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Friday, February 19, 2010

Spice 2010 Review (3)

So for carnival 2010 it was decided that I go leave my Pulse8 carnival band and try something new. So after reading up my reviews on and hearing from people that played in diff bands in 2009 etc etc we decided to join SPICE. It is an all inclusive band that had a ok first year in 2009. bla bla bla etc etc etc here's the summary

So when we decided on the "ISIS" section I think it was only 4 fellas playing for sure. Then the day to register a couple girls decided to play also. Unfortunately the females were already advertised as sold out. Couple calls to spice PR oman (who we knew from before) and we eventually got through with the extra costumes required. In the mas camp itself it was smooth sailings. Couple complaints though - 1) no male prototypes in the mas camp (2)No visa in the mas camp steupssss (3) you couldn't touch female prototypes in mas camp . Nothing too serious and we were in and out in 30 mins (real thing to sign though and had to swipe link card separate for all the 7 people registering . And like they does pre order everything down to size cause when I was there there were only about 2 size 34 pants left and very few SPECIFIC sizes left .Same thing with the females - like they does order a specific number of SIZES in each size way before carnival. So instead of catering for say 100 men and 100 women the does cater for 30 A cup women , 30 B cup etc etc etc . Not sure if thats the best system but watever yes

Ah breeze Carnival Friday. We reach , we pay , we talk shit with all 4-5 people we had to deal with. All 4-5 people were polite and friendly and we were out in 30 mins. Some partners who when later had to wait lil longer but again , this part of review just focussing on my experiences . MY costume was pretty well made. The waterproof thing for pockets was nice but too much velco there cause them thing was hard to open so hardly anyone I knew used it (maybe woulda come in handy for car keys though).

D Road
Monday I meet the band 11:30 thanks to my jouvert experience and I met up with band couple hundred meter from where they started (supposedly at 9) . Now by this time those who reach at advertised time were not in best of moods cause they had a long wait without music or rum or security . Maybe 9 in kinda unrealistically early ...... ok I take that back . NINE in morning after jouvert IS TOO EARLY. FIX THAT SPICE !! Tuesday start time might also need to be revised .Oh yeah and where the azz  people was supposed to park to meet ah band Charlotte Street ??? Maybe ah lil clue in the package would help. And who knew about them shuttle from King George Park? If you shuttle to venue how you was supposed to reach back. maybe the car parks by Despers could be rented out .. maybe. Like Pulse8 spice doh give we no Monday wear so iz all kinda thing on the road Monday . The music trucks were generally good.MerryPerry was my fave except for when they try to play effing techno on the road for them 5 min interval every few hours. "I gotta feeling" is ah big song but I rather hear ah Nigel and Marvin, Iwer or Preacher before I hear TECHNO on the F***ING road carnival time . But guess machel, kes and sherwayne does do it in their sets so who iz me - I'd exercise the right to go to the "assassin truck" behind them .

The food organization was okish. I'm sure menus probably tasted better than others (I doh eat much on the road ). But probably  more tents, chairs and ENTRANCES could be provided . SO why the hell must standard bearers take ah rest so often on the road ? Like they can't just give the standard to someone else who not tired. And why is it that for long periods of time the standard bearer for sec 3 be 50ft behind the one for sec 4 .?Like nobody in the organization notice that. And why must the band get so spread out soo often. if ah truck in the back stop they cant stop the front truck from going up too fast to keep the band in ah order . Come on Spice its 2500 people not 800 . Why the rope people couldn't keep up with the first few sections soo much????? When all the "extraction Crew " operating as the "GATE" to cross a stage for section number ten the people in section #1 does be quarter mile down the road with not ROPE and NO REAL SECURITY . Arapita Avenue was the wuss wuss - not only Spice fault but the security there just has to be MUCH BETTER. Also when section #1 ready to cross ah stage maybe ALL the trucks could announce that the band gonna cross the stage cause sometimes people in the back out of section didn't realize that people in the front were crossing a stage .

With all that said SPICE was still ah good band -I get drinks right through, good dj, goood vibes for ME on the road. But now I would point out a major peeve that has to do with a friend of mine

The FL in ISIS had some big plumes all over head piece. It's the ADVERTISED headpiece on the website and even on the front page on the official spice handbook. It was a HUGE headpiece. People pay real money to carry around this huge head piece - I think it was too big but say what if thats what people pay money for FINE. So sometime for whatever reason SPICE decided to make the headpiece "lighter" , "Smaller" or easier to carry . People who pay for the oversized head pieces were only told this when they went to collect. WTF !! Is only prob 10 FL people you had to contact to inform about CHANGES to ah costume they PAY for . Mrs SPICE PR WOMAN - least you coulda do was call, give part refund something. And then to go on the road and see ah bandleader with HUGE plumes modeling for all to see is like rubbing salt into the wounds . And y'all also made changes to Caspian Sea FL without telling people before hand what yall were doing BIG STEUPS . If I pay for ah 30ft long living room table whoever better bring me ah 30 ft living room table (doh tell me after, you cut it short cause it cant fit in my house ) . People pay money spice and I want to play with y'all again but I want the costume I register for and what I see in the mas camp and thats only FAIR .

