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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spice Review - 2

Hey Saucy
I know that Rene already beat me to the Spice review but I was hoping I could share my experience with your readers:

Spice was nice!!!

I decided to play with Spice because the costumes were very pretty and I wanted an alternative from the typical IP and Tribe. I must say that Spice did very well for their first year and even though they advertised as a large band and ended up as a medium band, the experience was one of the best I’ve had.

I played in Scotch Bonnet and was very pleased with the costume. There was a mix up with my registration and I did not get the size ordered for the scotch bonnet boy shorts which I planned to wear on Monday. I was disappointed when they could only find a pair from Cardamon (purple) in my size. But on Monday, the purple looked really nice with my red sequined top along with my pretty bag from Bags by Mimi.

The costume looked very much like the prototype and was a brilliant shade of red. I opted for the corset which is a much better alternative to the tankini as it gives a very slimming effect. I was even surprised how much detailing we got on the corset. The only problem was that the really tiny sequins kept falling off the costume and I left a trail of sequins in my house, in the car and at the salon where I did my make up. Also, the back pack for the frontline was really fabulous and extremely comfortable. But I wonder where were the other Scotch Bonnet FLiners since I only saw one other besides myself (Mimi looked fab by the way!). I did not waterproof my feathers and was surprised how well the feathers came back once dried. But my stocking caught the running of the feathers; I will definitely be waterproofing my feathers next year!

On the road
Spice was not bluffing when they asked everyone to meet early on Monday at10:00am and Tuesday at 6:30am. On Monday I was able to catch the band at QRC where they were finishing up lunch. Once on the road, the vibes was nice but I was surprised at the small number of masqueraders. A lot of persons especially in Paprika wore their costume top with shorts. Others chose regular tops or tees and a boy shorts that matched the colour of their section.

On Tuesday after getting my fab make up by Makeda at Shades of Sugar, I met the band late AGAIN and missed the savannah stage L. The numbers had increased by Tuesday but I would estimate that it was a little under 1000. I had no problem with this…I would rather be in a medium band than fight up in a large band. Everyone looked great in their costume and after taking 20 minutes to put on my corset, I was extremely satisfied (real pressure that morning with all dem hooks). It was the best costume I’ve worn in years. The colors for each costume really stood out and corresponded with the theme for each section. Despite what was said initially about the band, there was a wide variety of women, but it was a dominantly young band, not teeny bopper-young, but there wasn’t much of a mature crowd. People were obviously having a good time but some sections had more excitement than others. Paprika, Sea Salt, Brown Sugar, Scotch Bonnet and Cardamon had the most vibes especially when crossing the stage. One of our section leaders, Jason has to be commended for really trying to hype up our section which was difficult especially when the DJ failed to do so.

Food and Drink
The lunch options were wide: International, Creole, Barbeque and Vegetarian. On Monday I opted for the Creole which included fried rice, garlic chicken, chunky veg and toss salad which was very tasty. On the Tuesday, I opted for the International which included a Caribbean chicken (baked), vegetable rice, creamy potatoes and toss salad (which tasted the same as the Creole; but I ain’t no expert). However, there could have been more table and chairs or blankets to sit on. There were three drinks trucks and drinks were flowing and the bartenders were efficient. However, you had to be over 6 feet to reach the bar! It’s a good thing the hubby was tall. And kudos to the bartender for being great lip readers! Also, at no point on the both days was I told that a particular drink was finished (But no more coconut water on Tuesday unless you were taking it with alcohol); so drinks were flowing.

The rope team worked hard for most of the time but started disappearing slowly from about 6:00pm; I guess they were tired too (but that’s yuh job). I like the idea of a small band as it did not attract much stormers (plus we never had any big celebrities except for the big man on the scene, Carlos John!). I am glad to say that there weren’t much incidents of the Random Guy Syndrome (RGS) and you were free to wine by yourself, with your girls, yuh man, or the RG, but it was all up to you. The extraction team was a good idea. I even witnessed them asking two girls from Harts to leave the band. Imagine people from Harts were storming Spice! Harts better lookout….I sense band migration in 2010. I found that the rope crew was respectful and didn’t try to wine on you or check you. One spectator on the Avenue even exclaimed: “Like dis band have more security than masqueraders!”

