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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Spice Experience

Saucy,

I started playing mas when I was 3. I have played consistently since then and have jumped with many bands- Harts, Barbarosa, Minshall, Mavericks, Poison, Berkley, Skandal-Us and this year, Spice. This was my first year playing with an all- inclusive band. My education roots make me extremely skeptical of the hyperbole used by bands touting their “ultimate,” “ultra,” “one-of- a- kind” road experience. This elusive experience that the bandleaders tout and the masqueraders seek is possible when mas is played in Utopia, not Trinidad. After three decades of playing mas, the only person who can deliver this “ultimate” experience is…MOI! After all, I pay for this!
Playing mas is the objective of Monday and Tuesday. As a masquerader, I want a costume that I love, food and drink (if all-inclusive), good music, and good vibes in the band. Spice delivered on all four. So, what made my experience so sweet when others are so sour?

CROSSING THE STAGE
Numerous masqueraders complained about the drink trucks being AWOL and the long wait to cross the stage. Since mas has been “on de road,” the trucks have always turned off at Memorial Park. On Monday and Tuesday, I grabbed a few waters and beers to keep me hydrated since I knew I wouldn’t see the trucks until after I palanced across the stage. As far as the long wait, this is not new or specific to any one band. The bands are actually crossing the stage at the savannah faster than when there was the big stage. Don’t these people remember the days of Poison when you watched the band start to cross the stage, ran out to get some Royal Castle, came home, and Poison was still crossing de stage?

After palancing across the stage, numerous Spicers made like lemmings and stormed the first bar truck they saw. Upon seeing the madness, I chipped ahead to the front bars and easily got some more drinks. I thought to myself-don’t those people know that there are 2 express bars and another full bar in this band? Apparently not. My question was answered when the lemmings on Monday were joined by even more lemmings on Tuesday.

LUNCH STOP
When the line-up was revealed, my beloved section, Thailand, was second to last! Now, I am a front-of-the-band kind of girl. I am too much of a control freak to be wining to oblivion in the back of the band. I was not going to let Thailand’s placement deter me. After crossing the stage and grabbing my drinks, I made my way to the front of the band because I figured we headed to the rest stop, QRC. The control freak wanted to assess the situation. Because my partner–in-crime and I were among the first few to enter the grounds, we readily secured chairs, had clean port-o-potties, and small lines for the food. We got drinks out of the bins placed around the grounds, sat in the shade and dug into lunch. Did I expect a gourmet meal? No! The caterers are cooking for 1500+ people off-site. (I have had to stomach worse school lunches that are prepared on-site.)

Knowing that a band is always bigger on Tuesday, I again made sure to make my way to the front of the band, grab drinks and head to QRC. Once again, no problems.

ROAD EXPERIENCE
Security was on point Monday and Tuesday. Many people grumble about the situation on Aripita Ave; however, this by no means is the fault of the bands. The NCC is the one who needs to address the crowd control situation. Spice security did their best to deal with the narrowing space from the burgeoning crowd.

The music was also on point. I don’t stick up next to one music truck during the day. I didn’t hear any techno, but if I did I would have just moved on or hung back for another music truck. I didn’t mind the mix of ole time soca because I really didn’t need to hear ‘Thiefin’” for the five thousand-six hundred -and -eighty- sixth time.

As far as the bar running out of specific liquors, yes this is true. Did it bother me? Hell, no. On Tuesday afternoon, I sauntered up to one of the bars and asked for my customary rum and coke only to be told that they were out of rum. I didn’t stomp my way over to the next bar, I just asked for two vodka and cranberries instead. I don’t limit myself to just one drink on the road. I like my alcohol too, too much. If some one asks me if I’m drinking Carib, Stag, Guiness, Hennessy, 1919, or Johnny, I tell them all of the above. You pouring? I’m drinking. The bar girl was pouring vodka, so I was drinking vodka.

After having a blast with my fellow Spicers on Tuesday, I realized it was 5:30, the sun would be setting and the band was headed downtown to cross the stage. Despite the fabulous time we were having we decided it was time to say good-bye to Spice. Why?


  • Unescorted women in bikini and beads need to get their a*% out of downtown before the sun sets.
  • We were moving farther away from transportation and we had to get either a route or private taxi.
  • The band left from Park and Charlotte and even if the band ended there, I still didn’t want to be in that area after dark on Carnival Tuesday. I don’t expect a personal escort from Spice or any other band I have played with.

A serious masquerader always takes responsibility for their enjoyment and safety on the road. I know that bandleaders have expectations to meet, but I have worked too hard for my money to have a bad time at Carnival. I need to take control of the situation and squeeze out every last cent of my hard earned money. I have never placed my carnival experience into the hands of the bandleaders whether it was Edmund, Wayne, Peter, or Anya. Have costume? Will jump!

My experience with Spice was that of an old married couple. On Saturday, we had a horrible fight at the Hilton, but great make-up sex on Monday and Tuesday!

52 comments:

Carnivalcocoa said...

