What a Reunion!
by TONI YARDE
IT WAS the last major Crop Over event, and the hundreds of patrons on the lawns at Ilaro Court would agree it was “money well spent”.
Reunion 246 saw two of Barbados’ most legendary bands share the stage at what could only be described as one unforgettable night.
The “big people” in the party sang and danced the night away to some of the sweetest soca hits. The reunion on the stage spread over the patrons too as there was chatter, laughter, mixing and mingling among the mostly mature crowd.
Spice And Company led off the night and although it was virtually impossible for them to sing all their hit songs patrons were still heard saying: “Spice was too short!” while others said: “They were short but sweet!”
The group, which reigned as Barbados’ No. 1 band in the 80s and part of the 90s, sang, among others, The Guns, Congaline, Peace Train and Make Noise. Alan Sheppard’s vocals were on point and the music of the band infectious.
There was something very nostalgic about seeing Alan and Tamara Marshall – who once sang with the band – on stage together. After all these years the band’s synergy and energy on stage were amazing to witness.
The party people were sweating from head to toe by the end of Spice’s sizzling hot set. The group – which started in 1977 and took soca music all over the world – did an excellent job in setting the vibe for what was to come later.
Troubadours International hit the stage at 11:25 p.m. Their set was preceded by the rhythms of a tuk band that played while making its way through the crowd.
The Troubadours, a band known as having the best brass section in Barbados, delivered a mix of soca, spouge and reggae music.
The musical journey included songs such as Cry Me A River, Marry Me, Can You Play Some More, Spring Garden On Fire, Black Man Feeling To Party and Tears From My Eyes (No Good), among others.
It was also a reunion of singer AC with the 53-year-old band. He had first sung with Troubadours back in 1995 when they recorded the hit song Nice Time. Sweet-singing AC performed that song much to the delight of the crowd who declared: “Oh we having nice time . . . Oh we having a nice time . . . ”
There was a new addition to the band in Miguel White, who did a reasonable job singing Damian Marvay’s Know The Face and Peter Ram’s Crop Over Good Morning.
It was a delight to hear them play a few instrumentals, including their popular spouge version of Talk. No words were needed for that or any of their other selections since the band was in fine musical form.
It was also a joy to watch and hear Mike Thompson perform, with his vocals almost as pitch perfect as they were back in the day. The band ended their performance with the 1995 hit song Ripe Plantain.
Minutes later there was a band change and RPB came on stage, belting out his 2012 song If Ah Sweet Ah Sweet. The ten-time kaiso king also sang Something’s Happening and Spontaneous.
RPB was quickly followed by seven-time Tune Of The Crop winner Grynner.
The “Ole Dawg” time-travelled as he went as far back 1983 with Mr T and came all the way to 2016 with Turn On The Speaker.
And when he was done just before 3 a.m., DJ Alvin Soca Superman Toppin continued the party he had earlier started.
Soca Superman was great in keeping the pace just right for the crowd that included the who’s who, young, old, black, white, locals and visitors. Emcee Kirk Browne must be commended as well.
The massive crowd on the lawns of Ilaro Court had a grand time at Reunion 246. (Pictures by Nigel Browne)
Like many others this couple danced the night away.
The crowd waited patiently for RPB and enjoyed every minute of his performance.
Grynner took the crowd on a musical journey.
Lead singer of Spice and Company Alan Sheppard performing with Tamara Marshall.
Troubadours International during their set that had in a bit of everything. From left Mike Thompson, AC and Miguel White.