BILLED as The Clash of D Longtime Bands, the Etienne Charles & Friends event held on Sunday at Kaiso Blues Café on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, featured authentic festival music from Pelham Goddard & Roots and Dil-E-Nadan that got patrons in that full Carnival spirit.
The event was a precursor to Charles’ Monday mas band presentation on the road for Carnival, and to give a taste of what is expected from two of the road music bands.
Roots, featuring international award-winner Anslem Douglas, Moricia Cagan and Nigel O’Connor in the frontline entertained the crowd from the very first number Long Time Band (David Rudder). The dancing immediately began.
The band continued with Dingolay (Shadow), Swing (SuperBlue) and Tempo (Calypso Rose) before Douglas raised the energy in the Café with Stick Fight, otherwise known as When ah Dead Bury Meh Clothes, then Marcelle sang This Party Is It and Irie tonight, after which Douglas had the audience really get down to his 1993 hit song Ragga Poom Poom.
As the band began Hookin Meh, Farmer Nappy who was in the crowd mounted the stage to the delight of the mature audience who listened to him tell his music story that he said began with Roots under Goddard as musical director, guitarist Albert Bushe and drummer Vonrick Maynard.
Nappy said back then, fellow artiste Machel Montano was referred to as the David Rudder, and he, the Chris “Tambu” Herbert in the music business. After that, he launched into his hit song with the crowd singing along to his every word.
When Nappy left the stage Cagan did a fine job of So Long (Nadia Batson), as well as Ah like it Hot and Sweet For Days (Patrice Roberts).
Miami-based Leon Coldero followed and gave the crowd his popular Shake It, Boxing, Back Back and his latest composition Zaddy.
By the time Dil-E-Nadan, arguably the best crossover band on the Carnival circuit, began its stint on stage the audience was in full party swing. With Raymond Ramnarine, Derrick Seales, Stephen Marcelle and Renuka Mahabir in the frontline, the band delivered Party We Love (Swappi), Ah Like It Hot and Bend Over (GBM Nutron), then did, Hello (Kes the Band), She Bad (Turner) and Give It To Ya (Marzville).
Like with Roots, when Dil-E-Nadan began Hookin’ Meh, Farmer Nappy again came on to sing it. But a different chord structure in the music had Nappy doubling over with a pleasant surprise, telling the band: “What allyuh trying to do me?” He did a second take and the crowd loved it even more. After that Mahabir sang So Long, then the band got couples sweeping the dance floor with a Joey Lewis number, Pint of Wine.
Dil-E-Nadan followed with oldies Meh Lover (Nelson), Doh Back Back (Sparrow), Happy (Ronnie McIntosh) and Blackman Feeling To Party (Stalin).
Ramnarine then introduced ace pannists Dane Gulston and Johann Chuckaree who ramajayed to the band's playing of Party Start, a number by Swappi that is very similar to Shadow’s Ease the Tension, and as well, Shadow’s Stranger and Pay de Devil. The additions of the pans were an added treat to patrons.
Dil-E-Nadan raised the tempo even higher with Passing Through (Lyrikal), Trouble (V’ghn), Big Bad Soca (Bunji), Leh go (Blaxx), Pop Ah Bottle (Machel Montano), Hulk (Blaxx).
The band slowed the pace down a bit just for Aur Chale (Shurwayne Winchester/Destra Garcia), then closed with Famalay (Machel/Skinny Fabulous/Bunji), mixed with Tombstone (Mandella Linkz), Old Woman We Taking Home (Tallpree) and Tic Toc (Dawg-E-Slaughter), and returning to Famalay.