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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Bathseba Experience 2011

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Myths, Rumours, Gossip and Costume Sneak Peek for Caribana 2011!

So as you all know, I have been feverishly following the North American Carnivals as I do every year and this year is no exception. Karabana  has been my source for all things related to Caribana but I must say it seems that its not only the Canadian Geese that flies South for the Winter.. I had a LOTS of little birdies whispering snippets of information and I had to decipher which was which!

A certain "Mythical Birdie" told me that a band in Toronto has some stellar costumes this year and there will be fierce competition for consumers since ALL of the sections are coming along well. I was told that I should pay particular attention since some designers that are "close" to "the Sauce" have also designed costumes in this band (and others) and that I might be getting HORN-ed ...

Word is that said "close" designer also worked on other costumes within the band and is bringing a "new" energy to the species of MYTHICAL creatures that will be on SHOW ... It seems (to me) that folks who play with this band could possibly be in for some ANGELIC costumes, mixed with a little FAIRY dust, throw in some CENTAUR magic and a puff from a DRAGON or two and you might even see the elusive UNICORN if you pay particularly close attention.... Let's just hope its not truly all just A MYTH, because this seems a lil too MYTHICAL for me to conceive!

We have all heard the story of the WIZARD of OZ... it seems that a certain CITY will be the highlight of this launch, again, just me going on my little birdies eh - doh say I say BUT how ah getting it ah selling it and "dey" say Emerald City is IT ... Talk done! You be the judge! Check out Karabana's blog for the details and costume photos this weekend.

Fast forward to A SECRET that was told to me about another band who has some costumes that are not only OUT OF THIS WORLD but also is using technology that is "genius", sleeves and thing!! Some have seen the costumes at a private viewing and I was told that it has enough bling in some sections that can only be found in D OUTER LIMITS! There is even a section that weighs a little over 2 pounds, sits very well on the client and is made with REAL jewelry you can detach and use later on (now that's novel!) Somebody GAMMA RAY will surely BURST when they see these costumes ... All in all, a whole lotta HOOPLA and no costumes till the following weeks... Check out the "sneek" peek pic of what is to come, sent to the Sauce....that angel wing is making me all kinds of happy right now!






Thursday, April 28, 2011

Six Flags Caribbean Summer Concert Series 2011

For more information on this year's artist line up at the Six Flags Caribbean Summer Concert Series, which takes place on July 9, 2011click here

Representing for Trinidad and Tobago are Kes The Band, Iwer George, Benjai,Chucky, Nadia Baston, Patch, Ziggy Rankin and Rikki Jai.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

YUMA Vibe Lives



Hints of what is to come for Carnival 2012 from YUMA ? 


Press......?

Jump Promotions "Pride" Cropover 2011

Here are costumes from Jump Promotions Cropover 2011 presentation "Pride"

Registration began on Monday at the Band House which is located next door the Lucky Horseshoe in Worthing. Opening Hours: Weekdays 12- 8pm , Saturdays 10am-3pm. All costumes are $365.00 BDS, with the exception of Sinsiter Frontline which is $700.00 BDS and these prices also include lunch.

Jump Promotions website should be online today and you can also check the out on Facebook HERE.


Sinister - The Pelican



 Pride of Barbados - National Flower


Allegiance


Dexter - The Dolphin


St Andrews - The Sugarcane







Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Point Fortin Borough Day 2011 Jouvert Bands

Point Fortin Borough Day 2011 takes place the weekend of May 6th, with J'ouvert celebrations on Saturday May 7, if you are still looking for a J'ouvert Band to jump with check out the links below!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Caribana 2011 Black Sage Band Launch "From Rags to Riches"

Check out Karabana's blog for the latest  in all the Caribana Band Launch happenings. This week photos of Black Sage "From Rags to Riches":

Sunday, April 24, 2011

PoisonUK Carnival 2011 Launch


Our 2011 theme for Rotterdam and Notting Hill Carnivals is Pyromania. So you know that we're going to be on fire for the entire Summer 2011. Our fire trail takes us to Rotterdam on the weekend of July 29-31 and Notting Hill for Bank Holiday weekend August 28-29. Not to mention all of the amazing events that we will be hosting in between.

We're keeping it fresh 'Caribbean style' with our partners Sun Bailante to host the mother of all launches at the O2 Academy in Islington. Oh what a venue it is! Good location in The Angel, Central London, modern facilities, wicked sound system, massive stage, and balcony area, and staff who are friendly to the Caribbean scene.



