Thu | Apr 19, 2018

Panties and preservation

Published:Thursday | December 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Abby Dallas

Another Sting has come and gone and, as usual, in the aftermath of a major entertainment event, the scramble by performers to capitalise on what occurred with some follow-up interviews and press releases is on.

I am accustomed to and weary of the exaggerated claims about who did what to this great effect on the audience (some of which I have been a part of and nothing of the sort happened), but there is a variation this year. Female deejay Star Face was on stage when the police closed down the event and, naturally, there has been some focus on her.

However, the issue that is being aired is if her sexually explicit lyrics were the immediate cause of Sting being closed down after 6 a.m. on Sunday at Jamworld. Of course not. Star Face happened to be at the microphone when a show that was a good idea on paper, but with way too many performers on stage, hit an arbitrarily imposed time limit. Throughout the night there had been sexually explicit lyrics that Star Face's was pale in comparison to and, let us not forget, she was doing a Lady Saw line when the plug was pulled on the event. Not hers. And she was not doing it very well either. Frankly, her performance was not significant enough to cause a lock-off.

I don't know Star Face and, like anyone else, she wants to make a dollar out of what she likes to do. Fair enough. However, if she believes that digging every crumb of publicity out of a coincidence on probably the biggest stage she has ever been on will pay off in the long run, she (or whoever is managing her) is wrong. She is making a mistake that will put her on the wrong track for a long, long time.

Being on stage when Sting was closed down is an accident, not an accomplishment. She may be a good deejay otherwise, but for the couple minutes that she was on stage at Sting, she was not. She might develop into one - and I hope she does, because I have no doubt that she loves what she is doing - but it will not happen if she runs with the attention of this moment and does not pay attention to her craft.

I have never seen her perform before and may never do again, so although she wore a version of the same old same old panty and bra costume, that many young women try to get a 'buss', I would not put her in the Panty Posse - you know, the slew of young women who have taken to the stage in the last three or so years selling an image of stereotypical sexiness rather than real talent and working on that innate ability.


Now that I have vented, maybe it is not them I am so weary of, but the slots they are given. They do not belong in big dancehall show time. Maybe I would not be so irritated if they came on early, gave the go-go show and exited.

I adore panties - on women, on the store rack, the flash of a slingshot when the jeans back goes in public by accident or design, outside a stall in Half-Way Tree, on one of the appropriate lady's ankles and you know the rest. I detest a version of panties on stage being used to distract me from the weakness of what is being served up as entertainment. I feel as if I am being treated like an idiot - yeah, man, show the old bway likkle 20-year-old flesh and him tun fool. Maybe when I was 20, but not now that I'm well past twice that. If I want panties on - or off - young women for my entertainment, I know where Palais Royale and Club Shades are. They don't try to sing or deejay off-key. No pretence.

The youngster was not the only one in this position on Sunday morning at Jamworld. Stylysh, who performed before her, was also out of place. Together they put Sting in a lull after Professor Nuts' all too brief showing had given it a much-appreciated lift. After him, Sting should have gathered momentum with some solid performances - although, maybe if that had happened then the audience would not have taken the shut-off with words only.

Of course, Star Face and Stylysh did not put themselves on the stage at that time of morning, and no one can blame an entertainer for exploiting any platform they are given. Someone like Spice can wear anything she wants on stage, for she is an excellent deejay who has worked on what she does. Wine on her head top and deejay if she wishes, because the costume enhances, it does not disguise or attempt to compensate for deficiencies.

Sting has hit a good formula with From Then Til' Now. Implemented properly, it removes the burden on the organisers of building it around a headline act or clash every year. Rebel Salute's tag line is The Preservation of Reggae, and Sting can adopt it without saying outright The Preservation of Dancehall. Just reduce the number of combination performances (how about Admiral Bailey, Chakademus and Pliers in one group, with Josey, Briggy and Charlie in another; bring back Pinchers with Tony Curtis and Little John); honour someone (Ninja Man, using the digital backdrop to run a short documentary before the award is given); put the Panty Posse on before midnight, so they work on their craft, and have Ikaya, Spice, Cherine Anderson, Abby Dallas and Tabeta Cshae after midnight; have Innovata, Vershon and those promising ones who did not get to go on stage this year; put in a clash with youngsters like Maestro Don and Sashae, then have two

big acts to close.

The rest will come together. Cham and Assassin in the mix would be wonderful.

For Abby Dallas and Tabeta Cshae's performance, check