Dear reviewer, you's a woman to meh heart! I like your attitude. Your approach is exactly how I handle my stories for carnival. As long as the band provides the basics (i.e good costume, drinks, meals) with no problems, then I good. No hand holding necessary.
If a band is beyond shitty, then it's no more patronage from me. It's really that simple.

Tribe ANU said...

This is a well-reasoned review. I respect your attitude and your willingness to make your own ultimate experience.

CityChick said...

I loved your review! Especially the last line. And I like how you have a "take it on the chin" attitude- you just assess, adjust and wine whatever the wind brings! Me luv yuh!

HOWEVER sometimes these bands need to be accountable. I was just looking at what was written on the website and how it tallied up to the experience and there were very clear "events of default". So although I loved your review, and to some extent had the same attitude (nothing could spoil my experience, when the band ran out of water I just drank more johnnie walker black so I was a drunken mess :), I still ate the food with gusto cuz "cant do better" and yes I was a trini carnival newbie so when monday ah realise de drinks truck does disappear I hold my water and my drink before dey move on tuesday)... but at times, these bands need to realise that they need to hold their end of the bargain.

Can't accept the lowest common denominator all the time.

greg said...

ahem..damage control?

Egypt said...

I loved your review for the simple reason that it showed a different perspective. I feel bad for the folks that had serious issues with Spice and from what some of them described I would never want that to happen to me in any band. But what I could not understand from past comments was how people could not fathom why on Spice websites some masqueraders still wanted to play with Spice next year. As evident by your experience GoPaul luck eh SeePaul luck. A good friend of mine told me when we were discussing badn options for 2011, “I can’t let somebody else’s bad dictate my carnival enjoyment. “ Truth be told I played in Spice. My crew had an absolute blast. It was not a perfect ride but it is nothing that cannot be improved next year. Will I play with them again next year? It depends…if a costume calls my name then I up in that

benni_s said...

This is my fave review yet! and i too love the last line :) i played in Spice and my experience was gr8! from registration to tuesday night i dealt with Anya 3 times b4 i actually registered and i came into contact with her at collection and she was always nice her mother as well maybe i was lucky :S but as said everyone wont have the same experience. i heard someone say that how u ppl could still play with spice after all these bad reviews?? bottom line mine was a good one so i going back :)

Trini Princesssa said...

I thought that was a good review as well. It shows not everyone had a bad time.

I had the same approach to the road on Monday and Tuesday. I mean NYC was in the middle of a snow storm, am I gonna sulk all day because there is a line to get food ? Stay ahead of the pack and have your own 'Road Plan'.

dtriniwoman said...

This is a lovely review. During the days after Carnival people vocally admonished SPICE because of poor customer service, nightmares at costume pick up and rightfully so if that was your experience.

But on the other hand it is refreshing to hear from someone that had a great time and was willing to share this with us as well.

I agree with Egypt's comment that you cannot let someone else's experience dictate your carnival enjoyment. People were saying that the persons in SPICE who enjoyed themselves were delusional. HUH??? Just because they had a good time???

But with that being said with all the complaints that SPICE got this year I hope that they have a referendum on their overall customer service and do some MAJOR damage control especially when it comes to oversees masqueraders, who got the major shaft on Carnival Saturday and Sunday.

I wish all the bands major success in 2011. The spirit of competition is what brings out the best in us and having all these choices means that the consumer/masquerader is the one that ultimately enjoys the fruit of the creative process.

I cannot wait for Carnival 2k11 it is going to be truly an experience.

Indrani said...

Loved reading this review! it was so refreshing especially since my attitude toward playing mas is the same. Like the reviewer, I have been playing mas since a child so I am no stranger to the road experience on Monday and Tuesday, all inclusive or not and I have many points of references to draw from in terms of bands.

C2k9 I played in Tribe and due to the difficulties of every member of my crew securing a place in Tribe 2k10 (plus I really wasn't too impressed with the costumes) I decided to give Spice a try for 2k11. Maybe I am a low maintenance masquerader, or just got plain lucky or something, but I had Zero major issues with Spice. I played in Greece, my costume fit well, I completely loved it and I was able to bring it back to the US with me fully intact, that thing could take a second run on the road and still look as new.

I never ran down any drinks truck, If the music on one truck wasn’t to my liking I simply went to another, the band security was on point, those people were working! no joke. I felt the masqueraders were very pleasant and people were just cool, nice vibez from the strangers in the band. Overall, my Spice experience was superb!!

That being said, I do feel that the band should be held accountable for areas in which they completely dropped the ball one eg. worth mentioning was the security leaving after crossing the Broadway stage downtown, that’s an absolute NO NO. I do believe that when you promise to deliver a particular product in a particular way then you ought to honor your word. Certainly Spice has areas which they absolutely have to work on improving, but my personal opinion, If I were ask to pick between Tribe and Spice just based on my C2k9 vs C2k10 carnival experience and overall enjoyment, I will pick Spice hands down because I had a much better time with the band.

