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Exodus widens lead, Valley Harps slips
Posted By: News
Date: Tuesday, 10 February 2004, at 3:32 p.m.
By Terry Joseph
But for first and second positions in the large conventional orchestras category at the end of the first round, held by reigning champion Exodus and ten-time winner Witco Desperadoes (respectively), Sunday's Panorama semi-final resulted in a major reshuffle of the standings.
Staged at the Queen's Park Savannah by Pan Trinbago, the event ran for some 11 hours, outstripping earlier estimates by more than 90 minutes, nearly half of which was occasioned by reluctance on the part of the opening act, Point Fortin Tornadoes, who reportedly refused to perform at the scheduled 11 a.m. start time, as the stands were still relatively empty.
Band changes were much swifter than in years previous, the orchestras no doubt responding to Pan Trinbago's admonition that DJ play of vocal versions would be limited to eight minutes. Performance time was similarly reduced; although a 30-second grace period offered those who went over the stipulation was hardly utilised.
In the large band category, Exodus top-scored with 458, widening the previous one-point lead over Desperadoes, who culled 450. Even so, Exodus manager Ainsworth Mohammed yesterday said: "There still is no room for complacency. We do not even contemplate rejoicing until after the final standings are announced and even so, it is primarily an appreciation of the efforts of our members.
"The work put in by Pelham Goddard and Dr Pat Bishop, who I consider musical geniuses is, by itself, something to celebrate but there is always the unguarded moment or the vagaries of a final-night, although our work ethic was significantly enhanced by last year's tour of Japan, where we were constantly exposed to hard work and disciplined approaches.
"These factors, plus the extent of music literacy in Exodus gives us a certain level of confidence but even so, we do not put beers to chill before the fact, because this is a contest and consequently, the winner determined at the time of impact, so it would be foolhardy to pretend nothing can go wrong or the band cannot slip," Mohammed said.
And there was much evidence of both slippage and ascendancy at Sunday's semi-final playoff. Solo Pan Knights, up to that time within striking distance of the leading pair (after tying with bpTT Renegades for third place in the preliminary round), are now out of the final altogether, having dropped to ninth position. Renegades also suffered a major reversal to seventh.
In other dramatic shifts, two of the three bands previously tied at tenth place, Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove and RBTT Redemption Sound Setters, now occupy third and fourth positions (respectively), while the other orchestra, Pamberi, has been eliminated.
TCL Group Skiffle Bunch moved up three notches to tie with Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, who maintained its fifth position. NLCB Fonclaire stayed at number eight, while Birdsong and BWIA Invaders slid from the top ten to positions 11 and 15 (respectively).
Katzenjammers, whose inclusion came as a result of a court order, could do no better than tenth. For all their effort (which included stout community support), the Tobago-based band still finds itself excluded from the Carnival Saturday night final, which accommodates only the top eight bands in each category.
Among the medium bands, the musical chairs element was even more dramatic. Valley Harps, who topped the preliminary round, slid to third place and Parry's Pan School took an even bigger dive, dropping from second slot to eighth.
The two bands tying at fifth place in the preliminary playoffs, Excellent Stores Silver Stars and Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille, now occupy first and second places (respectively). Harmonites dropped one rung to fourth, now tied with previously tenth-placed Potential Symphony.
Carib Dixieland ascended from 11th to sixth to tie with Belmont 5th Dimension, while Siparia Deltones, who were sitting pretty at third place after the preliminary round, dropped to tenth and are consequently out of the final.
Judges for the large band category were Victor McGill, Lorna Conyette, Jocelyn Pierre, Victor Prescod, George Sambrano, Audley Timothy and John Arnold, with Corinne Soo Ping Chow as alternate.
The panel for the medium bands comprised Lennox London, Merle Albino de Coteau, Cuthbert Matthews, Andy Chichester, Richard Pierre, Clement Danclair and Rosalind Garnes, with alternate Jeanette Johnson.
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