It is a joy to see steel-band activities such as Pan on D’Avenue (Woodbrook) and the Laventille Steel-band parade, that attempt to present the beauty and power of the mobile steel-band.
The more relaxed pace of the music , also reminds us that the steel-band has its own musical groove , and doesn’t really have to compete with the frenetic pace of the DJs , but are capable of creating a pace and tempo amenable to steel-band music , and allowing the public to enjoy it.
Old timers would know this was always the case ; in the early days when string and brass bands played for what was then called “historical ” mas bands , they also had a pace that was much faster than the steel-bands , even in the nineteen fifties and sixties.
Sadly however , one cannot help but observe that these activities are basically non-profit events.
The steel-bands have ceded the carnival to the DJs and mas bandleaders , and have given away ( without a struggle ) the best period afforded by the culture for creating opportunities to generate income, based on their artistry,
And unfortunately , they have chosen instead to rely almost entirely on government funding in support of the art-form.
” Pan on the Move 1994″ – Pan on the move. The best way to appreciate the beauty and power of the steel-band
Now , I fully appreciate why it’s done nowadays , but I don’t like steel-bands on trucks.
Like I’ve said many times, I think something about the steel-band vibration is lost , with the distance created between the steel-band , the natural environment , and the people.
Having said that , I’ve never been about necessarily returning to the way we did things in the last century , and I’ve also stated this on many occasions.
My thing is, and always have been, about the importance of the steel-bands participating in Trinidad’s main cultural event , the carnival street parade.
I’m convinced that modern , efficient , twenty-first century means can be used to mobilize the steel-bands , but if we must settle for trucks , so be it.
I ,however will never accept the fact that putting steel-bands on trucks is the best way to display and demonstrate the beauty and power of a steel-band on the move.
Other forms of motor driven conveyances , platforms closer to the ground for example , may prove more effective., but the truck bed , though it affords a convenience we cannot deny , is certainly not my preference.