Xhosa Barbados Launch 2018: Circle of Life

 

*stares in wine hangover*

*stares in sore quads and glutes*

*stares in bashment*

Once again Xhosa Barbados’ launch was lit. 

At this point, I could just copy and paste last year’s review but what fun would that be?

– Parking.

Lol the parking attendant by the Stadium has to be the most nonchalant being I have ever met and that’s saying something considering I spent two hours by myself with cats that didn’t know me in my friend’s house.

That aside, the parking area was definitely secured and close to the venue.

– Venue.

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Love the stage set up

This is my first time going to the NCC Botanical Gardens. Honestly, didn’t even know it existed. The walk to the venue was super dark and since it was in a natural setting the ground undulated (check me using all my Common Entrance words) so patrons had to take care where they were stepping. I loved the set up of the stage which enabled more patrons to see the costumes up close and to get decent photos.

-Vibes.

White girl bend over

Actual photo of me doing a 6:15. I’m 35…I am not throwing out my back to contort myself in a 6:30

The above is all you need to know.

-Drinks.

Didn’t bother to check the bar because I had a bottle of Apothic Red.

-Presentation of costumes.

Circle of Life and Xhosa came through with the goddesses (Ceres), death (Reaper) and aspects of the natural world (Lignum Vitae). I really enjoyed the sections and making the connection to the theme.

The presentation started with some West African dance and then came the costumes which were really beautiful, there was even some thought behind the men’s costumes, but definitely, there were some crowd faves.

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Love this mesh get up. Phoenix Option B, led by Punchy Punch and designed by Keisha Als.

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I would probably fight someone to be in any of the options for this section, Aja. Designed by Humzee and led by Richard Rollocks

View the all of the costumes here.

-Models.

Xhosa does the right thing by using dancers as models because the hype is always there on stage.

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Aisha Commisiong wearing the shit out of Christian Boucaud designed Ari.

COLOUR AND BODY DIVERSITY.

There was a good mix of skin tones and body types on the stage. Xhosa set the trend with this years ago and I’m pleased to see it was not a one-off situation.

I had a great time and I hope Xhosa continues in this vein for their road experience this year.

* 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)*

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Krave The Band Launch 2018

I’ve been busy this past weekend attending all these launches for your (and mostly my) gratification so let’s get straight into it.

Venue

Fiddlewood Park was so cold.Yes, yes I know spring is taking for ever to come and there’s a snowstorm and blah, blah, blah! It’s relative and it was cold for Bim.Other than that it was quite spacious and there was room for patrons to dance and socialize.

KFC Pop Down Bucket

Most pop down bucket of chicken I’ve ever seen

Parking

It was well lit and there were really helpful parking attendants who made sure there was no double parking etc.

Drinks

I’ll spare y’all my usual diatribe about my fave liquor. There was free rum, vodka and beer and if left up to their own devices the Heineken girls would have built a fortress of canned Heineken around you the way they were giving out those beers.

Vibes

This was a fete where the vibe built as the night went on. There was a mix of dancehall and soca and at this point I just not gonna fight that particular battle anymore.Motto from St. Lucia performed but I think at that point people were more interested in the costumes to come so he didn’t get too much of a response. I left before Lil Natty and Thunda and Iwer performed because…a girl is old.

Presentation of costumes

Beating their previous record of unveiling costumes at 1:06 a.m. Krave blessed us with this year’s presentation at 2:31 a.m.

Their theme was “Year of the Savage”. I was really interested to see how they would portray this as this could easily be seen as referencing indigenous peoples negatively. Nomenclature aside it was a brilliant and innovative depiction of the clothing used by indigenous peoples all over the world. Each costume incorporated elements of the cultures, mostly through prints and accessories, while giving you the Krave extraness and bling.

I’m here for it. All of the costumes were effing beautiful.

Mesoa

If I had to pick a fave, Mesoa which paid homage to Mesoamerican (Central American) cultures, would be it. Here we have all variations of the costume (Low key sound like I on National Geographic nuh)

Iskaba

Iskaba section.Yass come through and honour West African cultures Krave come through. I love this so much.

Tracy Boyce and company slayed the designs again this year.

Models

Flawless as usual.

Mix of nationalities as usual.

Vibes as usual.

C’est tout.

Krave launched their 5th-anniversary band in grand style and can’t wait to see them on the road.

* I am affiliated with no band or business for Crop Over. I’m just a complete Crop Over lover who runs  Juck Down 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)*

Erup Band Launch 2018: Hidden Treasures

I missed Khepri Kulture’s launch cuz I old and pop down but somehow I managed to stay awake long enough to attend Erup’s Launch at George Washington House.

Parking

When I arrived there weren’t many patrons so parking was easy. As usual with this particular venue, people park along the Garrison Savannah whilst trying their best not to impede the customers of the business women and men who work there.

Venue

George Washington House is a hit or miss venue for me. It’s nice if you don’t have a large number of people because it gets hot very quickly.  The stage took up most of the space in the venue but that was a good thing, I think because we were able to see the details of the costumes easily from the crowd.

Drinks

Wunna tired of me and gin yet?

^^ Rhetorical question

The bar was pretty decent especially the Stoli cocktail bar which gave you gummy worms in your drink.The bartenders were awesome and even modified my cocktail to accommodate my allergies.

Vibes

Man, look, de ting was dead and I don’t even feel like it was for lack of trying.

Big Red-

*TURN AROUND FOR BIG REDDDDDD TOUCHHH YUH TOESS FUHHH BIG REDDDD*

I real sorry but my love for that dibby classic knows no bounds and I will stop anywhere I am to sing and dance to it.

But I digress.

Big Red and the other DJs were awesome and played some really good sets but the crowd just wasn’t into it. Level with me man. Elections got wunna? De economy got wunna? Wunna get horn?

Nick Young confused

But also I won a bottle of champagne because I knew the theme of last year’s band. I pulled up the blog on my phone and found the name. Y’all should probably bookmark this site if you want to win tings too.

Presentation of costumes

The theme this year was “Hidden Treasures”.

I want Erup to give a master class on theme portrayal because they always execute.This year they scaled back on the drama and theatrics of last year and said “huh! tekk dese  costumes. Like dem and guh home.”

The female costumes were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I think they really took a step back from their male costume designs this year which is a big disappointment for me tbh.

I have two strong favourites (butmy pics sucked more than usual so I’m linking to their Instagram for you.)

White Diamonds had me gagging!!

HEL-LO Ametrine!!

You can keep up to date on their Instagram page here.

Models

To quote fellow blogger Luke Lascaris ” What I learned tonight is that a bad bitch turns 18 every day”. Lemme tell you the way I cackled. Lmao

He’s right though. There were so many fresh faces at the launch. They danced, they strutted and brought an energy to the stage. I thought it was smart to put the darker models in costumes that made their skin pop and it made the costume come alive.

* 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)*

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)*