The wee wee truck was clean for the most part and stocked with all the necessities…even the Listerine!.. But around 5:00pm on Tuesday, it ran out of water but no scene, there was a lot of bottle water…that is if you could reach the bar….

My Peeves
The music for the most part was good as people were evidently having a good time from start to finish but there’s a definite thumbs down to Merry Perry. I know that he and Rocky go way back but this sound had no idea on how to play for a road march. He played very few songs and the mixes were awful. He took no time to hype up the crowd at the judging points or even to ask the crowd what they wanted to hear. I think the other DJ was Omega ( correct me if I’m wrong) who played much better; doh mind he leave scotch bonnet and cardamom behind at Victoria Square and we had to act like Spanish and cross the stage there with no music! So more attention needs to be paid to the DJs and advise them on how to handle the crossing of the stage and somebody please slip Merry Perry a soca CD…

I would definitely like to collect my costume earlier; Carnival Saturday was too late but I must say that although it was late, I did get all of my costume pieces and the adjustments were done in a timely manner.

Next Year????
Big respect to Anya….boy that is a band leader!!!! She took a personal interest in everyone from registration to collection, to on de road. Even the hubby had to exclaim that he didn’t know that I knew the bandleader personally! On both days she made sure that everything was in place and she looked Fab at the same time while enjoying herself…and she introduced the band at each judging point…talk about multi tasking. Also, her dad and Nicholas had everything under control…those guys worked very hard. So next year I’m going back for sure…I really hope that the band doesn’t get much bigger and Spice recognizes that sticking to a medium size will work in their favor…look at what happen to Tribe and IP…it’s just more manageable.

Since August until Carnival, I was fed up of the same conversation:
-Who you playing with?
-Spice? Who’s that?
-A new band
-Oh you mean a break away from Tribe?
-No, it’s just a new band
-*confused look on face*

So everyone learn it…SPICE on de road for 2010!!!!

Cute Dougla

Pulse 8 Review - 2

Collection day for me was the Monday before carnival and it was NOT busy at all. Took 15 mins max to pay for and pick up 2 COMPLETE costumes (and talk to a couple people too). That's that !

My costume looked great. The complaint i had was with the pants. One pocket at the side with no button or zip - like a trap for you to put things in and lose them when you jumping . My single car key , camera ,$100 and celly fitted nicely in my small camera bag so it wasn't much of a problem. Hmm why doesn't a band give out matching camera bag for various costumes ..hint hint hint. The goodie bad was nothing spectacular- the bag itself was a paper bag with handles . Only thing i can really use inside was the sunscreen .

Got some cranberry juice, snacks, 2 Band-Aids, headache tables and prob $15 in vouchers yawn yawn yawn and a nice orange P8 cup to go with my yellow costume (another hint..... y don't we have matching cups or why not stick to white cups) .Anyways that's that- costume and everything else went in my car truck just in case I ended up staying in north carnival weekend - ended up breaking a feather on my head thingy but guess that's my fault cause there were plenty other things in truck .

Monday the band met for 10:30am and i was actually parked in King George park about that time. Unfortunately because of the jouvert experience I slept in car for about an hour till my people woke me up almost 12 and we went to find the band. Don't remember it taking long at all. That text service to find your band is the BEST thing - works great . Also I real like how TDC had people all over giving out maps of POS- dont think i ever saw them in the numbers they were out this carnival . Early Monday as usual P8 looked empty but i was having a time. Because P8 does really give Monday wear people had on all color and it was hard to see how many people were in each section. The bar was real easy to access, the music trucks were good. I didn't taste the snacks. Lunch stop was in Woodford square as usual.

