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Saturday, August 09, 2008

On the question of Band Loyalty...

I have read many, many, many comments by people who think that having band loyalty, particularly to TRIBE (as this seems to the band that produces the most odious response to band loyalists) lumps those that do so into some sort of insipid category. It is almost as if because people cannot fathom or understand that there are people who will continually support a band year after year regardless of trends or novelties, they make it their business to attack persons who do so. Let me ask, how is being a band loyalist affect YOU of no band affiliation??? Is it really that serious where I choose to play my mas or spend my money??

The funny thing is that Peter Minshall had the most LOYAL crop of followers dubbed the "Minshall-ites" who played faithfully with PETER MINSHALL and Peter Minshall ALONE for many of his 30 year history in mas. Even when he gave them a grey jumpsuit and a rat head to wear or made them carry a chair through Port of Spain they did it willingly. When Minshall stopped bringing a band many of them felt betrayed! Some stopped playing mas altogether. With the coming of Mc Farlane some old Minshall-ites rejoined his fold and, there are now Mc Farlane loyalists who will play in no other band.

Not to mention that Harts has been in this business for over 40 years and have some VERY loyal masqueraders!! Bands can come and go there will always be a certain bunch of people who play with Harts; case in point is a very popular section leader who I know personally. She has been with Harts since the early 90s when I too played mas with them faithfully! When TRIBE launched and her friends switched to try out the new thing, she staunchly said she was not leaving Harts and has never done so. There is one blogger who has played with Harts for countless years and will be playing with them again for 2009. I should also mention that Sonia Mack has her faithful masqueraders who will follow her to any band she goes to, staunch support! In the era that was Poison there were people who would proudly boast that they will never leave Poison that they “had more fun”, year after year, even as the band grew to epic proportions they still played with Poison unwaveringly Yet I hear no one having anything to say about the Harts loyalists or Sonia Mack supporters, and everyone has suffered amnesia over the fact that Poison had the largest group of band loyalists ever!

Band loyalty, to people who know nothing of the history of Carnival, is NOTHING new! The people crowing over the fact that TRIBE has amassed a loyal following would not dare say anything about the Minshall-ites now would they? People, it is NOT that serious who plays devoutly in any band or their reasons for doing so. At the end of the day it is not YOUR money spending so why should you care if any band has a loyal following? Whether the followers are blind to any sins the band might commit or follow them wearing a crocus bag as if it the hottest costume under the sun, it really isn’t anyone’s business but the masqueraders’ now is it? If it humors you laugh, move on and jump around from band to band, that is your choice, just as it is others choice to stay put in the band they support for as long as they care to do so. You will be surprised to know that loyalists also sometimes move on to other bands, whether by choice or not, and develop a new relationship with a brand new band; loyalists can be dynamic! The world is made up of all types, and as long as there is mas in Trinidad there will be band loyalists and critics ready to pull out their soap box!


Michaela said...

I dont know about people questioning your loyalty.

I am curious about band loyalty of when it is coupled with wanton attacks on bands other than thier own or people who question or express different opinions. Is it still band loyalty at that point?

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Funny enough Michaela to me it seems that the people who claim no band affiliation are the ones who are the quickest to attack others who openly state that they do.Most times I have seen that the attacks are started by these individuals first and yes they do attack me personally as well.

boobs said...

well someone got to you, don't let them get under your skin it's not even worth it, but that was a great read though that should make them think! I am 2 band frontline ho! always was and always gonna be, I follow hot costumes, one year tribe one year IP or whoever makes the hot stuff I love to parade in and this year so far I'm in frontline caged canary oops I shouldn't of said that yet huh? oh well onto the next hot section I hope IP comes hot or I'll be flying high on both days in tribe or I might consider spice I dunno, it's all about fun people if you ain't loyal don't worry about if someone else is "it isn't your business!" go jogging or something especially with these hot costumes jeezz! I am excited I can't wait!

Michaela said...