Dats all for now!

Harts Carnival 2010 Review

Another Carnival has come and gone, and yet another Carnival experience. My heart was set on playing with Spice because the service was great from registration, to collected, to the road experience. However, the whole Pay Pal issue and me having to run down Spice to find out about my registration did not sit well with me; so I made the ultimate decision to change bands. Band of choice: Harts, section of choice: Brazilian Fiesta (Orange). Now I have heard the stories of Harts being uppity, and me with my dark self I was worried. But I always say it is up to the person that to the experience worth while.

I must say registration was an ease. I did mines online since I currently reside in Arkansas. The day after I submitted my registration online, I was contacted via email to confirm that my registration was received and that my selected costume choice was secured. The only thing I did not like was that after the money was withdrawn from my account, a second transaction was done to make up the difference for what was not taken out during the currency conversion. Since it was nothing more that about $14.00, I made no fuss. Anytime I sent Harts an email regarding costume options and remaining balance, I received a prompt reply answering all my questions. Collection was also an ease, paying off my balance and making sure I had everything took about ten minutes. When I saw my costume, I fell in love.....not only was my head piece humongous, but the costume itself was beautiful. My only problem I had with my costume was after having a baby three months prior, my breasts was slightly too large for the bra but I came prepared with some bra that and all was small thing.

The band left promptly from its designated location at 10:30 AM. Music was nice but I did not like the fact that they played each song twice in a row before going on to the other one. I must say that Harts knows how to party, I do now know how these people found they way on top of roofs and walls as any building along the route was subject to be dance on. That one I cannot blame on Harts, as some homeowners were having problems with this. After making circles (yes I said circles) we finally stopped for lunch at the square (sorry I don't know the name of it), and it was every man jack and woman jack for themselves to find a space to sit and eat. I was apart of "D Rum Shop" and the selection for lunch was beef pelau, which just was okay. I am not a big drinker but their selection was some of the best, and the bar never buss. The only thing I could not understand is how you don't have coconut water (the ultimate chaser). The rest of the day was okay, the only thing making it exceptional was the motivation from the crowd, the fact that we circled a block before we moved on was quite irritating and the stopping for long periods of time drained my energy.

By the time I met up with the band they were crossing Park and Frederick Street. We chipped all the way to Queens Park and the only time they started to play palancing music was right before we crossed the "stage." Getting people into their respective sections was a hassle as they did this about 15 minutes before crossing, and it was quite annoying to hear the announcer repeat all 25 sections (with a detailed description of the costume) about six times in an attempt to get everyone situated. After the Savannah it was a free for all, stormers had a time enjoying the experience that I paid for. The route became a drab, and after a while I became quite bored with the band. If it wasn't for the masqueraders who kept the energetic vibe going, I do not think I would have enjoyed myself as much. Lunch on Tuesday was very disorganized, as it took almost half an hour before we could get lunch. It also pissed off to see that people who were not apart of D Rum Shop eating lunch and enjoying drinks that I paid $700.00 for. Another issue that I had was the as the stormers stormed, security selected who the wanted to storm and who they wanted to put out the band. In my eyes a stormer is a stormer and all should have been put out, aint no pick and choose about it.

I must highlight this (since I see it as unfair and not putting the mas player safety first):
I played with my friend from Haiti and during the course of Tuesday, she strayed from me some how. Now keep in mind that this is her second time in Trinidad and she does not know Park street from Princess Town. Went to the first truck and informed the security that I needed to make an announcement to find a person. He directed me to the second truck. Gone to the second truck now and ask another security personnel and he took me to the mike man on the truck who said that they did not do announcements (mind you all day they paging people and what not). I flipped the mike man off, verbalized and expletive and as I was walked off, a female security who was apparently aware of the entire situation came to me, apologized for the rudeness of the mike man and took me to the proper truck (holding my hand throughout). Now the man on the third truck assured me that he would make the announcement.......lets just say that I am still waiting. Now how fair is that to me?

All in all Harts was just OKAY. Would I ever play with them again: maybe but it would not be my first choice of Carnival bands. I could not help but feel a certain "vibe" from other masqueraders and the photographers, lets just say that I was not the first, second or third choice when it came to Harts photographers. Crap, I know I am not the skinniest (shoot I love my baby fat and how it made my bumper spread) or the lightest thing alive but I do think my personality was vibrant enough to take a couple photographers. The feeling was very uneasy and it made it uncomfortable at times. The other thing I do not understand is why parade beautiful costumes that no one can see other than the Savannah crowd....I would have loved to parade and get on bad for spectators along the Avenue or even down town. But now I know that Harts is not the band if you are looking to do this. I still cannot get over the "stares" that I felt as I paraded through the band, but you know what I could care less because I pay my money and I played my mas.

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2010 Photos

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