Not great accommodation but shade if u were willing to sit on ground. I cant remember what was lunch - I remember i ate the meat and threw away the rest . I rarely eat much on the road ever . But my friend ate her whole box and she would have told me if it wasn't good so i guess it was ok. The lunch was also served from a single truck so took i lil while to get your chits (i really mean less than 3 mins- but in p8 that a long time:) ). Cant say too much else on Monday- it was good . After lunch i jump and waved through the band . I left a little after 5pm when we crossed Savannah road/stage. I needed to try to get some rest because carnival weekend was reellllll longgggg for me and I doh stick on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning I was prob up at 4:30 am for no good reason. Watch tv and wasted time a bit then got ready . My friend told me if anything he would pass for me on Tuesday morning but I suspected he would be running late and really I don't like to stick Tuesday so i decided to jump in my faithful car and head to POS. But 6:45 am I was in the car parked . Surprisingly I called my friend and he was "5 mins" away so i decided to wait (plus it kinda hard to tie the head piece and armbands on by myself). Met some bloggers in the car park so the lil wait wasn't too bad. A little after 7 we set off to find band - took about 20 mins to find them because the moved off at a pace at exactly 6:45am as advertised .

I live for carnival Tuesday and that morning was GREAT for me. My section looked real GOOD and crossing judges with my tombouctou "friends" ( who name or faces i never remember) was REAL FUN ! Some sections like caliente, wasabi, tombouctou, hot ice, ember and bush fire looked big whole day (BTW big in P8 is about 100- only caliente looked like it could have had more ) . Some others looked real small.In past years after I cross the stage I go back to take pictures because only time you can really judge how big a section is is when they cross- i forgot to do it this year . I must say the first few sections looked really good crossing the judges ( the RED, then GREEN, then YELLOW, the BLUE ). the Fl caliente girls did what is expected and pose for picture whole day ! I didn't spend much time in the back of band though cause it seemed EVERYONE i knew was in top 4 .

Before we crossed the Savannah road/stage we had to take off/turn down music for a good 30 mins because of the steelpan side in front. Guess the only way we could try to avoid that is to real stretch the band when that happens so that at least the last truck can play . Guess once a steel pan side isn't amplified they would have some problems... whatever . On Tuesday the soca mafia didn't have too much influence on what we played so I got to cross a couple judging points to BACCHANAL and TUSTY !! ( oh yeah I must say on the road i loved the Machel - WE DON'T STOP !! ) I don't drink shots on the road so I didn't try any of the things that they were offering. The security was real real good though. The rope pullers worked real real hard. Wee wee truck was clean when i investigated it .

Weak knee maxi looked kinda full - steups at the weak knee people . The bars looked overstaffed - just the way i like it . I didn't see or hear of ANY drink running out. I didn't always like what the front truck was playing but the second "SIMPLY SMOOTH" truck was better most times and all of 2 mins walk away . I don't think I ever limed by the third truck. VM already spoke about the fun that the truck Djs had whole day. He was real funny in the crowd with his cordless mic and thing - gosh that man tief reel wine ! After the Savannah were moved really fast to the lunch stop. Maybe too fast for most - but that was after 2 pm. Checking back my phone i was eating lunch at 2:45 when my friend called but i cant remember what time we got there. Food tastes good and the lay out was good. I actually ate my entire lunch (first time ever ) . There were a little bit of chairs but most people had to sit on grass ( there were people handing out stag bandannas that were being used as mats :).

I cant remember how long we stopped for though . After lunch it was back in the streets for more jump and wave. After encountering legacy and other bands in front of us they decided to reverse all the trucks in the band and change route. That was something to see !! I jumped and waved and wined till lil after 5 pm again then went off to check some peeps by Savannah. After I didn't bother to go look for band again so i headed south and the wait started for 2010


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