Black Immigrant Daily News
bp Renegades manager Colin Greaves, second from right, and members of his band pose with the winning trophies for Panorama’s large band category on Saturday night. Also in photo are Culture Minister Randall Mitchell, third from left, Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore, centre, and CEO of Trinidad Tourism Ltd Carla Cupid, fourth from right. – Roger Jacob
A late start to this year’s Panorama finals did not hamper a true musical showdown which saw Port of Spain band bp Renegades emerging as the winner at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS) Port of Spain on Saturday night.
Speaking to Newsday after the win, bp Renegades’ Colin Greaves said the band was ecstatic as it was the band’s 75th anniversary.
The band also won the Lord Kitchener Award for Steelband in the Digital Spaces 2023 in the large band category.
The awards were testimony to the band’s hard work, Greaves said. Despite the pandemic the band did not take a break, Greaves said, noting the band’s social media series, Beat the Pandemic, that ran during the covid restrictions. Since 2020 the band has not stopped planning and strategising, he added.
The night’s festivities, however, scheduled to begin at 7 pm, got started at 7.55 pm. People were seen lining up to get inside the venue from as early as 5.30 pm.
A member of NLCB Bucconeers during the band’s performance of Bun Dem on Saturday night. – Roger Jacob
Addressing the audience before the competition’s start, Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said she planned to lobby at the level of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) board to have Panorama be the only event held on a Carnival Saturday at the QPS.
“I want to say I am sorry. I would take the blows because my back is broad enough. “But I want to let you know, that this is going to be the last year that there is going to be two major events happening here at this space. “As a commissioner on the board of National Carnival Commission (NCC), forcefully, I will let them know that we cannot do a sweep (security) for an event that is to start at 7 pm at 5 pm.”
Speaking to media after the results, she claimed the Junior Parade of the Bands started late and ended late, then there was cleaning and then the security sweep. This led to the gates’ late opening.
Shell Invaders perform Bun Dem at Panorama on Saturday. – Roger Jacob
She said over the last three years, when Panorama was held, the competition began on time and so people arrived early anticipating much the same.
She said some patrons arrived as early as 4 pm, it led to a massive line up and people were becoming restless.
Ramsey-Moore reiterated that she would deal with the issue at the level of the NCC board.
She appealed to those organising other Carnival events to begin to think outside of the box.
Pan Trinbago believes there is no season for pan and so other Carnival event organisers can look at hosting Carnival events outside of February, she said.
“We would have started our events since November. If TT is Carnival City, if we are the mecca, then why do you cram everything into the month of February? We need to start to open up the Carnival so we can start to have the Kiddies coming in November or early December.
Members of Nutrien Silver Stars perfrom Engine Room at Panorama on Saturday. – Roger Jacob
“We have to think outside of the box. This thing about cramming everything Carnival into the month of February, it won’t work.”
Fierce pan showdown
The pan competition, however, was a fierce battle in its own right. After two years of no competition, large conventional bands sharpened their sticks and put every ounce of kinetic energy into playing their tune of choice.
Although the show started late, when the first band, Proman Starlift, took to the stage at 8.22 pm, it was evident to many in the crowd that the audience was in for a true musical showdown.
The points at the end of the competition told how close a battle it was. There was a three-point difference between the first and second places.
BP Renegades was the winning band, however, at the end of the 13-band competition held at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. The band won with a score of 283 points playing the late Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste’s 1991 hit, Feeling to Party. Having Black Stalin’s widow, Patsy Calliste, join the band on stage added to the already energised performance.
Arranger Len Boogsie Sharpe, leads Hadco Phase II Pan Groove during its performance of We Come Out to Party. – Roger Jacob
Coming in a close second was Republic Bank Exodus who played Tourist Leggo by Antiguan calypsonian Sir “King Short Shirt” MacLean Emmanuel. The band got 280 points.
Nutrien Silver Stars’ arrangement of the popular 2023 hit, Engine Room sung by Olatunji earned them third place with 276 points.
The 2020 champions Desperadoes placed ninth with 271 points playing Aaron “Voice” St Louis’ Long Live Soca.
Pan Trinbago said its special reserved and reserved tickets were sold out prior to the competition’s start and there were only limited tickets available in the general section. The Grand Stand was filled as people gathered to support and cheer for their favourite band.
Massy Trinidad All Stars perform Stage on Fire. – Roger Jacob
Ramsey-Moore also said more people occupied the North Stand at this year’s Panorama finals.
The last band played after 2 am on Sunday morning. Results were also given shortly after the competition ended.
Republic Bank Exodus
Nutrien Silver Stars
Massy Trinidad All Stars
HADCO Phase II Pan Groove
T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps
First Citizens Supernovas
Heritage Petroleum Skiffle