Beres Hammond, Flow's office party 'click'
Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Living up to its brand name, Flow (Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited), took its annual Christmas party to the grounds of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, on Saturday. The company abandoned its customary polo shirts for a wide range of creative interpretations of 'heels and ties', the prescribed attire for the event, to watch, talk, and click into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Music was provided by Colin Hines and a live performance from crooner Beres Hammond.
The Yuletide festivity unfolded under a transformed large tent, erected for the purpose of being an examination centre for UWI students. Desks and chairs made way for a good-size stage, a spacious dance floor, white chairs, tables of two different heights, covered in varied coloured cloths, and white sofas adorned with cushions. On entrance, all were greeted with cold drinks from bars placed strategically parallel to the dance floor. There were also two serving areas for the buffet-style meals. All combined to create a Christmas party of great intimacy.
Hines got the party vibe going with selective servings of music for staff and guests who arrived in a timely manner. In the initial stage, they were contented to watch and talk, with occasional groups reacting to a drenching of the spin master's musical choices. On two occasions, music and patrons were interrupted by spot prizes. And then the click came.
Some minutes after midnight, in a smooth transition from selector to band, the party energy went up several notches, with fine performances sprinkled with some humour and a full dose of popular hits.
As the curtains were drawn, revealing Hammond's band, all were ushered, with little convincing, closer to the stage. And upon the sound of the musical icon's voice, the screams commenced. This was to be alternated with sing-a-longs to favourite songs for the approximately hour-long set.
Hammond was attired in a jacket that did not last beyond his opening song. Among the screams, the great international performer continued to ignite the patrons of different ages, with some of his hit songs like Standing in My Way, Step Aside Love, Tempted to Touch, and Putting Up Resistance.
In one of his brief chit-chat moments, he informed the gathering that he also sang love songs. Among the love songs performed at this juncture was his powerful worded Love Means Never to Say I'm Sorry. The act also entailed a brief moment of discord between Hammond and his band. This was followed by an explanation presented with humour. An hour after he made his entrance, the giant of a singer left the stage to a cry for more.
Once again, Hines returned to turntable duties and ushered the revellers into the final section of the lively office party.