Escape to V.I. Carnival 2008

We are all stars but not everyone gets to wear the crown. They are the managers and you’re working the fries. Somebody’s gotta do it. So fade into the shadows and let the light shine on more Carnival royalty, 2008 Carnival Queen Lessley-Ann Gumbs, and Junior Calypsonians “Singer Boy” Kahmoi DeSilvia (Junior), Jalen “Yellow Man” Fredericks (Intermediate), and Shiryra “Lady Prissy” Crabb (Secondary) wowed a bustling Lionel Roberts Stadium on Tuesday night… Unfortunately, the annual Hospital Carnival Show got rained out, no word on a resked…

Count Slim and Co. trotted out some solid golden oldies like Bobby Hunt, the Mighty Unknown, and hitmakers like Figgy for a well-attended “Sanctum of Wisdom and Fun” Calypso Tent on Friday April 11th. Recounting his first tent experience and multiple bus’-dem (what is the plural of THAT?!), St. Clair Potter (as he is known in civilian life) had the crowd in stitches as he dedicated the return of his longtime pre-Carnival showcase to stalwart Kaiso fans Greta Callwood and Carmen Y. Williams. The two recounted that often, the lineup contained more bodies than the audience! The advent of the “Steel Pan Shootout” (added to intermissions) brought family and friends of participating youngsters, swelling tent audiences and introducing more people to the high level of talent onstage. The shootouts have evolved to the Steel Band Jamboree, part of the V.I. Carnival Committee’s schedule, and local Kaisonians intrigue new and old fans with lyrical dexterity, high farce, and deft observation… Kaiso!
–April 16, 2008

I did not know he had it in him – the oft charming and sometimes nervy Renix Charles appeared on “Studio 2” last night. With an ode to the lovely ladies on display during Carnival season, he bounced through a selection on his latest release, as hosts Ryan Watts and Idesha Browne looked on from the audience. His props secured from DJ Avalanche, Mr. Charles proudly counted this as his first public appearance. Coulda fooled me!
–April 10, 2008

We now have one “official” and one “un-” royal for Carnival 2008. Carnival Princess Kyrelle Thomas fought the good fight and took top honors on April 6th. Jahmalikye Richardson retains his 2007 crown due to a lack of applicants for the Prince title. Long may he wave; he’s such a cutie!… The Queen competition is on April 12th.

The evening before, during the “Bwoy” Elimination tent, Crucian Monarch King Generic sashayed through a picong that was, of course, Ripped From The Headlines: the “3am phone call” ad campaign being waged by the Clinton camp. Generic, as Ms. L. (blue dress and all), indicated that the call would likely be one for Bill to come out and – well, play! Mighty Pat and Lady Mac came in as 2nd and 1st Runners-Up, respectively.

Another “Bwoy” highlight was the showcase held between appearances by the night’s contenders for a spot on the Carnival Committee’s Local Calypso Finals and the “Bwoy” prize for “Ah Can’t Take it No More”: Bes’ Ah Dem in a family affair featuring not only his wife, but his 2 sons, the finale of which was a dust-up of a wuk-up… A very limber Coach also entertained with a verse or two. Count Slim’s “Sanctum of Wisdom and Fun” is next on April 11th…
–April 9, 2008

Hungry, thirsty, ready for bacchanal. Tens of thousands in the street, missing sleep and subsisting on riddim. Wide-eyed and thrilled with miles of lofty plumage in a vortex of intense color. Somber joy at the splendid display of youngsters prancing through quelbe and quadrille, weaving the maypole into a great beribboned plait. Crispy, juicy, savory, roasted, steamed, stewed and splashed over crystalline ice. Carnival. Carnival is here again at last.

And Caribia Digest has awakened after a very long slumber to look with its own eye and share in its own voice. The style will change but the spirit will not. Hope you enjoy. In this article, Carnival 2008 from Anita’s point of view.

The Imagi Soca Brigade’s showcase and elimination tent has ushered in the Carnival season, but the most perverse delight lies with the “Bwoy ah Bwoy, Big Man ah Big Man” Calypso Elimination Tent as the topic is explored by entrants running for the “unofficial” Calypso Crown of the Carnival Season (caps all mine). That’s this Saturday. Sanctum of Wisdom and Fun is said to be taking place later this month, will have to root around for more on that one…

Get ready to enrich your music collection. Bouncers Band is playing upstart with the “Skip and Dip”, shaking out the Road March cape like lodgings and trying it on for size… Super T is back, and so is Sergio “Bolo” Feliciano as “Mr. Biggs”. Right now the best place to get the Kaiso, Calypso and all in between is International Records and Tapes on the “Black Street”, as Otis Martin (proprietor) likes to say. Where’s the Supreme Radio this year? Antennae searching the ether…
–April 3, 2008