Krave Band Launch Bim Edition

Last week I discovered that Krave would be doing a Barbados launch of their band after having launched 3 weeks ago in New York. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I didn’t attend that band launch because I have not yet won (positive thinking every time) the lottery to fly around attending band launches.  I called up a friend and we met some people there and attended the launch.

 

Parking

The parking was adequate but the launch was in Bridgetown so I’m unsure if to give Krave kudos for this.

Venue

Daquairi Beach Bar. Sand, more sand and breeze. I mean you can’t go wrong with a beach location.

Drinks

No gin! Lol.

Seriously, the drinks were good. The bartenders were quite attentive and let you taste the drinks before you paid to see if you liked the drink; but maybe that’s because there weren’t many people there.

Vibes

My face most of the night

The music was really good until the DJ decided to switch genres and play a mix of dancehall and hip hop. Despite the music being good there were no vibes at all. People were standing around waiting to see the costumes I suppose. I was dancing because…well…I had some Johnny Walker Black in me but even that didn’t help after a while because the wait for the costumes was so damn long.

Presentation of costumes

At 1:06 am the costumes came out.

Well …the Foreday morning costumes for Klymaxx came out. I’m from the school of thought that Foreday morning launches and costumes are unnecessary. I mean, it was cute Monday wear but it didn’t move me.

Next came the Krave costumes. This was the only high point of the night (outside of the Johnny Walker Black) for me. Krave’s theme this year is Burlesque and the costumes certainly reflected that. Krave is known for its’ extravagant costumes and they did not miss the mark at all. Even the male costumes were on point with one section bringing that wow factor for the guys.

Tracy Boyce ( designer of the band) wearing Encore’s individual costume

 

Russian Roulette.

Striptease Individual Costume

Exposé Individual costume

 Kudos to Tracy Boyce yuh costumes do de dawg ma’am!

Models

This launch did not feature the usual non-Bajan Krave vixens. What I saw was a stunning mix of local and foreign beauties. The models really sold that costume and the vibe (that was lacking from the entire launch).

 

This review was initially one sentence because I was annoyed by the wait and the lackluster vibe in the fete; but in life yuh gotta be nice and ting.

*Due to some stuff I’ve been hearing and direct questions I’d just like to say I am affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I’m just a complete Crop Over lover who runs  Juck Down: The Crop Over Bootcamp, which helps people to improve their fitness to do dixie on the road during the season (and yes that is a complete and shameless plug)*

Baje International Band Launch 2016

I’ve been participating in Crop Over since I was 3 years old in some form or fashion. My second time participating in Grand Kadooment, at age 16, was with Baje International in 1999. Marcia Chandler designed the costumes and I jumped in the Rasta colours section ( I refuse to show a pic of how tragic I was at age 16). I took $165 out of the grand $250 a week I made as an intern at an insurance company and my friend Tammi and I signed up for Baje. On the morning, my granny found out I was wearing a bikini and not a whole piece and nearly had a conniption. In the end,I was allowed to go on the road since it was my money spent and not anyone else’s. I had one of the best Kadooments of my life that day.

If you’ve reached this far you’re probably like “Sooo she gine ever review the blinking launch?” I said this to say that I always have high expectations of Baje. In the past 17 years, I’ve only not jumped with them twice and every time except the last I had a blast. That being said let’s dive into the review.

Parking

The parking was definitely a high point of the launch. There was plenty of security, the area was well lit and there wasn’t any double parking or anything of the sort.

Venue

It was ok. I mean meh. I can’t say that I hated it or that I loved it.

Drinks

They had gin! So on the strength of that alone I wish I could tell you that all was well on the drinks front; but alas, the drinks were weak.  Or maybe I have more rum bibber in me than I previously thought.

Vibes


Lord, there were no vibes. The DJs tried their best. The music was good but some extra element was missing from the event. I think I will go ahead and blame this one on the crowd. People were just dead. Clearly interested in seeing the costumes and going home. There was a lot of people talking with one another but no dancing or partying going on.

Presentation of costumes

The theme of the band is “Neo: A New Day”. I was actually really excited about this theme. In the days leading up to the launch, I was picturing metallics, leather-like materials and  some kind of futuristic theme.

The emcees for the night Salt and Nikita came on stage around 11 (the launch started at 7…) and tried to hype up the crowd for the costumes. The crowd apparently was having none of that.

Salt left the stage and Nikita displayed her excellent  vocals with some dancers in the background.

Ok.

Then came some ballerina chicks who ended up brucking out and the first costume came on stage. There were violinists and a fire dancer.