As I said before, how can something some gorgeous invoke such mad behaviour in people?

I don't think its necessary to attack individuals in particular. But from where I stand (and don't e-lash me) many of the modern day loyalists are coming off like gangbangers ready to shoot a crip for not being a blood or bigging up the bloods.

dougla_1 said...

Exactly (Saucy'post, and michaela 10:28 am)!!!

As a "foreign" masquerader, I am ALWAYS disturbed by the particularly caustic comments/reviews of other bands one is not playing. For sure Trinidad and Tobago is known for it's legendary kind of picong and blasts (calypso was never just about Rum and Coco Cola), but sometimes the "spirit" goes too far with this band "loyalty" crap.

And if allyuh still doh know this is not healthy, but quite dangerous, consider the violent steelband clashes in our past. Not a good look people! We ARE better than that! Play YUH mas, but still do listen to papa Minsh, nah ;)

FAB said...

I am so tired of everyone questioning band loyality....its Saucy blog who she supports and who she writes about is her business, she shares her experience and her opinions with us...WHY?? because she LOVES carnvial...and one can tell by the fact she was willing to camp out for Tribe opening, I was doing the same thing because I know this is the band I want to play with and this is the band that makes me happy. Does that makes us crazy??? Did ppl complain about Posion following???? If we Tribers crazy then Posioners was Insane...

Every band has a following - and if other ppl were to start a blog on the band they like it would be the same as we see here.

And if a bands did not have band loyalty you think they would be still around...just look at Legacy/Legends, harts, trini revelers etc...

So come on get over it....I LOVE TRIBE: even if the over-croweded, downsizing, big, costumes looking ok, they pre-registering and if I dont get in...I not mad I just move along and play with another band who just as organzie, have good customer service, and a band who costume has my name on it. But that sounding like when I bring my own band!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Completely agreed.

I was a DIE HARD Harts for years. Then moved over to Tribe 5 yrs ago. And who knows what in 5 years time.

Carnival lovers are open minded and loyal to the spirit of carnival ... however and with whomever you wish to express it.

Carnival Diva said...

sadly, people are people and whether or not things go their way they WILL complain about any and everything!
I often wonder what will become of some people who complain excessively about this topic if one day they log onto her site and she has nothing! Heart failure for a lot of them.

FAB said...

Because this is so funny now...let me repeat this again....

I am a Tribe Loyalist:---
"This is why I will remain a Tribe, because I know what they give they make the effort to please their masqueraders -- yes sometimes their costumes may be lacking in design but you cannot ignore the fact that they take customer service very serious and I know come Mon & Tue I will enjoy my road experience. I dont care how crowded the band can make a space for yourself and enjoy no matter what, I know because thats what I did this year. I don't care if they pre-register is their band their rights if I had a band I will do the same."

Go Tribe, go Tribe -- is dust in the rest ah them face -- go Tribe, go Tribe.... LOL! Carnival tooo sweet for all this!!!!!! :)

Carnival Diva said...

That's great! You Enjoy that hun! You get what you want from TRIBE you're happy, you're ecstatic with their service and costumes! I am loyal to no one. I play with whomever gives me a costume that is just off da charts for me!

squeezle said...

Like redwhiteblack says, I am loyal to the spirit of Carnival.

Even though I have remained in the same band for many years, I am by no means a blind band loyalist. I won't put up with abuse, or sub-standard products or service. And if I ever find my complaints or issues go unresolved, I would not hesitate to take my business elsewhere.

And if they ever hand me a crocus bag to wear, ah pelting a big stone right through the mas' camp window! :P

There is nothing wrong with sticking with something that works for you, likewise there is nothing wrong with trying new things and experimenting. I don't think we should be attacking each other for the choices (and I emphasize the word choices) that we make.

TriniQueen said...

