is man.”