Sunday’s semifinal saw arranger Duvone Stewart taking defending champions BP Renegades to the top of the table going into the final of the Panorama competition.
The Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, came alive as the band came on stage to a rousing welcome from patrons in both the Grand Stand and the new North Park.
With Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry waving the flag, Renegades gave a strong performance of Hookin Meh, with every player enjoying their role in the seven minutes and 44 seconds of the song. In the end Stewart was elated with the performance. The band improved by six points from the first round.
Fourteen bands took part in the semi-final, with each band giving of their best and all improving on their scores from the preliminary round.
But the stage in the big yard belonged to Hookin Meh. Five bands played the song, with Farmer Nappy waving flag for three of them.
Playing in position ten, Desperadoes improved their score by 16 points with a fantastic performance of Carlton “Zanda” Alexander’s arrangement of Nailah Blackman’s Iron Love. The diminutive singer was in front of the band waving a flag as the players went through their paces. This was clearly a different Desperadoes from the preliminary round.
Shell Invaders started the competition with Arddin Herbert’s arrangement of Hookin Meh. The band’s presentation was about love and set a very high standard for the competition. Farmer Nappy was waving flag and Invaders’ package seemed the best way to start the competition.
Hadco Phase II Pan Groove’s performance of Len “Boogsie” Sharpe’s arrangement of Swappi’s Party Start saw the band improve its score by ten points. The singer was also part of the performance, waving the flag.
The band making the biggest move on the evening was the pride of San Fernando Caribbean Airline Skiffle, which jumped 18 points with its version of Nadia Batson’s So Long, arranged by Kendal Williams, Odie Gonzales and Marc Brooks.
Massy Trinidad All Stars added six points to their preliminary total for their performance of Leon Smooth Edwards’ arrangement of So Long.
Prof Liam Teague was able to get the energetic players of Nutrien Silver Stars to add eight points to their first-round score with his arrangement of SuperBlue’s Rag Storm.
Amrit Samaroo and the First Citizen Supernovas played out the narrative of the love story of Hookin Meh with Farmer Nappy in front of the band, and improved their score by six points.
Playing in position five, Republic Bank Exodus added six points to their score for a Pelham Goddard arrangement of Rag Storm. The multiple Road March and Soca Monarch winner enjoyed himself waving flag during the performance.
The lone band from Central Trinidad, T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps, improved their score by nine points with Clarence Morris’ arrangement of Rag Storm.
NLCB Buccooneers’ performance of Seion Gomez’s arrangement of David Rudder and Voice’s Madness gave them a 13-point improvement. This was their first year as a large band.
Robbie Greenidge’s move to the east with Birdsong gave him an opportunity to work with a solid organisation. The performance of his arrangement of Hookin Meh saw an improvement of five points.
MHTL Starlift’s performance of Keith Salcedo arrangement of Voice’s Alive and Well saw them improve by four points.
The first ten bands will move on to Carnival Saturday’s Panorama final at the Savannah.
Pan Trinbago and the Panorama management committee must be commended for the smooth flow of the competition, which allowed patrons to leave well before midnight. See page 10
The results of the large band semi-final competition are: