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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where are they now?

There used to be a mas camp located on Maraval road,the band a breakaway from one of the more popular ones, I believe Barbarossa and I had been racking my brains trying to remember which band it was when I finally remembered; it was Funtasia!

So many new bands launch each Carnival season, while others succeeded others crash and burn never to be heard of again (can anyone remember the name of Robert Amar's one time Carnival band?)

Funtasia had a good run for a few years, so did Skandal Us but Island Events, successful as a private section in Poison, only lasted two years after branching out on their own with Moulin Rouge chock full of celebrities like Gabrielle Union.

What really makes a band last year after year, like Harts who will be celebrating 50 years in Carnival 2010? Is it enough to have pretty costumes or a celebrity clientèle? Does being the hottest band out guarantee long term success? When sections split and form their own band will masqueraders follow? What turns the mind of fickle masqueraders against certain and what makes them loyal year after year? If Poison was around today would they still be a force to be reckoned with? What happened to Barbarossa?

As I can recall, and my memory may not always be crystal clear. Harts (later reinventing themselves as Young Harts) saw a breakaway that begot Mavericks and Barbarossa. Skandal Us was a later breakaway from Harts. Barbarossa spawned Poison (Savage), Funtasia and also Legends (the strong men and rude girl section). The band Legends ceased to exist and both Genesis and Legacy were born. Sophomore band Ronnie& Caro is a breakaway from Legacy.

From Poison we had Pleasures Carnival, Atlantis Girls and Gail Cabral forming TRIBE and Island Events left to debut their own band the same year. Island People was birthed the following year with Sandra Hordatt, Crystal Amming Marcus and Galvanize formerly of Poison. Poison became defunct, so Dream Team and Pulse 8 were the fall out bands created in it's wake while Sonia Mack went to Island People. Persons formerly involved with TRIBE as section leaders are now with Elements, Evolution and Spice. Evolution is led by Curtis Eustace, multiple Carnival King winner, and from Evolution Kaotic was born as Ricardo Gomez was formerly associated with that band.

Trini Revellers is an amalgamation of people who were all involved in mas, most notably Geraldo Vieira, Dave Cameron, Richard and Penny Afong of Barbarossa, so you can still see a link back to that band here. D Krewe is a breakway of Trini Revellers and for 2009 they also feature a section leader, Kyle Matas, from Trini Revellers as well. From Wayne Berkley's camp came Masquerade led by Earl Patterson. 2 Peas and D Pod produced a section for three years in Masquerade before branching out on their own as a band. They also led the way for Image Nation a breakaway, if you will, from 2 Peas and D Pod.

And lets not forget Peter Minshall who has, in my opinion, indirectly influenced Brian Mc Farlane (a former masquerder ie Minshal-ite) as well as Peter Samuel of 2 Peas and D Pod.

What makes this even more interesting is that designers also do work for other bands; Peter Elias always does a design for Pulse 8, Sandra Hordatt has designed for Island People and Spice this year apart from having her own section in TRIBE. Richard and Anthony productions designed for Spice, TRIBE and did headpieces for Crystal Amming of Island People as well as Shenelle of Evolution. Sonia Mack has in the past designed for other bands as well. Elwin Johnson has done work for D Krewe in the past and now TRIBE, while Douglas John designed for Elements and D Krewe! Is it a wonder that so many costumes are beginning to look the same?

The dynamic, every changing landscape of Carnival is what keeps it exciting, some bands are here today but gone tomorrow. Ultimately it is the masquerader's support that dictates the pace, no matter how many pretty (or not so pretty) costumes, slick marketing tactics, guerrilla band warfare and promises of the ultimate,best-est, funnest Carnival ever! I wish all the new bands good luck as I look back on the ones that have departed the Carnival scene and wonder, where are they now?


Skandal Us Mas

Island Events

photo source:


afro chic said...

Excellent post this morning Saucy!

empressnatts said...

Yes very good. My take on this is that "A family that plays together..stays 2gether" and I think that is the reciepe with Harts. With each generation they bring in friends, family etc and they are very consistant for their 49 yrs in the mas scene. The rest of the bands who fall off the scene i thin was only there for the $$ and nothing else. People get greedy, vex with each other, bachannal and so the splits begin.

prince namor said...

Trini Orisha Gyal said...

Beautiful Post Saucy,

What a trip down Carnival memory lane.

Thank You.

Tr|n|gYa| said...

Yep, this was an extremely well-written, informative post..loved it!

innerouterdivaPON said...

(8) And I'll taaaaaaaaaake with me the memoriessssss to be my sunshine after the's so haaaaaaard to say goodbyeeeeee to yesterdayyyyyyyyeeeee (8)....Great post!!! I dunno where you even found that pic of that Funtasia costume LOL, but excellent work.

I think some of our long standing bands have survived because they provide masqueraders with that special something. I dunno how to explain it, but it's like beyond the customer service, costumes and road experience you just kinda connect with the band and its vibe etc. Let's hope some of these new bands can evoke sentiments of loyalty and build a strong following so they make a 10 years at least :)

Prince Namor - thanks for the article. It's a long read, but it's worth it. Some of the people new to Carnival and even some bandleaders could do with that article :)

keyshia said...

what's the difference between designing for a band and having your own section in a band?

Bizzie Chic said...

I enjoy this history of the bands post.


Carnival Jumbie said...

i wonder what other bands will disappear into oblivion??

Carnival Diva said...

those individual pieces in moulin rouge were fantabulous!

Carnicherry said...

Really nice post...

dougla_1 said...

What's hip is fleeting, soulful relevance is enduring.

Why do we play mas in Trinidad, again? It's just a party. Uh, ok.

carnivalbaby said...

Once again, well done Saucy,keep up the fantastic work!!

Goddess said...

All the more reason to stop the band vs band nonesense.. It's like politricks. While we the little people argue and bicker and stick our heads in the sand.. the band leaders & designers knocking back a few drinks where we can't see them. Because they all know each other.

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