Soca On De Hill a hit
by Andrea King
WHAT A RETURN for Soca on the Hill!!
Three top Caribbean bands and almost nine continuous hours of soca and calypso music made for a great start of major shows this Crop Over season.
Soca lovers revelled in the music during their turn on The Hill, as Krosfyah, Square One and Trinidad’s Destra Garcia performed to an audience of nearly 10,000 thousand at Farley Hill.
A most remarkable change in this year’s production was the inverted line-up in which Krosfyah performed second, guaranteeing that the band would complete its set without rushing through it– a feat it hardly accomplished on The Hill due to the strictly held 8 p.m. closing time. Destra, her band and her sexy female dancers was the first major act, performing after a few hours of DJ music, while Square One closed the show.
It will probably be Square One’s only appearance this season, and it was a testimony of his love for music and his commitment to the band that original keyboardist George Jones played this gig. His Facebook friends would know the depth of his strength since being diagnosed with cancer and the general Bajan public saw his triumph as he took to the stage.
Missing from the band’s original line up was vocalist O’Shaka Riley and keyboardist Paul Slater, both of whom are on a cruise liner .Augmenting the band were former Jabae band members Corey Forde on keys and Ryan Lewis on bass. Tito Ellis shared drumming duties with Winston Beckles.
Square One enhanced its set with appearances by Lil Rick, Under Dawg the inimitable Hypa Kids, Peter Ram, Indrani and Mikey. The reaction of the Farley Hill audience to the dymanic duo who call Hypa Dawg “dad”, was ecstatic in comparison to its response to the adults. The brother and sister sang their hit Happy Feet, almost outperformed their adult counterparts.
If it’s one thing the Krosfyah set proved, especially after this year’s series of hit songs, is that the band will never play all its fans’ favourite music in one hour. It made a very good attempt in Sunday though, with a well put together series of tunes, including this year’s road march contender Chrissening. The band also backed a number of guest performers, including Gorg, Ramases, Kirk Brown and Mr. Dale.
Destra ran through her Carnival hits and dropped one for Crop Over, recorded at Chris Allman’s Slam City stuido in Barbados. She worked to whip up excitement from the notoriously hard Bajan audience, which enjoyed her music in spite of their reticence.
One of the principals of 4D Entertainment, Rudy Maloney, expressed satisfaction at the level of production of this the fifth Soca on the Hill concert, and attributed what he considered low numbers to the weather and the economic situation.
Scores of people did not mind the weather as they danced and pranced in the mud on the wetter parts of the Hill.
MCs Jamar Browne and Peter Coppin linked the performers and did giveaways on behalf of principal sponsor Digicel. DJs included Monstapiece and John Doe, who rounded out a satisfying day of soca.
Images of Kirk Brown, iNDRANi, Ramases and the Hypa Kidz compliments Kofi Branch