Trinigal28 said...

Good review, I and my crew had the same experience. I drank Johhny for the both days and cool down with some Stag down to the end. No problem for uw, we will be back in Spice 2011.

BACHANALMAS said...

great review!
this lady defo has the same outlook on carnival that i have in terms of mas! "make it work" but less we forget this was a on the road experience! no mention of the booking or collection process nor the actual customer service inflicted on the masqueraders which seemed to be the major gripe?? if Spice fixes this im sure everyone will be happy :-) but yet still no press release??? i guess they still counting money!

devellishone said...

Great review! It applies to all bands, regardless of ‘What’ they promise. I believe a masquerader is responsible for their "Good time" come Monday & Tuesday. Like this lady, I have played with Poison, Barbarrosa, Hart, Skandalus, and Tribe, so I accustom to the good and the bad. It don't matter what "Experience" I am promised.
I haven't been to the lunch stop in 3 years with Tribe, as I realize it kills my spirit. On Mondays me and hubby,
go visit friends at a Pan yard around the corner from Cipriani Blvd, after crossing the savannah ‘stage’, then we have lunch at Marios. We mix and mingle, buy our drinks (my drinks, as he does not drink) then meet the band by the Oval. On Tuesday, same thing, only we head down-town after the Savannah, to see other Bands and to enjoy a good lime on the Promenade with a community of old neighbors. Tribe could offer any lunch; on the Promenade, we have a choice (or all) of Pelau, Roti, Creole, Sandwiches, Johnny, Black & White, Rum and Beers.
My point is that seasoned masqueraders should know the ups and downs of being in a Band, Yes they are responsible, for not delivering what is promised, but at the end of the day, most of us have to wait a whole year
to be on the road again. Why not try to enjoy each one?

Emprezz Diva said...

THANK YOU!! Finally a Spice review I can agree with!! NOT EVERYONE HAD A BAD EXPERIENCE IN THE BAND...MYSELF & MY CREW WAS DEFINITELY ENJOYED OUR EXPERIENCE!!!

Carnival/Mas is what you make it!!!

mas.jumbie said...

More than half the people here I never hear comment on this blog before....a set of new people. Suddenly all these new bloggers saying - nice review I agree. So why they never said anything before???? Dozens of negative reviews for the last few weeks and none of them ever contest it. Suspect I say....very suspect....I agree with Greg....like said band trying some underhand damage control......I would not be suprised if is soembody in management write the letter and send it to post on Saucy blog......

Egypt said...

why why why must EVERYTHING be a conspiracy theory? Can people just have different experiences? What personal joy you get if Spice fail. Is not like these mas bands are publically traded. LOL

BACHANALMAS said...

mas jumbie there could be some truth in what you saying lol!

Egypt i think you missed the point made if theres all these people who shared a great experience of spice why only now they saying something?? why they didnt send saucy a review to say what a great time they had also???

Egypt said...

why must they? why can't they just comment instead of having to sit in front their computers and write a long essay on my Carnival experience. I think both you and masjumbie missing the point...i.e. some folks enjoyed Spice and will return No need to add no extra froofroo to that

Trinigal28 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trinigal28 said...

@MJ I had given my comments on negative reviews and have to remove due to being attack by the commentators here, so I simply get my ass out of an all TRIBE blog.

Indrani said...

LOL @ mas.jumbie's conspiracy theory. I read this blog everyday but I rarely ever comment. Something has to really move me in order for me to speak on the issue, otherwise I just take in what is being said, and I analyze and form my opinion in my own mind and leave it right there because some comments to me are just not worth any feedback.

However, to your point about Spice trying some underhand damage control. I can only speak for myself but I am sure there are others out there like me. I don't have any affiliation with the management/owners whomever for Spice, I don’t even know who these people are save for the names being mentioned all over the blog etc. So it is of no benefit to me to come on here and suddenly give Spice glowing reviews. The simple fact is my crew and I had a BLAST in Spice and it took this one reviewer whose review in my opinion was very balanced, well written not to mention reflected my own experience more so than any other review I read in the past, to get me to decide to participate in this particular discussion.

Nothing to do with Spice and damage control etc etc, sometimes it just takes that one person to get a ball rolling. In my case, I am not the type who would sit down and write a review to send to Saucy. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but I just want to be clear, that I had a time in Spice and luckily I did not have any bad experiences at all and that’s just that.

carnivalkris said...

yes ppl it is me again and i hases to reply to this reviewer, so here goes.


REVIEWERERER,

While i admit that reading your view has given me the opportunity to read one of the very rare "good" reviews from spice,and i appreciate all your point, i must disagree with one. It is not solely NCC's responsibility to "control" the crowd, because dkrewe had ALOT more people than spice and while there were minor incidents wrt stormers et al, security ensured that masqueraders had enough room on charlotte street to palance, while still leaving room for the "crowd" on the sidelines. It just means that spice needs to ensure that their road management team knows what they are about and what they need to do in situations like that, Dkrewe had that issue wrt to security last year and having PROPERLY revamped their road management system, they were on par this year.