Thank you squeezle!! At least some of us can put this trite issue into some proper perspective! While no band is perfect (when I played in 07, some of the security personnel were a bit more forceful than needed), I can DEF agree with fab in that Tribe took good care of its masqueraders on the road, and I had a blast! I expect no less this coming year!
So, Saucy, please don't bother yourself with this nonsense any further. EVERYONE who reads and/or comments on your blog will attest to how classy you are, and how inspiring your love of Carnival is. Forget dem badmind haters!!!

Supz said...

Talking from personal experience, when I highlighted my dissatisfaction with tribe service while in the mas camp one year one of these loyalites talked down on me exclaiming how it could never be HIS tribe that did that etc, so I asked him if he was saying I was lying. I think SOME of those who may talk down about a band may have been confronted by these loyalites who avid band loyalty cause them to talk condescendingly to others causing fueled rages and attacking those who maybe simply like the band without speaking to others in a way that would cause ruckshun. Also Minshall has been critically acclaimed as creative, and if he had ites thats all cool, but i cant see being a loyalist to feathers and beads recycled into a new colour every year

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Me, I pay no mind to all the talk that is directed my way, usually I do not even bother to comment as I know that will only incite more old talk.

But last night I was forced to delete a particularly contentious post where I swear blows were going to pass.. over BAND LOYALTY. And it was just not me they were talking about but all "Tribers". Hence this post today.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

supz so you are saying that because Minshall was "creative" in his genre that he can be allowed devotees/ band loyalists but becasue it is bikini and beads WE have no right to support our band of choice? That makes absolutely NO sense.. and I KNOW that someone would come with that silly argument!

Not everyone wants fabric and "art" on the road, I thought we covered this already? Freedom of choice is what Carnival is about and there are people who love their naked mas to death!So be it. But to tell someone that they cannot be a loyalist to recycled beads and feathers is rather condescending!

Carnival Diva said...

Though it's not the point, but...Ahhhh, Naked Mas!! GOOD, FABULOUS MAS!

Trinibears said...

Well I was a Poison Die Hard! And People used to Say the SAME THING ...Dem Poison People .Bla Blah Blah...I doh care nuh..I progressed to Tribe when Posion get dey antidote..and I will stay with TRIBE Untill They either Throw Meh Out Or Disappoint meh.....

Goddess said...

*RESOUNDING APPLAUSE* Again, well said Saucy

I am a TRIBEr...I have only played 'big people mas' for a few years and it has been with them and I and unwilling or maybe downright scared to try another band that is unknown to me. The evil you know and all that....But I am sick of the fact that I almost have to hesitate to tell people what band I am playing in. Somehow I doubt other bands get the same kind of reaction. It amazes me sometimes. I have now gotten to the point where I don't say anything. When asked.. 'yes I am playing mas' It is up to them to decide who. They usually guess correctly though ( does that mean the stereotype applies to me and I don't even realise?)
I had the misfortune the other day to ask an acquaintance of mine if they were interested in seeing my costume.. well who tell me do that. By the time I sent the link, the response was something to the effect of "I HATE TRIBE and their costumes show no creativity" blah blah blah. This, from an individual who never played mas in his life as far as I know. I promptly ended that line of conversation. I don't argue with the ignorant. Now tell me, what has TRIBE ever done to this poor soul? The person does not even live in Trinidad.
Call me a lemming, call me a sheep. What the f*ck ever!!! I know why I play with TRIBE. It is something that I have personally experienced and it is not heresay or rumour or speculation. It is the cold hard fact of MY experience (though it isn't perfect). What I want to know is how the naysayers like idiot there come by their very emphatic and emotional responses.

Anonymous said...

you know what it is? the tribe loyalists (and this is not directed to you saucy) do not tolerate a negative word said about tribe, it is obvious that tribe is allowed to falter and not very much is said, if anything.

i would never attack someone for loyalty, however I will question this situation when I do not believe I see the band returning this loyalty.

but wait the mark eh buss yet, watch how many tribe loyalists who have tlc card eh getting in this year, then it will be another story.

tribe busy registering they band right this minute, but the 'loyalists' still waiting with bated breath till wednesday.

no one says not to be loyal but to us non-tribers, it's just really strange to see big people getting so defensive and offensive for a product that they are not even sure to take part in.

