Erup Band Launch 2017: Beyond Borders

Erup is a newbie to the Crop Over game but definitely not a band to be slighted.

Parking

The parking wasn’t organised and patrons slotted in where they could as close to the venue as they could get. There wasn’t any additional security lighting.

Venue

The Barbados Museum is always a nice venue for a party, with its picturesque buildings and intimate feel, however, the stage took up most of the available space and it was quite hot for patrons after a while.

Drinks

Y’all dem ain’t had no gin but I used to this now and drank some good rum and Cokes instead. The bar was a little slow but the bartenders were pleasant so I didn’t mind too much.

Vibes

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There was plenty of vibes at the launch. From the line to enter the venue patrons were bouncing to the music and clearly just ready to have a good time. When I arrived, Scott Le Rock and Mali Fresh were playing and several patrons were wukkin up and just generally moving to the music.

After the presentation of the costumes Stiffy (hey boo if you’re reading this… I LAV YOUUUUUU).

*ahem*

Stiffy performed and hyped the crowd up even further.

Presentation of costumes

Erup’s theme is Beyond Borders. I expected your typical countries of India, China…you know… all the go-to exotic countries but nah! They brought some interesting portrayals of festivals in Nepal, Morroco and Ghana.

Bay *clap* beeeee *clap* did they commit to their theme.

Each section was introduced by a dance which included moves and elements from each culture they were portraying. It really felt like they did their research and put thought into developing the theme.

 

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Production Coordinators Shari Pollard- Payne and Justin Poleon setting the vibe for the launch with their opening dance.

 

Erup’s costumes were Fan-tas-tic! FANTASTIC you hear me. There were no run of the mill costumes! There was definitely thought put into the design of the male costumes, which is definitely a breath of fresh air for me. All of the costumes had a unique element and I can’t say that I have an overwhelming favourite.

 

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Vanessa Gilkes modelling the showstopper costume, designed by Rawle Permanand.

 

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Male offering by Rawle Permanand.

 

 

If I did have a favourite it would be the section designed by Akin of Stronjeh International.

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Stronjeh International section

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*heart eyes*

 

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So here for how extra those boots are.

 

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Stronjeh’s designer Akin

 

This launch was so well produced. Kudos to the production coordinators, Shari Pollard-Payne and Justin Poleon (I want to come back as him in my next incarnation. He is everything. Lawd). Their dance choreography, choice of diversely shaped dancers was refreshing. It was truly a beautiful display of Bajan talent.

 

You can keep up to date on their website here.

Models

If I wanted models for a band launch I would hire every last one of Erup’s models. They all did the job of showcasing the costume and still bringing a vibe to each section. It’s obvious they were well trained. The models were so good that my friends and I asked each other if they had to attend a wukkup and vibe audition to be in the launch.

There was a wide variety of skin tones and body shapes and sizes, which is so refreshing because honestly, it becomes frustrating to have to guess how a costume would look on your colour or shape.

Erup’s second year showing was fabulous and I had a fantastic time. If they are able to replicate the launch for the road they will easily take their place as one of the Kadooment Day titans.

*Disclaimer (cuz people love to run dem mout): Do Dixie is affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I do run Juck Down, a 12- week women only training program designed to make women Crop Over sexy and do dixie on the road during the season (and yes this is a completely shameless plug)*

Baje International Launch 2017: This Is The Life

Baje are veterans in the Bajan costume game and as always their launch is highly anticipated by Crop Over lovers.

Parking

The parking was haphazard and people were parking as close as they could get to the venue. Unlike last year, I didn’t notice any extra security lighting or parking attendants.

Venue

George Washington House, I’m sure, is a great place to have a small intimate function, maybe a wedding reception, but, not for a venue with this many people.

Drinks

Looka! I dunno if they had gin but free rum punch was handed out at the door. I drank vodka most of the night because I was hoeing out myself for drinks. Not really, but the drinks were on the weak side but from what I saw there was a wide variety on hand.

Vibes

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Presentation of costumes

The theme of the band is This Is Life. I had no clue what the theme was prior to the launch so I didn’t have any expectations for the costumes.