Event Information
O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield Street, Islington N1 0PS
Nearest Tube Station is Angel on the Northern Line
(Bank Holiday) Sunday 1 May 2011 from 10pm - 5am
£10 in advance, more at the door, PUK Card Holders get 10% off

BUY TICKETS HERE

The DJ Line-up
The party is soooo special to us that we are wheeling in the big guns of the DJ scene. We are flying in DJ Spice all the way from New York City to give you his Soca magic potion. 1Xtra BBC's Dancehall King Robo Ranx will also give us a taste of his supreme sound. DJ Markee a PoisonUK institution will blow out with all the fresh new music out of the mecca, Trinidad Carnival. Zouk-ist (my word) Djahman will represent the French Caribbean music scene. Mr Sun Bailante himself will support the Hip Hop, and other urban sounds. This is a one love line-up.

Costume Presentation
But....the main attraction for the evening will be the unveiling of our beautiful costumes for Carnival 2011. You will be treated to a costume presentation not only by PoisonUK but also our close partners in wine n jam Dynasty, Morris Roots, New York based Carnival Hunters and Mas With Difference (MWD). So walk with your credit card, cheque book, cash or tonka beans to make your deposit for Rotterdam and Notting Hill carnivals.

As we always say, our costumes are open and available to every one. You don't need a university degree in Soca dancing or wining to the ground. You only need an open mind for crazy fun on a level that you have probably never experienced before. Call it the Caribbean's gift to the world!

Caribbean Festival
But that's not all! 2011 will see the first ever all weekend Caribbean festival to be held in London. Big tings ah come dey! our event management arm neXt Level along with its partners NHMBA and Carnival Village are beavering away to plan a Caribbean Festival that will host Carnival King and Queen costumes show, Caribbean Food, merchandise and to top it all off a loooong list of International Caribbean bands and superstars all weekend long. Oh, and when we say Caribbean we mean Caribbean! From Cuba to Trinidad (Guyana you too!) and everything in between. If I told you anything more at this point I would be spoiling the surprise. So, watch this space and watch this face...book.

Did someone say Wet Fete?? A whole new event for carnival weekend and more! We have other biggies to un-veil for 2011 but that's all that we will reveal for now, we know that your heart can't take it all at once.

Stay tuned by checking our Website, Facebook Fan page and Twitter sites for more information as we unveil the big picture.
Love Always,
The PoisonUK Team.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Idea of A Costume Warranty ...

So, a friend of mine was kind enough to send me something he stumbled upon while viewing costumes from Tribal Knights for Caribana 2011. On their website they are offering a "Costume Warranty" which you can purchase for an extra $30.00 CND. This Warranty covers repairs to your costume in the event that after the Caribana Parade you wish to wear it again; I am guessing that they foresee the wearing of the costume at Hamilton Carnival and maybe some other Carnivals as well:


Now I  may be wrong but this offer, albeit one you pay for, of a "Costume Warranty" is the first I have seen anywhere at any Carnival for any band. Which got me to thinking, what if Carnival Bands in Trinidad offer a Costume Warranty? Just like they put a disclaimer that costume are custom made items and therefore there will be no "changing sizes/switching of sections/refund on deposit", how about if the Bands include a Costume Warranty for us  masqueraders?

The costume warranty would look something like this:


COSTUME WARRANTY AGREEMENT 


All costumes come with a standard 2 day natural Carnival wear warranty, which covers popped gems, loose beads, detaching parts, broken belts and bras. Warranty also covers variation from prototype, loss of costume, late delivery of costume or costume pieces and incorrect sizing if the error occurs from the Band.

In the event that the costume needs repairs before use you are entitled to free costume repair. If the costume varies from the prototype you are entitled to 50% refund. If the incorrect size of costume was given with the fault being the Band’s you are entitled to have the costume replaced with the correct sizing with free costume delivery. If your costume was lost or misplaced by the band you are entitled to a 50% refund, replacement of your costume in any section of your choice (excluding Frontline if your selection was backline/floor member) and free costume delivery. If your costume or any piece of it is not ready for collection on the assigned collection date you are entitled to free costume delivery.

Not covered are accidental damage, broken plumage, unnatural stains and damage due to excessive wining and jamishness.

Simple and straight to the point, I mean really I am not asking for much now am I ? And even though some bands do not advertise a Costume Warranty I have to give credit where credit is due and point out the "backpack fiasco" of Carnival 2008 when my backpack was not ready for collection the day I collected my costume. In fact I did not collect until Carnival Tuesday on the road. TRIBE offered me free costume delivery on Carnival Monday night (which I declined) and I also got a 50% refund for my inconvenience, this offer was also extended to all the other Frontliners in my section and  the Frontline from the section Mystique( who never got their winged back piece) got a 50% refund as well.