Again, i appreciate your review, however it sounds like you are doing damage control, if you are, i hope you are getting paid for doing so.

BACHANALMAS said...

as i said the reviewer only reported the positives!!! nuttin to do with the costume distribution collection registration nuttin??? as kris said theres some damage control going on here!

Egypt aint no one ask for a long essay?? just a brief outline or indead some comments on the negative posts that were put up!
im fully aware some very few but some people enjoyed Spice as you put it, but all now ah waiting to see who??? how many reviews and blogs giving bad reviews this is the first good half review i have seen............... roll on 2011!

afro chic said...

I too find it strange that noone who had such a great time before came out when the reviews were negative.

I not saying conpiracy theory or damage control...it's just strange and unusual das all.

Indrani said...

I wonder if it occurred to some ppl that maybe the reviewer did not talk about registration or costume collection because they didn’t have any issues with it?? I don’t know but just saying, or maybe to the reviewer since you spending a greater percentage if time on the ROAD with a band as opposed to registering or collecting your costume, then perhaps your road experience is really what’s going to determine if your mas playing was fun or not? And if your registration and costume collection wasn’t and issue then all you got left to talk about is the road right?

Anyways, let me share my SPICE registration and costume collection experience as a foreign masquerader.

Registration:

At work on Wed 8/26/09, called my gf up on her office phone, asked if we agree that the final decision is Greece, we going to register for Greece? She said yes, ok went to the Spice website, Greece was available in my size, filled out all the necessary registration information, whipped out my credit card from my wallet, made the down payment, received a confirmation of my order from Spice in my email, and that was that. Registration DONE.


Costume collection:

Due to flight delays, I ended up touching down in Piarco at 2pm carnival Sat. as soon as my ride arrived we went straight to the Hilton. Called my friend she was already in line to collect. She described the scene down there yes it was a mele but after my experience in trying to get to Trinidad, nothing was going to phase me at that point. So I told her I go worry bout that when I get to the Hilton. Cash in hand, Spice receipt in hand I arrived at the Hilton, yes it was crazy collected a useless number pushed it in my jeans pocket. Saw my girlie almost to the front of the line, handed her my cash and about 45mins later, I was fully paid up and ready to head to the back of the room to collect.

Lady at the collection point brought my box, I inspected everything, bra was too small, it was changed with a smile to one that fit. Did not like my neck piece, she switched it to one that was more pleasing to my eyes. Waistband was a little big, took it to the on the spot alteration and it was cut to size in 5mins. Headpiece was glorious.
After that process, I had my moms standing in the line for the wrist bands and goodie bag collection, I joined momma, and picked up my wristband and goodie bag. No bad attitude no drama, nothing and I saw Malik Yoba looking all fine taking in the commess lol.

My experience was good but that’s not to say I do not agree that Spice has some problems to fix, especially the collection process for online registrants, but I hope people can understand that Spice really was not bad for everyone, and that’s ok LOL deal with it.

kiara said...

Why is it that all the negative reviews are easily accepted as true, but someone sends in a positive review and it must be damage control from the band? Not EVERYONE had a bad experienece, and that's that. Aside from the costume collection drama (which I wrote my review about) my crew which consisted of my friends, family, and I had a great time on the road with Spice. I was honestly surprised to hear all the negative road experiences that other people had with them. But I said to each their own and left it at that.

devellishone said...

Ok mas.jumbie, bachanalmas, and all who feel this is damage control….I never post here before
and it did seem to me that this was damage control. I never play mas with Spice and don’t
intend to. Hubby is a musician who works with, and knows many people in the carnival scene, including
people at the top of Spice, but they don’t appeal to me in no way, especially as it is my belief that they in for competition, only with Tribe.
Having read the lady’s experience, I can understand what she’s trying to say, if she’s genuine and not sent by
Spice. Being a seasoned masquerader, you really do expect the unexpected from Bands. I have read all the reviews about Spice, here and on other websites, but I just thought I would share how I prepare in advance to enjoy my two days, regardless of who I play with.
AC, I still cannot get out of head, how you were treated by these people.
Don't understan why Indrani choose to write a review NOW.

Indrani said...

I just felt inspired by this particular review to write something, i don't see what there is to understand or not understand? I felt like saying something NOW and so what is the big deal with that? LOL ppl jokey yes

Carnivalcocoa said...

If I recall, the first Spice review (or 2?) was a positive one.
Then it was waaayyy downhill from there. Ah well.

afro chic said...

JUST FOR THE REOCRD.

Please note I never stated that anything was wrong with someone sending in a positive review. That's fine.

My brother and cousins played with Spice and they enjoyed the road experience as well. And like this masquerader, they too left the band when it got dark, they moved from the truck playing techno etc. Cause they know the ropes.

They will never play with them again because of what happened with me, but on the road, they made the most of it.

And I loved this review because it pointed out how it's not about what happens, but about our reaction to what happens.

