Tobago's two large steelbands faced a panel of judges on Monday competing for a chance to participate in Sunday’s national panorama semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
Supporters turned out in their numbers to see RBC Redemption Sound Setters and NLCB Buccooneers, based at Bethel and Buccoo respectively. The bands were judged on general performance, rhythm and arrangement.
As the reigning THA Pan Champs winners, RBC Redemption Sound Setters, dressed in fluorescent green t-shirts and black trousers, delivered an enjoyable rendition of their tune of choice Wrong Again by Skinny Banton.
The Michael Toby-arranged piece had supporters singing word for word and dancing at the band’s Montgomery, Bethel home.
Speaking with Newsday after their performance, Toby said the piece was inspired by life events.
"It's life... everybody went through a position or a situation with a lady, where they have been in a situation where they get 'horn' and feel hurt, so I just put the inspiration into the music," he said.
From Montgomery, it was off to the NLCB Buccooneers pan theatre at Chance Street, Buccoo. Since its formation in 1967, this is the second time in its existence that the band played in the large band category, after eight consecutive appearances in the medium band division.
The band which comprises mostly young players, all dressed in their blue t-shirt, gave a strong performance to Feeling It, the 2020 remake done by Swappi and Ultimate Rejects. The piece was arranged by Seion Gomez.
Gomez said the song of choice was more the preference of the players.
“They liked the song so I decided to do the song,” he said.
Gomez said knowing the original song by Baron, he wanted to do justice to it. He said the process of getting the band to absorb the music wasn’t hard at all.
“We still have some challenges where players are concerned but for them learning the music, it was a very smooth process.”
Gomez is confident the band will move forward to the semi-finals and possibly further.
“We heading to the semi-finals. Once we cross this hurdle, we’ll do what we need to do to cross the other hurdle.”
Present at both pan theatres were president of Pan Trinbago Beverly Ramsey-Moore, chairman of Pan Trinbago Tobago region Salisha James, Festivals Director of the Tobago Festivals Commission George Leacock, as well as CEO of the Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd (TTAL) Louis Lewis.