Look man, at this point I felt a little deflated. Now, I’m sure that could be due to my interpretation of the theme, but nonetheless, I felt deflated. The costumes were pretty costumes but they were just that, pretty. There wasn’t a wow factor and there was no cohesiveness between the sections presented and the theme.

However, one section caught my eye and if I decide to jump with Baje then definitely I’d try my hardest for the Limerz Cruise section.

This section would pop on anyone

As is standard for Baje the costumes were very well made and the craftsmanship was on point. They will hold up well on the road and can be kept for souvenirs after the fact ( I still have Baje costumes from 2009 that are intact…and I does get on stink on the road).

 

 

 

 

There wasn’t much offering for the men. Standard boardshorts with sparkly bits. The male section was disappointing, not because of the models but whoever came up with that god awful boy band choreography. I feel like I was at a bad rap concert circa 1999.

Yes, the male costumes were choreographed to rap music. Sorry, this is Crop Over. Soca please.

Bleh.

You can see all of  the costumes here.

Models

There was definitely more color diversity this year and all of the models, both male and female, were gorgeous. However, everyone modelled the costumes like they were on a high fashion runway. I know this has become standard for Crop Over launches but I like when the models bring that extra vibe that makes you feel like “Yeah I could see myself wukkin up and going on the road with this band”.

I didn’t get that at all last night.

All in all the Baje launch was like good sex, but not fantastic sex, the type where you expected more, didn’t receive it; but still don’t feel like you completely wasted your time and energy.

 

 

*Due to some stuff I’ve been hearing and direct questions I’d just like to say I am affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I’m just a complete Crop Over lover who runs  Juck Down: The Crop Over Bootcamp, which helps people to improve their fitness to do dixie on the road during the season (and yes that is a complete and shameless plug)*

 

 

 

Tune of the week 

I hope to highlight a new tune every week that I love. Hopefully de artistes don’t form the fool and shame me into having a tune of the month.
Peter Ram aka Ramma aka De Yella African dropped his first song “Good Morning” for 2016 and I am already doing dixie to it.

My Top 5 Bajan Soca Songs

This morning I was idling on my bed after my morning workout and shower when a friend sent me a WhatsApp message. I opened the phone and all I saw was “Peter Ram got song of the year again”. I actually scoffed at the message . I scoffed, not because I don’t like Peter Ram but I’m just that kind of person that has to experience things for herself. I tuned into Hott 95.3 FM to listen.

DE TING SWEET!! OH GOD IT SWEET.

I leaned to the right and did my customary soca lunge with a slow juck down. I get on bad de whole time.

After the song was done I started thinking about Bajan soca and decided to do a list of my top 5 favorite Bajan soca songs. I cant even list them in order because all rank at #1 for me.

Bobo has to be the most underrated Bajan soca artist. I ainno if he foop somebody woman but there was a couple of years where de man was producing the best songs every year bar none yet couldn’t get any airplay at all.

Not only is Grynner “The Ugly Man” he is the grandfather of Bajan Road March tunes, and has won the title an unprecedented 6 times. He was a child hood favorite and he still delights to this day.

Lil Rick is the quintessential Bajan and I believe he should be knighted. The first 5 seconds of Hard Wine is the bashiest, dibbiest of any soca song ever. If Grynner defined the 80s for me, Lil Rick defined the noughties (yuh does say that? cuz I ain really know. The decade after the year 2000 is wha I mean).

If you’re like me and aint bout de chipping and yuppie wines in a fete or Kadooment Day this is the song for you. Even though this song is barely a year old  it became an instant favorite for me. I remember when he debuted it at Elevate last year. Bechrist, I never see nuttin so yet. After initially clutching my pearls and then bending down I looked left and right and realize that all the girls were bashing out. Sometimes I’m at work and I hear this song and it’s a struggle not to juck right down.

 

Turnnn aroundddd fahhhh big redddddd.

I’m sure my friends on social media are sick of me posting this. Since this has been released I’ve posted about this at least 3 times every year. This song can never die. If you’re into bashment soca you can’t deny that this is one of the bashiest things to ever come out of Bim.

I gine here and bash out for the rest of Friday and then hit Baje launch tonight.

 

 

 

 

Xhosa Barbados Launch 2016

This post first appeared on my personal Facebook page and has been edited for clarity, grammar (I’m actually embarrassed I posted with such poor grammar) and improved layout.

ALL OF THE POORLY TAKEN PHOTOS ARE MINE. GOD KNOWS PEOPLE LOVE TO TIEF EVEN IF THINGS ARE POORLY DONE.

A band launch can tell you lot of things and Xhosa Barbados said a whole lot last night.

Let me start with what could be improved:

– The parking situation.

Even though the parking attendants were really cool and friendly the Garrison Savannah isn’t very well lit and if I did not roll with a crew I would have been nervous going to my car alone.