I too employed that attitude this year and previous years, having played "big people" mas with my parents since the age of 11.

My whole reaosn for my first comment was because NONE came forward on THIS blog before now to say anything positive, when all the negative was pouring in. Das all.

As for how I was treated devellishone, no skin off my back. I just know I would not spit on SPice of they were on fire. :)

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Ok, I personally do not think this review is fake; the reviewer sent it in with her name as well as an email explaining why she chose to write the review now. Basically she wanted to offer another point of view because she did not have the same experience as other reviewers.

If we are going to question the positive reviews, are we then going to say the negative reviews were also fake? Just a thought.

And also not everyone who commented questioning the validity of the review is pro TRIBE;Bachanalmas is a D Krewe supporter after all!

Egypt said...

I just wanted to add that although Bacchanalmas say he/she not looking for a long winded essay you want a brief outline. So you see respones to the negative reviews in the past you say damage control. YOu see responses on Spice fan page where member also listed ways to improve next yr even though they had fun on the road and you say "sanitized". You get this review and you say PR stunt. It is clear you and some other not really looking for honest reviews but jus commess. Cause commess makes people read blogs right? Seems like people want you to be honest but only if it means it is a point you can stomach.

damian said...

I would like to also give KUDOS to SPICE for making my mas experience this year a good one, like previously mentioned, there's some stuff that need tweaking,but all and all it was great. Nonetheless carnival is truly what you make it, and all these folks who expect some sort of red carpet treatment, get over it, it's carnival not some formal event. But my Questions to all the TRIBERS here, is there such a thing as a perfect mas band that nothing really happens and all is fulfilled?(2)Did TRIBE fulfilled all your needs and expectation?(3) Do you guys have such hate for a band, especially when you guys never played with the band? And lastly, isn't SPICE in its second year and do you expect everything will run smoothly when its still in its trial & error years?

Lisa said...

Damian,
I play mas with Tribe and to answer your questions:
Question No1: I cannot answer, as I have not played with every band, to know if any is perfect, nothing happens and all is fulfilled.
No 2: Yes
No 3: I have no hate for any band, however, I will not play mas with: Spice, Genesis, TriniRevellers,
Mc Farlane, ( the list goes on), for reasons I don’t care to disclose.
No 4: When a band is new, and its owners want to treat customers like they don’t need their money, the trial & error years are over and everything should be running smooth!

SMSH- AP Language said...

Bloggers,

I was going to let the first whiffs of a conspiracy theory blow by, but once the fire got started, I felt the need to respond before some of you started thinking that I was also the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

I am a long time maccoer and very rare poster. Despite being an ardent fan of Saucy’s blog for years, I can count on one hand how many comments I have left. At times, unfortunately, there was such a vitriolic atmosphere in the comment section that I thought it best to keep my piece to myself. It is difficult to have a meaningful discussion/argument in a caustic environment. Hence, I stayed quiet and took notes when the negative reviews and comments regarding Spice dominated the blog.

However, I really felt inspired to write when I reviewed a majority of the complaints. My review specifically addressed the areas where I had a different experience from some of the reviews. Thus, I did not fully acknowledge my costume collection. One can infer from my last sentence that I had a similar, negative experience. I also made a reference to the bar running out of my beloved rum. If one carefully read, one noted that the spirit of my review was to “roll with the punches” and to not the let the negatives ruin my personal all-inclusive package.

I typed the review ten days ago, but then life got in the way; however, after seeing the recent review of Mas Jumbies, I realized that Saucy was still obliging her fans and posting reviews. (Thank you, Saucy!) After all, this blog is about Carnival 365 days of the year. So, I am not being paid by Spice. The late review is due to laziness, not damage control. If Spice is paying me, then they owe me $1000+ US for my plane ticket, costume, and fetes. (Thank you, Aunty for the free room and board!)

I appreciate the positive comments because I truly felt there was an untold story about playing with Spice. Constructive comments are also welcomed; however, there is a difference between playing Devil’s advocate and making illogical arguments based on poor reading or fallacious reasoning.

Indrani said...

Standing ovation to SMSH-AP Language oh lawd, well said! You are a woman after my own heart, way to go!

mas.jumbie said...

As afro chic said....very unusual...I mean I find it strange that the writer call the Spice bandleader by their first name in the last paragraph of their letter....

Also the writer claims to be an experienced masquerader but seems so willing to accept all the shortcomings with such ease and lack of fuss....Most experienced masqueraders would be more likely to make the most of the situation at the time..... but would never come out in praise of being shortchanged....and would more likely be saying never me again.... I mean is thousands of dollars you spend....you not supposed to accept what people chosse to give you....you supposed to get what was advertised and what you pay for.

But I guess if you have never tasted the Tribe experience and your only reference is Harts, Barbarosa, Minshall, Mavericks, Poison, Berkley, Skandal-Us and Spice-ISIS then your willingnes to accept the crap that people experienced with SPICE-ISIS can be excused.