This year I know of a situation in Bliss where an Individual masquerader's costume  box was lost, never found. Bliss had to replace the missing pieces of the costume even though they were out of swimsuits so someone on staff gave up their costume  for the masquerader, of course this meant adjustments had to be made with the masquerader finally collecting their costume on Carnival Sunday. In addition to a refund, picking up the bar tab at Carlton Savannah while the masquerader waited to collect on Carnival Saturday Bliss also sent said masquerader a nice gift basket POST Carnival,  I guess you don't need a Costume Warranty when the service is on point! 



However as a masquerader wouldn't it be great to know that this type of customer service is not an anomaly or that it is only offered by some bands? Shouldn't all bands aim to please their customers especially in the event that the errors are the Band's fault? Now I am not saying that certain masqueraders cannot be highly demanding and unreasonable in their expectations, you know the ones that put down the wrong size at registration or will quibble over the fact that their feathers do not look just perfect. But for the rest of the rational thinking masqueraders all we  expect is that our costume should not be falling apart before use, that missing pieces are collected in a reasonable time frame, if there is a delay, that the costume should look as close to the prototype as possible and if there are any changes that we are informed of such beforehand.

I am thinking that in a perfect Carnival world a Costume Warranty would not be needed given the fact that what we are asking for is standard and all bands should ensure that these deliverables are met,but seeing as so many bands fall short in the Customer Service maybe a Warranty SHOULD become part of the costume agreement upon Registration. 

What do you think? Are you for or against a Costume Warranty and what would you like to see included in it? Do you think the Warranty should be an additional expense or should it be free as part of your costume purchase  contract with the band? Leave me a comment! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guess Who Is Going To Cropover?!


I finally decided yesterday that Cropver 2011 will be on the Carnival agenda this year so I bought my ticket and will be officially going to Barbados in July.

With only three months before my departure I am now on the hunt for accommodation and trying to get an idea of the must do events. You know I am a planner!

Thanks to some advice already given on the Facebook Fanpage I have been told to do Foreday Morning with Island Fusion, Kadooment with Baje International and to make sure and attend Bliss, The Bathsheba Experience, Booze Cruise, 24 by Brewster's Road Crew and of course Cohobblopot where Machel Montano will be making an appearance:

Keep the advice and tips coming Cropover Veterans!

Leave a comment or email me at  trinidadcarnivaldiary@gmail.com  with your suggestions on where to stay, what to do, the must attend fetes/parties and which band to jump up with! 

This Cropover will be a "Saucy" one!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blue Box Cart Cropover 2011

Here are some teaser pics of the always elusive Blue Box Cart Band who have already launched for Cropover 2011, their presentation is called "Rocks".

Squint a little and the costumes look like they could be in Harts, pretty! 

You know the deal if you are interested in playing with Blue Box Cart, contact Harbour Lights Barbados ( that is exactly what I was told when I asked about registration).

Oh, and in some unrelated to Blue Box Cart but still Cropover news, I was reliably informed that TRIBE will not be doing a section with Baje this year; Island People, however, will have their section as usual! 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Palance Is That You?

I hope JW and Blaze are getting paid for what is clearly "Palance" remixed and  sung in Spanish! 

After some digging , I have discovered that the song  "Jingle PH2011" is being touted as having been produced by "Mista Bombo" for Comando Tiburon ( a quartet of Spanish Reggae Panama) . 



Interesting indeed, take a listen and tell me what you think:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Solid Mas Troupe presents Elements of Freedom

First band launch of the Antigua Carnival season was held on April 16, 2011 as Solid International showed off their 2011 Carnival presentation "Elements of Freedom" with nine sections designed by Chandy Lewis. Registration for the band has also started, for more information you can check out their Facebook Fanpage HERE.




Snowy Owl

Abyssinian Lovebirds

Azores Canaries

Colourful Pheasant

Congo African Greys

India Blue

India Blue Frontline

Lazulu Buntings



Lilac Breasted Rolle


Scarlet Red


Sialia Sialis 



Costumes Design by Chandy Lewis
Photos Courtesy Alex Rhodes

Island People Celebrate World Dance Day

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What does the word DANCE mean to you ask yourself that question…. Ok. Good! Dance is a form of expression, which anybody can take part in and one organisation decided that it’d be pretty cool that one day should be dedicated to dance.

We here at ISLANDpeople love the movement of social awareness are celebrating World Dance Day, by having an awesome, little lunchtime dance party right outside the IF House.