– Approach to the venue.

There was no light going down that hill and if you’re prone to falling, even on flat surfaces, like myself it was kind of precarious.

-The Food. I had jerk chicken and roasted breadfruit which was fantastic but at $20 they could really have given you more food.

I had jerk chicken and roasted breadfruit which was fantastic but at $20 they could really have given you more food.
Now on to what was fantastic:-

-Vibes.

Xhosa takes their slogan “We don’t pose; We Party” seriously. As soon as we got to the ticket booth and could hear the music it was clear that this was the first official fete of Crop Over. Xhosa knows their demographic and knows how to please them. All of the DJs were fantastic and there was a good mix of Bajan soca and Trini soca.

-Drinks.

I brought a cooler. lol so really I can’t give Xhosa credit for my drinks being good but I love how they have their launch set up so you bring your own drinks.I’m a gin drinker and with the exception of one event last Crop Over I couldn’t find any gin anywhere. I understand why..but I digress.

-Presentation of costumes.

You know what I loved about Xhosa?
They had a theme, From Royalty to Redemption, and stuck to it.
In every section you could see elements of the theme reflected in the costume. They kept it fully African in the beginning with actual dancers whose choreography paid homage to our African ancestry and the theme. The drummers (yuh know Bajans love to do down to a drum beat) were on point and really set the scene for the presentation.Usually during a costume launch there’s one or two costumes that stand out for me and the rest I could do without. Not so with Xhosa. All of the costumes grabbed me in some way and honestly I will have a hard time choosing what section I want to be in this year.

Paul Williams’ section: Revolution

Frontlines are frontline costumes for a reason. They are supposed to stand out and they did indeed, but the Xhosa backlines! Thank you Kadooment Yeshua for bestowing your benevolence on Xhosa’s designers because those backline costumes look better than the frontlines. In every section the backline was fyah especially the Roast Entertainment section,  with that turban. Let me tell yuh. That tribute to African women and Bajan women of yesteryear made my night. Like I said in a caption on a video I posted, Roast “put some respeck” on our culture and I am here for it.

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Model, Tuesday wearing the hell out of Roast Entertainment’s backline for their section Zwela

I think the male costumes were fantastic as well. There were some interesting chest pieces and all of the shorts and board shorts looked fantastic. The head piece options for the males were really nice too. I might low key try to get one to go with my backline costume.

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Model, Maurice Arthur, in Cacique’s offering for men

-Models.

I gotta go full Bajan when I talk about these models.
Every year I complain about how the models does be full of dem damn self and more interested in demself than modeling de costume. Not last night!! NOPE!
The majority of models come on and do dixie. The energy was fantastic. Dem wukkup, dem display de costume and come off the stage. No long drawn out preening and look at how cute i am. People come to see the costumes not wunna. We can go on your IG if we’re interested in you. Xhosa models seem to get this.
Shout out to Cassie-Marie St. John (I hope I spelled your name correctly) who for me stood out in terms of vibes. She came on the stage and it made you feel like it was Kadooment Day.

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Vibesy Cassie-Marie St. John wearing Scorch Bim’s Unchained backline

COLOR AND BODY DIVERSITY.
Yes, I have to scream. I wish I could write this whole section in caps…but that would be obnoxious.
I have an unconventional body type and I am dark skinned (melanin level: blessed) so it was a joy to see that Xhosa showed a range of skin tones which represent the actual population of Barbados. No shade to other countries but 90 odd percent of Barbados ranges from dark brown to dark I’d wager (subject to actual stats) and it does us a disservice to not reflect that in a costume presentation.

Were most of the models Bajans? I don’t know.
THERE WAS A PLUS SIZED MODEL.
THERE WAS A PLUS SIZED MODEL!!
When,Cacique, the last section, brought on their backline model, Ashley Thornton, I wanted to slap up some paling. The place brek down.

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Ashley Thornton slaying.

The crowd screamed. It wasn’t a mocking scream. It was a scream of appreciation. It was a scream of “finally. FINALLY!!”
Finally, we get to see someone who is different. We get to see a whole piece on a larger person. While Ashley and I don’t have the same body type I am so happy to see a plus sized model. For years now larger Bajan women have felt like an afterthought during band launch season. You know the bands offer full pieces and high waist panty options but you’re left to imagine how it will look on you and what kind of adjustments you may need to make.
Cacique, wunna win for that! Ashley, you win!

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Cacique section leader, Simone Arthur, with models Dannyele Leslie (L) and Ashley Thornton (R)

I think that’s what really sealed the deal for me.
Xhosa out here changing the game and clearly they are serious about their demographic and their product.