Some people are just suckers for punishment.....after all Genesis still pull people this year even after no drinks and music truck for most of Monday last year....

....i guess at the end of the day is your money to spend.....me I choose to spend mine wisely!!!!

Egypt said...

and the truth comes out mas.jumbie! some folks like to kiss Tribe ass cause it taste like sugar and it pays the bills. It is this kind of sycophantic responses that irritates me. This was not a Tribe review. No one claimed that Spice was better than Tribe. If that was the impression that the bandleader gave to the public then das a hard luck. This was a review not a comparison. Every single review has someone commenting and comparing it to Tribe. 1) we all can't play in that band 2) we all don't want to
3) we all don't need to in order to have a good time for carnival
cheese and peas

SMSH- AP Language said...

Oh, mas.jumbie, where do I begin?

First, have you ever heard of rhetorical effect? Your lucid reading skills should also have noted that I not only used the Spice bandleader’s first name but also the names of the bandleaders for Harts, Wayne Berkley, and Peter Minshell. ( I hope that you are aware of these bandleaders. They are not Johnny-come-latelies.) I wanted to rhetorically illustrate that regardless of how well- seasoned a band leader may be, it is up to me to have the best time possible.

mas.jumbie, an experienced masquearder also knows when to pick his or her battles. The shortcomings that many Spicers experienced, I did not. One key point of my piece was to delineate how I avoided such issues. After costume collection, I need to make the best of my Carnival. To stay sour at 2:30 on a Carnival Tuesday afternoon because the bar I went to had no rum is puerile behavior at best.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion that an experience playing with Tribe trumps any mas played with Harts, Berkley, Mavericks, Barbarosa, Minshall, Poison, Skandal-us and or Spice. I am sure that this is a credible opinion because you have also played with said bands hence your ability to compare the experience in said bands?

Finally, speaking of your credibility… Remember this?

“Spice will not sell out. This band will not even get 500 masqueraders maybe less....they will be the same size as 2009 or smaller. They will take another huge loss and if they do actually come off in 2k10 they are very unlikely to see 2011.
Look for major costume discounts and giveaways from this band starting maybe as early as mid-January.” Thursday, December 31, 2009 8:10:00 AM

And this?
“lol...lol...lol @D.....your math seems correct....anyway in 17 days the truth will be revealed...pictures and video eh go lie....then we go see who was right and who was wrong....who was lying and who was telling the truth......anyway ah getting a free costume in Spice so I might play one day wid them just so I could give a first hand report......we go talk again about this again on Ash Wednesday....” Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:31:00 PM

Did you play with Spice or Tribe?

When a person is presenting his argument and wants to earn the respect of his audience, he must first establish ethos. You. Have. Failed. To. Do. So. Your numerous false affirmations and predictions touting your first-hand knowledge of the issues with Spice did not materialize. (This contact is a trusted friend/family/lover? You sure, boy?) Now your discredited comments about Spice give you as much credibility as someone trying to convince me of the existence of the chupacabra and the Easter Bunny.

One is left wondering why you have such vitriolic criticism for the band. In the spirit of tongue-and-cheek humor, I was going to send Saucy a request for a post titled “Why Does mas.jumbie Hate Spice So?” This way we could ruminate about your motives to incessantly deride the band. But, my question has been answered.

Egypt said...

what ah response!!!!!! you told somebody!you shut me up and all

BACHANALMAS said...

well Egypt i know i aint comparing it to no band! as Saucy said i am not a "TRIBER" i have played in many bands Poison, Barbarossa, Masquerade, Tribe, Kaotic and Dkrewe, so i have alot to compare what im saying to!

although spice is in thier 2nd year, these are supposed to be "Proffesionals" seasoned band leaders and designers charging over the top $ for people to play mas with them, you may sit back thinking is i not with spice why the concern? well i have close freinds who were subjected to disgusting treatment from Spice! and up until now despite this "ONE" single decent "HALF" review there has been no press release to even say sorry??

lastly i can take on board that this masquerader had a blast with Spice fake or not, but reading the review, for me to come out on top like she did i would have to work, stay sober and be a step ahead of the band at certain points, not me i eh pay $4000tt to work the band if i had paid $2000tt then maybe i would be doing what she did!

i remember one quote in someones review "BEGGERS CANT BE CHOOSERS"

all i can say is im glad i didnt pick Spice for 2010 i nearly did but something stopped me, and i know come launching time this year everyone go be dropping downto book thier feathers, the band will double in size again and the service will be just as bad mark my words!

SMSH- AP Language said...

Bachanalmas,

Is this the same Bachanalmas who wrote,
“great review!
this lady defo has the same outlook on carnival that i have in terms of mas! "make it work" but less we forget this was a on the road experience!”

Did an imposter write, “lastly i can take on board that this masquerader had a blast with Spice fake or not, but reading the review, for me to come out on top like she did i would have to work, stay sober and be a step ahead of the band at certain points, not me i eh pay $4000tt to work the band if i had paid $2000tt then maybe i would be doing what she did!”?


