One of a Carnival show and the other of a fete.
First up: HNC's "Vintage Fuh So!" on Friday January 20th
Anyone who knows about secondary schools in PoS, already knows that HNC is always different. So many schools doing all-inclusive fetes, what does HNC do? A Carnival show, a VINTAGE Carnival show at that.
This was the 7th year that they've been having the show, first couple years it was at the school compound. Past few years it's been at Queen's Hall.
Location: Queen's Hall.
Ambience: On arrival, we were greeted by blue devils and fire-breathing characters to get one in the spirit of things.
Food/drinks: Corn soup and doubles booths were setup for some pre-show munchies. On entry, we were handed a slip of paper with instructions on how to pre-order eats at the intermission if so desired (no eating in the main part of the hall during the show nah!), and then there were wine booths, the main cafeteria and a couple others. Didn't do much wandering around in the lobby, chatted a bit and then went in to find a seat.
MC this year was Nicki Crosby, a welcome change from Black Sage.
Live music supplied by 'The Soca Unit', comprising former members of Blue Venuters, Xtatik, Sound Revolution etc, lead by Vincent Rivers (hope I got the name right).
Performers were, in order of appearance:
- Baron - never been a fan. Not a bad performance, just seemed to go on for too long
- 3Canal - I have never witnessed a performance by them that I haven't liked. This was no exception. Personally they should have been in the second half, but they had to go to another show...awww well!
- Ricki Jai - 1st time I've ever seen this guy perform outside of a competition or fete. Not too bad. Possibly not the best audience for this performance but not too shabby
- Ronnie McIntosh - loved the energy and hype of this performer.
After-show: When the show ended, the lime moved outside and ended to the sounds of Tripolians. Patrons were invited to be flag wavers if they so desired.
Show started at 8pm and ended just about 3 hrs later...tight performances, only one hiccup with the band. Not a bad show, they have had better shows in previous years.
Rating: 3 out of 5. The performances just did not have the sparkle of previous years.
Next event: ONE Fete on Sunday January 22nd
Location: Queen's Park Oval. As always parking was an absolute bitch! However, an enterprising homeowner offered parking in an empty lot of land, with security, for $40...parked there.
Ambience: From the packaging that the ticket came in, I guess the theme was desert-ish. Walking in there were Morrocan/middle-east themed displays, and belly-dancers. There was a guy twirling fire-sticks as well.
Layout: Food court was to the left of the entrance. Bars to the left-front, in the middle and then to the right. Stage was in the middle, set well back. Good view from most everywhere. Ohhh there were also a couple VIP/VVIP elevated sections on the sides. My only issue with the layout was the entrance...smallish, and then there were champagne/dewars booths so the lines made an already limited space feel unnecessarily congested.
Food/drinks: no complaints here, lots of variety. I did a little reconnaissance, before joining the lines. And yes the lines were LONG, especially for Arabian, chinese and Bake & shark. I had the chinese, sushi and grilled options...quite tasty, no adverse reactions. Drinks galore, rum cocktail booth included. Lots of Nuvo for the fans, cocktails and champagne...did not partake of much, had to drive after all.
Performances: I don't know his name, but he's the guy from the morning show on107.1 fm...he was the host I guess. He filled in the times between the bands. Kees performed first, with quite a few guest artistes in between. Let me just say it now: something seems to be lacking from Kees' set, it just seems off. Otherwise it was a good performance. Guests included: Kerwin Dubois (fabulous), JW & Blaze (good), Michelle X...then Iwer came on stage and the crowd went wild. That man, love him or hate him, can move a crowd!! Machel and band came on just around 11 and performed until it was done when it was close to 1am...Patrice I am soo glad that you can hold your own in that melee. Machel's performance as always is high energy, and even made me start liking that 'Pump yuh Flag' song.
Bathrooms: these were set all the way to the front of the fete on the right of the stage area. Big area, tonnes of mirrors, staff keeping things clean throughout the night. A Treseme truck/booth where people were getting their hair styled on the spot, and soap, tissue and hand cream throughout the night...no complaints despite the facilities being porta-potties
It drizzled off and on during the entire fete, and other than one occasion when people scampered for what limited shelter was available, most people stayed put and partied in the rain (and some folks had their umbrellas)
Rating: 4 out of 5. Parking issues and a relatively small entry area made this event lose points.
Hopefully I'll post more reviews in the weeks to come.