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Tuesday 21 May 2019
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Rose still the calypso queen

Calypso Rose, right, crowns this youngster a princess as she adorns her with a scarf during her Forever Young concert last Thursday evening at Shaw Park Cultural Complex. PHOTO BY DAVID REID
Calypso Rose, right, crowns this youngster a princess as she adorns her with a scarf during her Forever Young concert last Thursday evening at Shaw Park Cultural Complex. PHOTO BY DAVID REID

Kinnesha George-Harry

CALYPSO ROSE, born Linda McCartha Sandy-Lewis, shows no signs of relinquishing reign of her kingdom, even at the age of 78.

At the Shaw Park Cultural Complex last Thursday, Calypso Rose delved into her extensive catalogue to take patrons on a musical journey at the finale of her Forever Young concert series.

The Bethel native, backed by Sokah the Band, sang on varied themes from unfair labour conditions, saucy sexual longings to ancestral grief on behalf of her deceased African great-grandmother.

Dressed in a resplendent yellow and sequin jacket and trousers, with sparkly silver flat shoes, Rose launched into the bubbly song, I am Africa, followed by what was possibly the most moving song of her concert, Back To Africa, in remembrance of her great-grandmother.

As she produced hit after hit, Rose thrilled the audience with a medley which included Far From Home, No Madame, Calypso Queen, Tempo and Wafu fu Dance.

Fire, Fire, which she delivered with great precision and vigour brought the curtain down on the evening's activities at midnight.

Though Calypso Rose was the star of the show, soca stars Nailah Blackman and Machel Montano were added attractions.

From the onset, a sultry and sensual Nailah Blackman performed in teeny white shorts, strappy black high heels, a cheerful white jacket and sported long waves of burgundy hair.

She commanded the stage with confidence along with a great vocal conveyance, delivering hits such as O Lawd Oye in an acoustic style. Her 2019 mega-hit Iron Love, which celebrates the power of percussion, got the audience singing the lyrics word for word. She also did a medley of brief snatches of other songs, including Kitchener’s 1978 Sugar Bum Bum and Square One's Iron Bazodee, before ending her performance with her popular dance song Baila Mami Mami. At 9.30 pm she introduced the evening's protagonist, Calypso Rose, who wore a red jacked and trousers as she danced and sang briefly alongside Blackman.

Nailah Blackman performs some of her hits at Calypso Rose's Forever Young concert last Thursday. PHOTO BY DAVID REID

Road march champion Machel Montano appeared next, dressed in an orange track suit outfit, performing Young Boy, a collaboration with Calypso Rose which was released in December 2018. The pair, who collaborated on the Carnival 2017 hit Leave Me Alone, showed their rapport with a fun performance.

Montano, with his signature high-energy effort, brought a fete-feeling to the concert with his Carnival 2019 releases such as Toco Loco, Happy and Famalay.

Montano’s sheer enthusiasm had the laid-back crowd finally rising from their seats and running to the stage with their hands in the air.

This concert brought the curtain down on Rose’s three concerts held at National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain, on February 28 and Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, San Fernando, on March 2.

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