So put on your dancing shoes, tell your friends, your family and let’s celebrate this NON holiday in Dance!

Place: the IF House, 105 Tragarete Road, POS
Date: Friday, 29th April
Time: 11am-1pm
Energising food and drinks will be available!

Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 Trinidad Carnival - D’Original Vale Breakfast Party

Greetings peeps, and so we come to one of the most hallowed traditions of the Trinidad Carnival experience, the breakfast fete, and this year I decided to make a change to my regular fete lineup to check out one of the stalwarts of the genre, D’Original Vale Breakfast Party. Since I started attending breakfast fetes over a decade ago, Vale was, in my opinion, hands down the best fete for carnival. Back in the day this was a small fete primarily held in the yard and in the street front of one house and one of the greatest features of this fete was that you were almost guaranteed to know half the people there first hand and most of the others you would likely have seen there before. The music was excellent and the drinks and food were included so there was nothing left to do but enjoy the sunrise while partying with friends and acquaintances.

As with all good things, word spread quickly and over the years the size of the party grew rapidly which made getting tickets much more of a hassle even for long time attendees. It was for this reason that when Sunny Side Up launched their own breakfast fete, I decided to make the switch and after totally enjoying Vale for many years, I moved over to SSU and for the next several Carnival Sunday mornings had a great time partying with them. Over the years, I kept hearing good things about Vale and my friends kept trying to persuade me to give it another look so this year I decided to return to the root of all breakfast fetes to see how things had changed.

I arrived around 4:30 am to find the party pretty much empty which was fine with me since I typically would spend the first hour reconnoitering the venue and sampling the fare that was provided. Since this is a breakfast fete, I decided to start there and after devouring fresh phoulori, meat pies, potato pies, and several hot doubles, I felt well satisfied with the choices that were available. At this early hour the lines were very short and there was virtually no waiting to get the food of your choice. I then moved on to the bar and was very pleased at both the physical size of the bar as well as the number of bar staff inside it. The alcohol available was both premium and plentiful so I enjoyed Grey Goose and Red Bull all morning and I am pleased to report that my wait to get refilled was never long even at the height of the fete.

Belly filled and blood/alcohol level well on its way to a reading of respectably intoxicated, I roamed around the fete meeting up with friends, liming, wining, and generally taking in the sights. The party was many times larger than when last I attended but despite its size, there was still a warmth and a character present in the fete that by and large is lost once a certain threshold is crossed. As you can see in the pictures, the venue was definitely full but it wasn’t crowded. If you wanted to wine as a mob, you were more than able to do that but if you didn’t, there was ample space to wine and not be brushing shoulders, elbows, and anything else you were moving up against the people next to you. The size of the party did afford one the opportunity to view many different varieties of partygoer in their natural habitat without having to travel very far and this made for many hours of interesting gapeing.

If you wanted to observe the moderate partygoers, there were there all dressed in their finery, nibbling on food and sipping their drinks while chatting amongst themselves about moderate things and maybe bussing an occasional small wine. If you wanted to see the socialites, they were represented as well however they didn’t really partake of the food since there was a chance it could spill on their clothes or shoes. Like the moderates, they did sip their drinks and chat but they did so in the shade and of course there was very little if any wining going on. If you were looking for a more extreme partier, there was the hardcore-parkour feter who incorporated their surrounding environment into their wining. Examples of this type of winery varied from wining on a bench, to handstands against a wall (much props to you, Miss Upside Down Ting) to around, on, and actually INSIDE the BLINK cage. Woii Woii!

The traditional “crews” at the Vale fete were also there but they were a bit more structured than I remembered. Of course there was D’ Wall Crew resplendent in their white shorts, orange t-shirts with matching fedoras controlling things on the wall in front of the DJs with Mr. Chiney Winey himself holding it down on the ground in front of them as D’ Ground Control. Across from them was the Roof Crew and as their name implies, they did their partying from the roof of their house and from the looks of things, they had a fantastic time up there. There were also a couple wotless crews in the crowd such as a sexy crew of Wotless Jamaicans and a group containing Wotless Fete-ing, Tick, Bald, and Spanish tings. It wouldn’t be Vale without water hoses to cool down the people and I saw at least 2 while traversing the fete but since my camera doesn’t do well in water, I avoided these spots and unfortunately I hear I missed out on several Kodak moments. CUSS! Ah well, one can’t be everywhere and I think I took more than enough pics to illustrate the good time that was being had by all.

