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Parang and steel the perfect blend

Patrons attending Saturday’s season premiere of Parang and Steel, staged by reigning National Panorama champion PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra at its Tragarete Road, Newtown, panyard, were not bereft of quality entertainment. Silver Stars and its musical friends seemed to thrill the large audience by delivering repertoires that had the right musical shading. The star cast included Baron (Timothy Watkins), parang group Fuego Caribeno, gospelypsonian Sean Daniell, single pan band St James Tripolians and DJ Remixx. Their quality renderings brought patrons to their feet and kept them there as they danced the night away. Culture lovers were called upon to sing, too, and did so to the open delight of each other. Their vocal flair was witnessed during the performances of Baron and Daniel.

Both artistes, during their respective performances on the night’s playbill, turned the audience into a mass choir. The highly-anticipated weekend production, now in its 20th year, was much more than just a Yuletide music showcase. Alvin Daniell, executive director of Major and Minor Productions, introduced the masses to audio versions of Panorama 2011 calypsoes co-written by Silver Stars leader Edwin Pouchet and himself. The selections were: Wake Up vocalised by former National Calypso Monarch Denyse Plummer and It’s Showtime! sung by Anselm Douglas. The publishing of these music items did not spark much debate among patrons about which ditty the champion band should chose as its tune of choice to defend its title.

In their view, whenever Silver Stars took the spotlight it’s showtime. St James Tripolians created a Carnivalesque scene as the band roved the panyard. Patrons were chipping and waving flags. Ian Welch, managing director, PCS Nitrogen, Canadian High Commissioner Karen McDonald and Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra were specially invited guests of Silver Stars at Parang and Steel. They, along with the capacity audience, were treated to a delightful mix of moods from the host band which played music of yesterday as well as today’s hits, leaving parang group Fuego Caribeno to inject the larger share of heart-warming parang numbers to herald the scintillating five-week music series—Parang and Steel.