ROADBLOCK Steel Orchestra ran away with the first prize ($5,000) in the TSTT sponsored 5-A-Side pan competition held at the St James Amphitheatre last Thursday evening. Playing in position four, the family oriented band performed a fantastic arrangement of Shadow’s popular hit Bassman. The song was arranged by 16-year-old Dejean Cain who saw his parents Martin (double seconds) and Patrice (bass) ramajay in the arrangement.
The competition was in honour of Winston “Shadow” Bailey and sanctioned by Pan Trinbago whose president Beverley Ramsey-Moore and members of her executive were present.
The venue was full of chairs as opposed to a cheerful audience which went from zero to 60 in several hours. On many occasions master of ceremonies Tony Alleng had to beg the patrons to applaud the proceedings.
Nine sides were scheduled to perform but patrons only got to see and hear five competitors as four pulled out before the show. St James Tripolians entertained the early-bird patrons with some very good music.
When Ramsey-Moore arrived the competition started after her opening remarks. She praised the organisation for its efforts and talked about making music out of nothing, making music out of old rusty drums.
Ramsey-Moore reminded the audience of the decision the general membership of Pan Trinbago took to give prominence to the single pan bands, “We will celebrate the legacy in a festival of its own, remembering heritage pan; making music out of nothing and I look forward to hearing good music in this competition tonight.” The competition started with five senior citizens under the banner of Sapophonic’s with their rendition of I Come Out to Play and they were well received.
Suave Steel was up next and they presented an interesting version of I Come out to Party for the audience before Caribbean Steelpan Connection played Goumangala which got the attention of those present.
Roadblock came and blew away everyone present with its version of Bassman.
Harvard Harps with four female pannists closed off the competition with their rendition of Bassman.
The three judges gave Roadblock 261 points followed by Caribbean Steelpan Connection (253), Suave Steel (250), Harvard Harps (236) and Sapophonics (227).
The first version of the 5-A-Side competition was held in 2006 which was won by another family oriented band The Codrington Pan Family.