A little birdie whispered to me that the costume presentation would start at 10:30, but we know that’s 11 or 11:30 Bajan time. True to form, the costumes came out at 11.

Y’all *audible sigh* I just felt underwhelmed.

Please don’t get me wrong most of the costumes were pretty…but they were just that… pretty…not the standout type that would make you start doing complex math to move your account from overdraft to purchase a costume.

The only section which stood out was the Firebird Section.

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Firebird Individual designed by Jin Forde and modelled by Leah Marville.  Giving us rich Middle Eastern trophy wife realness.

The male costumes, as with most bands, were the same remix of board shorts and nods to head and chest pieces. I didn’t think the male opening number could get any cheesier than last year but somehow they managed with a military boot camp style chant. Then they showcased the costumes to dancehall.

I still have not made the connection between the costumes and the theme.

You can see all of the costumes here.

Models

Again, gorgeous people with mostly little to no vibe.

There were, however a few bright sparks!

Megghan Michael is a stunner and brought an uptempo vibe to the stage.

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Raven modelled by fierce ass Megghan Michael.

The other bright spark was Gerston Blenman. Again, vibes grandfadda.

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At the end of the day, Baje costumes will look pretty on the road and I’m sure revellers will have a wonderful time but the launch just left me wanting more because I know they are capable of more.

*Disclaimer (cuz people love to run dem mout): Do Dixie is affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I do run Juck Down, a 12- week women only training program designed to make women Crop Over sexy and do dixie on the road during the season (and yes this is a completely shameless plug)*

Xhosa Barbados Launch 2017: Pure

 

*struts in*

*drops down in right side lunge*

*shakes boxy*

Xhosa was lit. 

Go home, folks. This is all you need to know.

 

– Parking.

Parking was adequate and the area seemed really secure.

– Venue.

St. Anns Fort seems to be a favourite for Xhosa and I can understand why. It’s relatively secluded, easy to secure and it is breezy enough that patrons won’t be uncomfortable. The stage was a lot longer than last year and allowed for better viewing from all sided by interested patrons who wanted to capture the costumes for themselves.

-Vibes.

Listen.

Listen *clap* to *clap* me *clap*

Yuh see this ” We don’t pose. We party” slogan Xhosa has? They live by it. They get it right with each event. The DJs kept the hype going from beginning to end. The sets were sweet and each tune just seemed to build the hype more. After the costumes launched and Barry Hype and Patrick came on they threw some hip hop and dancehall in the mix. I would have preferred soca all night but after a certain amount of drinks have been drunk you will dance to anything as long as the beat is hype. I don’t think I was alone in wanting this but we took it on the chin and partied on.

-Drinks.

There was no gin. I dunno why y’all stay trying me. Yes, I know it was a cooler party but my personal level of petty demands that gin is at any event I go to even if I could have brought some from home.

(I ran out of Hendricks and was too busy with work to get more. Sue me)

-Presentation of costumes.

Sooo…

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Pure is Xhosa’s theme.

I don’t understand it. I didn’t see anything in the sections presented that makes any reference to purity. Pure vibes? Pure Bajans? Pure what?

I dunno.

Anyway… I like pretty things so I just let it slide.

The opening dance routine was on point and I wish to Versace that one day I, too, can have a boxy like any one of those dancers.

There were 4  sections out of the 10 presented that really caught my eye.

 

Scorch Bim always bring fyah costumes and this combo of white and gold was really gorgeous. I have to check out the situation for big busted women like myself when I see the costume in person but I loved all three versions of the costume.

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By Carlori’s costume. I just love how damn extra this costume is. Everything about it is over the top and wonderful.

 

 

-Models.

The Xhosa models, as usual, brought the hype to the stage. Again I seem to have a fave in Cassie-Marie St. John. Something about this woman brings a certain energy to the costume. Like I wanna be in her section just to do bad and juck down with her.

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Miss Hype (Cassie) dey so in de middle.

COLOR AND BODY DIVERSITY.
There was an effort.  I was totally wowed by the plus size section last year and was pleased to see Ashley Thornton reprising her role as Xhosa’s Plus Sized Hottie. I was really hoping to have seen a different design for the plus sized ladies but I still like that, again, a major Kadooment band included them.