I did not work the band. I did not pull rope, keep out stormers, or pass out snacks in the afternoon. I used experience, intuition, and common sense to have a great Carnival. If one lacks such attributes, then I guess playing mas would be work for them.

Every band will have unhappy masqueraders. It’s the nature of the business. If you feel that Spice needs to release a press statement because people did not get what they paid for, then why not Island People or Tribe as well? Island People didn’t stop for lunch until late afternoon on Monday. For an all-inclusive band, people had to go and get their own lunches if hungry or left the band before receiving paid services. A Triber commented how, on the verge of heat stroke, she was denied water and her husband was tackled by the bar service for helping his wife. The Triber even felt that the bar service’s reaction was based on her husband’s skin color. A fellow Triber even acknowledged that she witnessed the incident. Where is the clamor? Again, where is the clamor?

It confounds me why so many people who did NOT play with Spice are so passionately debasing the band to the point that they would attempt to discredit the authenticity of a review.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

I cannot speak for all TRIBERS with issues, however I know the lady who had the incident with being denied water did send her complaint to TRIBE. TRIBE, as far as I know, deals with their masquerader's complaints on a one on one level, ie the complaint is handled either via email or phone call.

And having been a veteran mas player myself I did NOT excuse TRIBE for the issues I experienced in the band this year. Yes, I did make my own fun, especially as I wanted to go straight home after the nightmare crossing of the "Savannah Stage", pushing on after feeling ill from dehydration and all but being shoved across the "stage" by a mob of unruly and drunk masqueraders.

However, and maybe this is the main issue for ME, I paid the most I have ever paid for ANY costume in ANY band and I expected that issues that have been raised in the past would have been addressed seeing that the band jacked up prices across the board. With higher prices, for ME, comes higher expectations.

I do not get a free costume from TRIBE or ANY other perk. I am a paying masquerader and when you boast of providing me with the "Ultimate Experience" I expect, for my money, that the foundation for me to build upon that experience is there.

The first year I played big people mas my costume cost $400.00TT now I am paying close to $7000.00TT. I am not going to compare my Barbarossa, Harts or even Poison experience with TRIBE because TRIBE is a whole different animal altogether.

I do believe I can have fun in any band, but that does not mean as a customer I am not going to demand "value" for my hard earned money as I am not obligated to give any band leader a free pass when they mess up, after all they are not doing me any favours! Without the masqueraders the band is nothing.

elsa said...

I find it strange that all of sudden, I'm hearing good tings about Spice experience. I wondering if any of these bloggers ever posted anything on Spice facebook.

Why is it when bloggers were posting all the terrible reviews. How come no one came to their defence. My experience was absolutely terrible from Spice, from the collection of costume to road service. I personally feel Spice only intention was $$$ value, to me they never had the masqueraders safety in thoughts. We have to bear in mind, nobody is perfect, but I guess the Management of Spice never thought about every details. I think they bit off more than they can chew. I do hope they get their act togethre, but I assure you, they have lost quite a few masqueraders, due to their service. Please don't offer the world and you can't deliver. Hey Spice is not the only band around, there are others. I will be definitely checking them out.
Again Spice was a band created by Women for Women. Why they were blackballing a fellow blogger. Imagine this. First oall all I would Fire the PR Team, they are just terrible.

Empress said...

I personally think that people are misunderstanding what a review is. It is simply provides the reader an idea of what one’s own experiences were. It is not a public forum meant for Spice, Tribe, IP, D’Krewe or what ever band to read, listen and respond to. It is a way for masqueraders to tell you how their experience was…good, bad or indifferent. Saucy said Tribe deals with their masqueraders’ grievances one on one and why should we expect anything more from any other band. If I were to play in Spice, write to them and express my issues with the band to them and they choose not to respond then fine I will have to adjust to suit. I will probably tell everyone I know too. But why are we demanding a public apology, especially if we did not play with the band.
Additionally, stating that one did not experience what others may have experienced having played with Spice does not equate to “coming out in their defense”. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, for me to gain by doing so. And to answer Elsa’s question YES. I have personally written on Spice’s fb fan page airing my complaints, as well as my enjoyment.
Finally, by this blogger writing a semi positive review (‘cause clearly she too had issues) it does not mean that everyone else’s issues and horror stories were negated. It simply means that they did not have identical problems and they dealt with them differently.

Patrick said...

I am new here but I need to tell my story too.
A relative of mine, a foreigner came to TnT Carnival 2010, for the first time. She took a lot of photos on Monday & Tuesday and also recorded activities on her camcorder. Within days of returning to the US she called and said that she had a great time, and that lots of people from her office (US citizens) were
interested in coming for 2011 to play mas. Her interests however lay with Spice, as we spent some time with them on Tuesday. Then the bad reviews started coming in. Of course I alerted her and pointed her to some of the websites that carried reviews. She asked if Spice did not see it fit to defend their product and name, and I advised her to email them, which she did. To-date no has responded. Like Saucy said, Tribe responds to concerns even if you don’t play with them. I know, because someone tried to sell me a $3000 costume for $5000, and I sent them a message, which they replied to, within a day. I have no TLC card and don’t know
anybody there.
My point is, with Carnival 2010 now over, Spice should be concerned about all the bad reviews. After all the world is a smaller place because of things like the internet, people all around the world can read. Would
you not say anything, and loose potential customers in 2011? As Saucy said, “Without the masqueraders the band is nothing.” Anyway, if anyone from Spice is reading, we await your press release, explanation, whatever…… but something must be said.