The Vale fete is a DJ only fete which suits me just fine. After weeks of feteing with bands, it is good to know that this fete will be nonstop pace and will not be subject to the vagaries of an artiste’s performance. Vale however does invite select artistes to perform and today Mr. Iwer George graced us with his presence and MASHED UP THE FETE! Despite having just one main tune this year, Iwer showed everyone present why he is truly the big man in the business. From the time he instructed the DJ to “Play mih de riddim” he had the crowd hypnotized and hanging on his every word so when he called for the people to come to him, they came to him, when he told them to go away, they went away, when he said the people wanted water, the water flowed first from his hand, then from the hoses that instantly appeared and when he abandoned his 2nd floor roof/stage to come down and perform amongst the people, it was all over. After that, the party really got out of control with hardcore-parkour winery everywhere and at one point I even saw Spongebob taking a wine on a lady’s back. It was REAL PRESSURE up in this piece! By now the sun was high in the sky and everybody was in a nice place with nice people having a nice time so what more could you ask for?

Sadly, the party had to end but when I tell you that the 7 hours I spent in D’ Vale FLEW by, I am not exaggerating. True during the course of the morning I did lose track of a couple half-hours here and there but it seemed like no sooner had I gotten nicely inebriated and settled into some constructive winery, that the sun leaped into the sky and the next thing I knew, it was 11:30 and people are filing out of the fete wiping their brows and smiling from ear to ear. This was an excellent fete because not only did it capture the magic and intimacy of years past, it did so on a scale so large that I though would not be possible. I was happy to be proven wrong on this matter and I believe that D'Original Vale Breakfast Party has now drawn me back into its fold at least for another year.


Carnival Monday with Bliss is next…………….

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tru Dynasty and Blues Carnival Fusion Launch For Caribana 2011

It's band launch season for Caribana 2011 and as usual Karabana has your scoop, photos, coverage and commentary of all things Caribana. This weekend she and hubby pulled double duty to bring you photos from the launch of  Tru Dynasty's "Roaring 20s" and Carnival Fusions "Time After Time".

Check out Tru Dynasty's backstage photos HERE, pictured below is what I can only guess is the section paying homage to Josephine Baker talk about naked! 


And lots of photos from Carnival Fusion HERE:

Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe Final Screening


Yesterday saw the final screening of delegates to compete in the local leg of Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe. Previous screenings were held over the past weeks in San Fernando and Tobago with the final screening in Port of Spain at the Kapok Hotel, taking the process of finding the right delegate national. The entire process was not done until 6PM, with registration taking place from 10AM to 2PM.

Over 50 hopeful young ladies  showed up for what would be a marathon session of selection. They were first registered then had to wait to be called up to be screened by the panel. Girls who were not selected were informed right away while those who were short listed for a final screening had to wait in another area until everyone was screened for a second screening! Talk about a tough job for the panel.

And how does this all link back to Carnival you may ask, and also why I was there on hand to witness the numerous gorgeous young women with hopes of becoming the next Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe? Well, the franchise holder and National Director of Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe Ian Andrew Lee is a very familiar face in TRIBE . In fact lots of familiar "TRIBE" faces were seen on the Selection Panel; Gail Cabral, Sandra Hordatt and Lana Nobrega.

I was also informed that for the Miss Universe Trinidad and Tobago show the delegates will open the show wearing costume pieces from TRIBE, swimsuits from Sandra Hordatt's line "Mood Swings", decor by Ultimate Events, hair by Melissa Jones and of course the chosen representative will wear a  National Costume designed by the TRIBE team! Keeping it all in the family.

And the finalists from the Port of Spain screening are : Berniece Wears of Claxton Bay, Renee Bhagwandeen of Phillipine, San Fernando, Crystal De Gannes of Champs Fleurs, Candace Guppy of Arouca, Meagan Monsegue and Greer Iton of Valsayn, Kristy St Rose of Diego Martin and Juliana James of D'Abadie.These ladies join  nine other delegates who were selected at the San Fernando and Tobago Screening. Congratulations to you all and I look forward to the show to be held next month!

Hard Working Registration Staff



Over 50 young women showed up in hopes of being 
the next Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe



TRIBE Section Leader Solange Shaw Gopaul 
and
 Makeup Artist Kirk Thomas

Girls who made the first cut waiting for second screening

Finalist Renee Bhagwandeen, 
came from overseas for the screening!

Finalist Bernice Wears

Selection Panel for the Port of Spain Screening 

For more photographs from yesterday's screening you can check out Damian Luk Pat photography HERE and  if you have not done so already join the new Facebook Fan Page for Miss Trinidad and Tobago HERE.

Super hard working photographer 
Damian Luk Pat

*correction, it is hair by Melissa JONES and not Melissa JAMES as previously reported
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