I agree with saucy, loyalists are important to the development of a band. but there is a thin line between loyalty and stupidity and at the end of the day is your business who you give your money too. and what treatment you willing to allow people to get away with.if you want to line up and hope and pray, then the product must be great, I don't know I have never been so lucky.

I can only drop my opinion, which I will continue to do!

Anonymous said...

FAB said:
Go Tribe, go Tribe -- is dust in the rest ah them face -- go Tribe, go Tribe.... LOL! Carnival tooo sweet for all this!!!!!! :)

mas ah says:
its comments like this that usually start the hate ball rolling

Bizzie Chic said...

*scrolls to the bottom of the page to post comment*

Very well said Saucy.

Carnival Jumbie said...

mas-ah ,
If you would take a read of my tribe costume review for LAST YEAR you would see that I blew up a good majority of their costumes. Doh even TALK for the costume I ended up playing in. I STILL cussin for that.(Ent allyuh? ent? ent?).I get on bad when I eh get meh Tuesday snack and spectators yamming meh Marios.So for you to say that Tribers don't tolerate criticism of Tribe is complete and utter nonsense. I for one does just call it as I see it!!
I think this whole 'loyalty' talk is out of hand. I for one more concerned about TENURE than loyalty although I may have been using it interchangeably. I am in no way opposed to going to a next band but I nontheless still feel that if I in one band longer than the majority that I should have some priority standing.Squatters have rights..stalwarts should to!lol!

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

mas-ah I like what you say about not seeing the band returning the loyalty; maybe, just maybe because you cannot SEE it you are jaded by the "loyalists".

I will say that there are people who jump on the bandwagon claiming to be "loyalist" when they are really not. The people creating the most hysteria surrounding TRIBE's registration are the ones who have yet to play with the band. They have been emailing me arguing that it is not fair that the year THEY want to play with TRIBE the band size is reduced and I constantly get questions about how do they get a costume, what should do etc etc. And they even state that if they do not get into TRIBE they are not playing with any other band!

This was why the TRIBE Loyalty Card failed, they were giving them out to anyone that played with the band ONCE, and now too many people have cards,and the long standing members are on the same level with someone who might have bought a costume,sold it, jumped with another band but kept their name on the costume and in turn got a TLC. That entire system needs to be scrapped and start over IF they really want to reward loyal masqueraders. If the system had worked there would have been some system for rewarding "loyalty" that skeptics like you would probably be able to measure; for now the only reward that all TLC holders get is a discount on fetes and TRIBE related events.

I agree that some people with TLC cards will be left without a costume come Wednesday, just the mere fact that they are claiming to reduce the band size to under 5000, when there is an excess of 6000 TLC Cards floating around (I collected for friends and their numbers were in the 6 thousands!!!)should indicate to anyone with common sense and a little bit of mathematical skills that ALLL TLC members will NOT be able to get a costume.

I just noticed that TRIBE also states this on their website:

When costume registration begins for TLC holders, please be assured that ALL SECTIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SIGN UP. As usual there are independent inventories for online and in house registrants.

This year, in an effort to keep the band at comfortable size, we have reduced the number of masqueraders per section. We also recognize that there is an increased demand for costumes this year and while we would like to accommodate everyone in their preferred section, we recommend that each masquerader have more than one choice of section.

Have you considered that the "true" loyalists, the ones considered friends of TRIBE (their words not mine) or to use CJ's words masqueraders that have the most tenure fall into the crop of people who are already pre-registered? If you knew this would that then mean that they are somehow being "rewarded" by the band and would this make a difference in your opinion on not seeing the band returning the loyalty?