Lisa said...

Egypt, I don’t know who you talking about, kissing Tribe ass, but that aint me! Let me tell you about “the impression the band leader of Spice gave to the public” and I could say, because I was there. Everybody suppose to remember the incident in 2008,
before they even hit the road. The lady they refused to register in a section of her choice, with the crappy excuse that they had already ordered their bras, and had no size to fit her: I will quote what was said by a certain gentleman who I will not name; who is more than a committee member; was in the planning stages of this band; is still there; and has a Big portfolio; had to say.His words: “Imagine a big fat Ni…. woman come in here, yesterday and want to fit in that costume ( pointing at the costume). Spice is not about that, we want sexy uptown people to play with this band. This is what Spice is about.”
It’s no wonder that the regular bloggers here view this as damage control, because that’s what Spice always has to do. I don’t care what they offer, however I would prefer to kiss Tribe ass, before playing with Spice.

mas.jumbie said...

SMSH-AP nobody here hates Spice...least of all me.

So doh go trying to make me into the enemy here. I am just a maquerader that is voicing my opinion.

I eh marry Tribe or no band and I will continue to play where I feel I getting the best value for my money.

The issue arose because me n others found the review very strange and unusual.... what was stranger is how all of a sudden a set of NEW bloggers appear out of nowhere agreeing with the review....mind you these bloggers coulda say something when all the negative reviews come out....but somehow they wait till now. In fact some of these bloggers say they following this blog for so long .....and they had time to make a comment since last year and never did.

I personally do not beleive the review is legit....and I do think I am entitled to my opinion.

My issues with Spice have been their discrimination against full figured masqueraders.....their false claims....false hype....false advertising and what appears to be the general lack of concern for their masqueraders.....their only concern seems to be how much money the management could make.

Now...if this blog and the people on it were so pro-Tribe and anti-Spice then what accounts for the dozens of other bad reviews and blogs out there that are knocking Spice??? What accounts for the bad reviews on the street from people who played with the band this year???

Since you folloow this blog....you would know that last year IP came in for real knocks....so much so that the band did not sell out this year.....But rather than defend the indefensible and start accusing Saucy blog and other critics of bias for all their crap last year.... instead the band reached out...apologised and worked hard to correct the problem.....so guess wha??? ...their masqueraders benefitted this year and they gave a better overall product.

If you as a masquerader choose to pay top dollar and accept a second standard product then that is your choice.

But please do not assume that because others choose to hold a band to a standard and to be ciritical of what is unacceptable ....that we somehow hate somebody or some band.....

mas.jumbie said...

SMSH-AP.....I am looking at your statement that said

"Every band will have unhappy masqueraders. It’s the nature of the business. If you feel that Spice needs to release a press statement because people did not get what they paid for, then why not Island People or Tribe as well?"

The more I read your responses the more I am convinced you are part of the Spice committee or management....and NOT a masquerader.

I mean....what kind of experienced masquerader makes these kind of statements?????

Nobody who spend nearly 1000 US going to say something like that....they not going to pay thousands of dollars and be like...oh well....shit happens....carnival is what you make it....unless they are highly inexeperienced.....have extremely low standards....or love abuse....

Get real....

SMSH- AP Language said...

This discussion is now skewing into ad hominem attacks. I am ending the tit-for-tat. Please reread my review. I think the spirit of my argument regarding my experience was lost somewhere into those 48 comments.
At this point we just need to meet for drinks. But you're buying the first round to make up for that bad info from your contact. And you're buying the second round too when you see that I'm not affiliated with Spice. I'll get the next round, and we can see how it goes from there. Since I don't need to "get real" because I am real, I'm not hiding behind a moniker.

Elena

KayaKitty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KayaKitty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KayaKitty said...

This isn't work. People return from carnival and have plenty work. Reviews are not assignments. The reality is people who have negative things to say generally are more vociferous when it comes to feedback.

And to say "NOBODY" spent that much would think X or Y is kind of overlooking that the very nature of human beings is to be different and have different thoughts, opinions, experiences, and approaches to life.

Elena's experiences do not negate or disprove anyone else's.

And as far as calling Anya by her first name...I call the woman by her first name and I didn't even play in her band. I refer to Wyatt by his name and Lana and Monique by their first names, too. Meen business. Who dem??? They have ministerial titles with official protocols or what?

Apologies, Elena. A dissenting opinion is often greeted with suspicion and ulterior motives. I guess that is just life.

(Sigh)

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