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In short, which I never am, Xhosa launch and cooler party was bashy as <insert your curse word of choice>. I’m looking forward to seeing the costumes at the band house and the price points for the costumes. You can obviously keep up to date on Xhosa’s website.

 

*Disclaimer (cuz people love to run dem mout): Do Dixie is affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I do run Juck Down, a 12- week women only training program designed to make women Crop Over sexy and do dixie on the road during the season (and yes this is a completely shameless plug)*

Zulu International Band Launch : Wanderlust

Hello?…inside?

Inside?

*uses Foghorn Leghorn voice*

INSIDE!!

Yes. I’m back. With slightly more manners than last year but I’m back. I’ve finally gotten over the Carnival flu I picked up in Trinidad this year and nursing a serious tabanca. When I tell you this tabanca bad I am not even kidding. There were a couple of days I was considering just giving up everything and using Gofundme to take me to the next carnival (but I have shame sometimes so no).

Despite the tabanca, I was shocked when I heard bands would be launching in March and fete tickets being sold already for the last week of Crop Over. Bajan promoters not making sport this year. They’re like “Yeah I see the economy in shambles so I giving y’all two extra months to get your coin together for Crop”. I’m not mad at them at all.

Zulu International tout themselves as the “fun band” so I was curious to see if the launch would live up to the slogan.

 

Parking

We parked on what we discovered to be the outskirts of the venue, mainly because there was no one to direct patrons to the more than adequate parking closer to the venue. No big thing though because as long as I’m not robbed I really don’t mind walking a bit to the fete.

Venue

Belleview Plantation. This was my first time at this location and I really like it. It was spacious and there was a cool breeze the entire night.

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Drinks

No gin.

Qu’est-ce que le fuck? I mean why? Why do y’all continue to oppress me like this? You don’t have gin but you have Passoa, like it’s 1998, and Ponche Kuba.

Yes, you read that right. Ponche Kuba was on sale by the bottle. I didn’t see any great-aunts in attendance so who was that Ponche Kuba for? I guess that’s what your sponsors gave you but… bruh no.

A friend and I ended up buying a bottle of vodka (regretting this currently)  because the bar was only selling by the bottle and the other friend drank Guinness.

Vibes

The vibe was ok. I mean just ok. You could tell the DJs were working hard to hype the crowd. It’s too far outside of Crop Over for a full hype fete.

Costumes

Zulu’s theme this year is Wanderlust. I went to the launch expecting to see the usual suspects for a wanderlust theme, China, India and Africa. I was kind of surprised at the depictions presented because they kept it mostly regional and didn’t do an African theme despite being named after an African ethnic group.

Each section, except the last, was preceded by a dance or martial art from the country being depicted.

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Barbados (Queen of the Band)

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Coachella Frontline

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Holi Frontline

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Chinese New Year Backline

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Jab Jab Frontline

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Rio Frontline Option B (Female Only Section)

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Passa Passa Backline

 

The overall production of the show was well done and the costumes are definitely a cut above last year but I didn’t see anything that made me gasp and immediately want to sign up. I’ll be going to the band house to look at them more closely, though. Most of the costumes were designed by Trinidadian duo Richard and Anthony who are fresh off the heels off Trinidad Carnival and a bacchanal with their section in Fantasy Carnival (maybe I’ll write about that in the near future).

You can view all of the costumes on Zulu’s Facebook page

 

 

Models

This is where I give Zulu full ratings. They models represented a wide spectrum of complexions, a variety of sizes and were mostly homegrown beauties.

The models sold the costumes and I find this to be sadly lacking at band launches. The Zulu models as soon as they touched the stage brought vibes and danced and carried on like it was Kadooment Day already.  When “Do It Fuh Daddy” comes on a model gives you a full juck down to the song then, yes, your models have sold your “fun band” slogan.

 

*Disclaimer (cuz people love to run dem mout): Do Dixie is affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I do run Juck Down, a 12- week women only training program designed to make women Crop Over sexy and do dixie on the road during the season (and yes this is a completely shameless plug)*

 

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)*