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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Band loyalty, do you have it?

It is quite apparent that some masqueraders have formed a bond with the band they choose to play mas with, loyal to a fault of not even considering any other band but their own. I often wonder what makes them so loyal to one band and what aspects of being part of that organization merits keeping that fidelity? This is not a new phenomena of course, I know many “Minshalites”’ who were devastated when Peter Minshall ceased participating in Carnival, leaving them stranded with no foreseeable option until Mc Farlane. Then there are the masqueraders who have been faithfully playing with TRIBE who refer to themselves as Tribers with slogans such as “TRIBER for Life”, the devotees who speak of the feeling of “family” they get masquerading with Harts and though Island People is a fairly new band they too have attracted a following of masqueraders who will not even contemplate another option.

Though TRIBE is my band of choice at the moment, I honestly do not consider myself a band loyalist, which may surprise many of my critics. When I speak out against other bands it is only because they have failed to live up to the standards of customer service and overall Carnival experience that I have come to expect from my years of playing mas. Fact is I have played with Barbarossa, Harts, Poison and TRIBE over the years, which to me is a representation of how I have evolved from my first foray into “big people mas” fresh out of high school into a Carnival Diva of sorts, demanding much more from my overall Carnival experience than just a nice costume. And in the distant future, while I presently try to hold on to every scrap of my youth, I intend to again change bands as I grow tired of “bikini costumes”, looking for mas with much more depth and meaning (as well as fabric to cover the body changed by the hands of father time). Therefore I am not going to brand myself as being loyal to any one band for life.

Presently I am quite satisfied with TRIBE, and once I remain satisfied they have got a “loyal customer” for many years to come. However, do not be confused, that still does not mean I am blindly loyal and will not be afraid to not only criticize their short comings but I will also take my business elsewhere if they fail to give me what I consider to be value for my money based on my standards. Consequently I am always excited to see the costumes from each band, and I can acknowledge and appreciate the creativity and talent that goes into creating those beautiful costumes. Each year there are several costumes, apart from my own, that I absolutely adore! It is quite amusing to be sometimes to encounter those loyalists who will not even look at another band’s offerings!

It is quite commendable having such allegiance to a Carnival Band I suppose, being faithful in spite of elements that may not be to your liking thus eliminating any other bands as an alternative. All I can say on blind loyalty is that after many years of playing with Harts, a band which I did enjoy tremendously, it was time for me to look for something “more” and if I did not take that initial chance to breakaway from something that was familiar it would not have lead to me to finding Sonia Mack or now TRIBE. So I am quite curious as to why the self confessed band loyalists are so staunch in their commitment to the band of their choosing, humor me and answer the following questions:

  • Do you consider yourself a band loyalist?
  • Which band do you play with and how many years have you played with them?
  • Prior to the band you are now loyal to, which bands have you played with in the past and what made you leave to play with another?
  • Since affirming your loyatly to said band did you ever stray and play with another band?
  • If yes, which band have you played with and how was the experience?
  • What has this band done to earn your loyalty?
  • Do you think you should be rewarded by the band for your loyalty?
  • How can said band continue to keep you loyal to them only?
  • Can you see yourself possibly playing with another band? If yes which one?
  • Any regrets for having such loyalty ?

Leave me a comment, your opinions will be revealed in a continuation of this article at a later date.

Thanks in advance for the contribution!

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