Defending champions bp Renegades forged ahead at the end of the semifinal round of the National Panorama competition for the Large Conventional bands held at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday evening.
Playing Skinny Banton’s Wrong Again arranged by Duvone Stewart, the Charlotte Street band overcame the half-a-point deficit behind preliminary round leaders Republic Bank Exodus to amass 283 points. It was a smooth and exciting performance that was well appreciated by the audience.
But the results were not without discord as fans and supporters in the Grand Stand showed their disapproval with a chorus of “No, No,” and boos when the announcer read out the second-place tie between Exodus and Desperadoes with 281 points. The competition started six hours earlier when preliminary-round leaders Exodus came on stage around 6.30 pm. There was a slight drizzle before they performed BJ Marcelle’s arrangement of Wrong Again. It was a very good start to the competition which came after the sixteen medium conventional bands had competed.
The Prime Minister appeared on stage with Shell Invaders which played in position three. Their rendition of Arddin Herbert’s Feeling It was enough to put them in seventh place. Shortly after, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith crossed the stage with his full clip of SORT officers. He was highly visible throughout the evening.
Birdsong and FCB Supernovas took their count from inside the band from arrangers Robbie Greenidge and Amrit Samaroo respectively. The rain put a damper on the proceedings at around 9.10 pm when T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps came on stage. After a ten-minute delay, the band played Clarence Morris’ arrangement of Nailah Blackman’s More Sokah.
They then made way for Massy Trinidad All Stars and the band played Leon Smooth Edwards’ arrangement of More Sokah with pyrotechnics and fog punctuating the performance. The audience showed their appreciation for the performance with a loud roar.
Bp Renegades played in position nine and when they were finished at about 10.15 pm they received the loudest set of applause to that point in the competition.
Hadco Phase 11 Pan Groove brought a very large contingent of supporters to the stage and performed Len Boogsie Sharpe’s arrangement of his own composition 2020 Vision.
When Desperadoes started playing at 11.55 pm in position thirteen, there was an air of anticipation in both the Grand Stand and the newly constructed Pan City.
They provided the audience with seven minutes and fifteen seconds of musical magic with their performance of Carlton Alexander’s arrangement of More Sokah, the players danced and sang as they performed. With thirty seconds left in the performance patrons were standing and clapping.
After Desperadoes’ performance several people left the Savannah and RBC Redemption Sound Setters did well to hold their own playing in the final position. The medics were called on stage as a player from Sound Setters fainted while the pans were being rolled off stage. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
The top ten bands will move on to the finals on February 22 at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Sunday’s semifinal results:
1. Bp Renegades – Wrong Again – 283.0
2. Republic Bank Exodus – Dear Promoter – 281.0
2. Desperadoes – More Sokah – 281.0
4. Hadco Phase II Pan Groove – 2020 Vision – 277.0
5. Massy Trinidad All Stars – More Sokah – 276.0
6. First Citizens Supernovas – Dear Promoter – 274.0
7. Shell Invaders – Feeling It – 273.0
8. CAL Skiffle – Wrong Again – 267.0
9. RBC Redemption Sound Setters – Wrong Again – 266.0
10. T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps – More Sokah – 265.0
10. NLCB Fonclaire – Dear Promoter – 265.0
12. NLCB Buccooneers – Feeling It – 263.0
13. NGC La Brea Nightingales – Feeling It – 260.5
14. Birdsong – More Sokah – 257.0