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Calm Ocean - Singer tolerates mic problems to deliver at CFW

Published:Tuesday | June 16, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Billy Ocean performing on the final night of Pulse’s Caribbean Week Fashion 2015 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Dutty Berry, who also utilised the runway, struck the audience's collective funny bone.
Billy Ocean in performance.

Singer Billy Ocean had as many microphone changes and adjustments as a busy model at Sunday's closing day of runway shows at Caribbean Fashion Week 2015, held at the National Indoor Sports Centre, Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew.

But while the models' wardrobe changes were intentional, planned, and out of the audience's sight, the several exchanges and adjustments of microphones between Ocean and a member of the technical staff during the earlier part of his show-closing performance resulted from mishaps.

These ranged from the microphone working intermittently to not at all, leaving a singing Ocean mute to the audience.


excellent showing

Throughout it all, Ocean remained calm in vocals and demeanour, keeping focused to see off the microphone issues, which were eventually resolved, to deliver an excellent showing, Caribbean Queen capping off his 90-minute performance that at many points was a sing-along. Ocean was excellent in tempo changes, Suddenly, among the love songs which hit home.

So did the renowned Sam Cooke song A Change is Gonna Come and Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry on a reggae rhythm, two of the three tracks from his new album on which Ocean covers favourite songs from his childhood in Trinidad and Tobago.

An unflappable Ocean (who earned whoops of approval from the crowd when he greeted all in the name of Jesus Christ) made a sole reference to the microphone issues, simply saying that these things happen.


song selection

In a set that also included Love Zone and Loverboy, among many other songs that hit home with the audience once the microphone issues were settled, Ocean used the freedom to dance his way around the runway, joined at one point by a lady from the audience, to the delight of onlookers.

In the earlier going, Dutty Berry, who also utilised the runway, struck the audience's collective funny bone, imitating a model doing an interview in a heavy, unidentifiable foreign accent, as well as getting one man to walk the runway like Orane Barrett. One lady was urged to strut the runway like she was looking to work her rent money, Berry encouraging her to work it.

Berry did an audience check, asking (among other things) for those who knew that their outfits cost more than $10,000 - a figure which was quickly revised. There was laughter when Berry asked for those who "come an see your ex", as well as those who knew that they looked better than the person seated next to them.

His closing line hit home, Berry imitating Pulse boss Kingsley Cooper romancing his lady love, telling her, "dating me is more than a dream, it is a lifestyle".

Ocean and Berry served up song and laughter on a night when designs by Claudia Pegus, The Cloth (done by Robert Young, many of the models carrying tools like a pickaxe); Ashley Martin (whose Attitude was a hit); Uzuri (led out by Kaci Fennell), were among those presented to the audience.