This is only my second time going this fete so I'm not a die-hard loyalist, but I'd heard about it for years from friends. The plan was to reach for between 5:30pm and 6pm...ensure adequate time for browsing all the food options, sample what was on offer and doh forget find a decent parking space. All I have to say is that d plan did NOT come off. We never left home till like 6.25 or so, which meant we never reached the Oval till just before 7pm. (this time it was my fault so ah can't make too much noise about it).
Designated parking was supposed to be in King George the 5th park...i stress on the supposed, cause very very few brave souls parked in there. It was a muddy, swampy looking mess when we got there. We made a block around the Oval and parked on one of the side-streets just south of the Oval...and there were security guards on patrol. Quite a reassuring sight.
Entrance: The ticket had a lil note on it stating that you should fill out the information on the back. The big white tent at the entrance had signs reminding that if yuh doh fill out d information on the back of yuh ticket you would not be premitted to enter. The du Maurier ladies at the gate repeated the same thing...so why did trinis think that they would be able to get in without filling in the information on d back of dey ticket??? If all d info was already filled in then entry was a breeze, if yuh didn't, wellll yuh had a wait for the one or two pens that were floating around. They made no joke about that information! After that there were the du Maurier girls in their red tube dresses greeting patrons. Not sure if they were there to distribute tokens or what, but by the time we reached they were only greeting people "Welcome to ONE fete...hope you enjoy yourself"
Food: I'll change from the last time and mention food now. Options were many: Indian, Chinese, Arabian, West Indian, Spanish, Off the grill (yummmmm!!), Suckling Pig, Arabian (another one), desserts and the list goes on. The smells were great. No I did not partake of samples from all of those booths. One or two though, do deserve special mention.
- Off the Grill: I love ribs, I love barbeque, so barbeque ribs? I loved this booth!!
- Then there was the geera pork available @ the Indian deliccacies booth.
- Bake and Shark: I don't think this tent actually had a name but I dubbed it that cause that's what was on offer. Felt like I was @ Maracas with all the toppings available. Bake and shark was great, mango chutney, chadon beni (sp?), tamarind sauce as toppings...I need nothing else!
Drinks: OMG!! The assortment was mind-boggling. Weren't dedicated booths as in Amneisa but most everything was available. Bar services was by Angostura bar so of course the Angostura Cocktail bar was there. As a many time attendee of Triniscene's Cocktails I did not bother to try any of the cocktails available, but from the crowd that was around that bar it was a hit! I reaquainted myself with Uncle Johnny and his companion coconut water and had a nice buzz going for the night.
Performances: Even though we reached the time we did, we apparently did not miss any performances. Not necessarily in order and as I recall them:
- First on stage was the Synergy soca star contenstant Chinee. Since his tune is the only one I hear outside of the show I presume that he is the most popular. Entertaining performance...one that should be seen.
- Next up was KES with Nadia Batson. A solid performance all round, with Eclectik performing sort of as an intermission so that Kes could do a quick wardrobe change and allow for a change in pace. Just so yuh know there is a local verson to "Rum and roti".
- The Red Man group. Yes yuh read that right...direct from Las Vegas the group that's been performing with Le Cirque du Soleil. Steupsssss! And they came on just before the headlining acts ...ALL the headlining acts. Steupssssssssss again! Could have done without this. Suffice to say their act was not well received, people used the time for bathroom braks, drink runs, to locate teir crew etc etc
- Hunter: the guy of "yuh could bring it in a bottle" fame, and now of "Jep sting" fame. Dis guy can entertain. He came on stage by himself and mash up d place.
- The Asylum Family: Bunji, Fay Ann, Benjai, Scarface et al. Last weekend their performance was overshadowed by the placement and they seemed slightly tired. This weekend though wow! Only downer to their performance Bunji did NOT perform his road-march contender (my personal pick) 'Clear D Road'. Faye Ann was great, pregnant and all :-) Bunji had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands!
- Machel and HD: Machel (in a silver/white Armani Exchange T-shirt and pants combo), Farmer Nappy (in a bright yellow something!), Zan (in a red and yellow get-up), Patrice Roberts and Benjai. Yes folks Benjai will be performing with both the Asylum Family AND Machel HD. A lil duet was done with Machel and Benjai, after which Machel said "All d media people asking mih questions...yuh see dis doh ask mih bout this!". It's Machel HD, so the energy was amazing! I think that 'Rave' has serious mash up road potential, cause it causes mayhem when it's performed! Liking the effect of the glow sticks and nitrogen fog during that performance...cooling effect if nothing else. The backup dancers deserve mention cause they perform some pretty amazing feats...and there are a couple 'thickies' in the mix :-)
- Rachel Price: she was d MC...I am not a fan. I heard that she'd lost weight, and yes she did. She's almost half her original size, BUT it's not all firm! nuff said.
After seeing Kes' performacne from just about half way between the stage and the bars, I was coerced, dragged whateveh up in front the stage. So my experience of Machel, Bunji etc was from right up under d stage!! When the performances were done I was soaked from the skin out...this is the way to experience a fete. It counts as a workout if it's done like that LOL! But I need to get flat, closed toe-shoes though.
So anyways, even though I lost both sets of people I was supposed to be liming with, I had a blast at ONE fete. The only down to this night, other than that Red Man group, was the puddles of water, and occasional mud patches near the bathrooms from the earlier rain.
All in all rating 4.5 out of 5.
Amnesia: 4 out of 5
So what's the next fete?
- 2009-01-31: Wicked in white (50% poossibility)
- 2009-02-13: Army (70% poossibility...BUT no comps then this drops to 0%)
- 2009-02-15: Jamboree (80% possibility)
- 2009-02-21: Tini Possee (50% possibility)