Maybe CJ has a point when she speaks of tenure, the long standing masqueraders of TRIBE have been accommodated and afforded certain "priorities" with the band.However, these are things that are not spoken about; most people just prefer to remain quiet on the issue and just let others talk their talk knowing full well what the real deal is!

Michaela said...

Once again, its not a question of why you are loyal (because that is your business) but how you are "loyal".

You are paying your money so you will take your money where ever it is you will (that is a fundamental rule of consumerism) but when my friend shops at the Gap and I shop at Old Navy, I not gine call she a hater or disrespect her or give she an earful for saying something bad about Old Navy.

People are not addressing the fundamental question which is WHY CHOOSE THIS DEFENSIVE WAY TO DISCUSS YOUR BAND OF CHOICE? (Not why you choose them)

Can you not big up your band of choice without snubbing others?

Why is that when a question is asked or a comment is made, people want to get so hot around the collar?

Can't there be a debate or discussion without everything being perceived as a personal attack?

I don't even recall seeing an attack on the band or thier true supporters but questions for many of the fanatics who are ready to fight at a question or the mere insunuation that something may be amiss.

But no, people went down the rabbit whole to this one knows nothing about carnival and this body knows nothing about my band, etc.

And to shoot down any bandwagonist or hater remarks. I am a four year TLC card carrier.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

michaela, just to play devil's advocate here, the pendulum swings both ways.

Have you ever visited the TRIBE groups on facebook and see people from other bands leaving comments attacking the band? The funny thing is there is no retaliation with TRIBERS doing the same on the other band's facebook groups.

I agree, it is very petty and childish, as I have stated before I try to stay out of that when it degenerates into "*band of choice* IN THE AIR" vein of comments.

Then there are some people who will never be satisfied; I have been asked time and time again if I do not say anything bad about TRIBE or have been accused of writing ONLY about TRIBE. The last part is humorous as if you look at the entire content on this blog TRIBE related commentary is but a blip compared to the other bands and subjects that I cover in total!

Also, I have written criticisms against TRIBE many times, you will have to check my archives for that as I am not about to go digging around, but I can remember bitching about the long wait for registration in 2006, and about their costumes and about issues on the road; yet it is never enough for the critics.

They will never be happy until I,Saucy, say I hate TRIBE and I am playing with another band! Sad to say that is not going to happen anytime soon so I guess I will continue to take the licks for my "loyalty".

But I just want to state that the defenses come out from ALL around, not only TRIBERS.

Carnival Jumbie said...

*DRINKS HER JOHNNY AND RED BULL* and takes a tempa' wine

Tr|n|gYa| said...

Jumbie, you have hypnotiq and hennesy? lol
C'mon ya'll...let's just give it a rest for a little bit.
Critics will always be critics!

Supz said...

In my post thats why i capitalised the word SOME, not everyone is like you saucy, that sees this on both sides of the spectrum. Like I said I have been accosted by some natives who speak to you in a condescending manner and for carnival jumbie to say that these natives dont tolerate criticism is false since he/she cannot account for the whereabouts and discussions of ALL tribe players. Personally you sound just like the fella when I said I had a bad experience and he proceeded to disregard what I had to say, such is life. I dont get excited by beads and feathers, I look at everything economically and logically when it comes to this whole mas business because come Ash Wednesday MOST costumes end up with the same fate

Carnival Jumbie said...

Your comment is so contrary! Yuh make a point to say you used the word SOME in your statement but guess what...I never used the word ALL in my comment to say that ALL Tribers could take pong. I was responding to mas-ah who spoke very generally and stated that with the exception of saucy , the rest of tribe loyalists can't take crticism. To me he was putting everyone in the same basket and I was disputing that becaue I always crticise Tribe proving the exception to the rule. You are reaching quite a bit to ASSUME by my comment I meant the opposite extreme to be accurate. Is not even me start that pong talk!!

I believe some are objective while others are radically defensive. However, under no circumstances is the either true 100%.

I was just minding my business here with meh johnny yuh know...steups.

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