By Chaos, Freelance Writer
Alison Hinds excites while on-stage at Margaritaville Negril, Westmoreland, last Sunday during 'Negril Getaway 2002'. - Contributed
BARBADIAN BAND Square One had absolutely no problems in maintaining their status as one of, if not the, premier soca bands on the planet last Sunday at 'Negril Getaway 2002', held at Margaritaville Negril, Westmoreland.
The day started off slowly but the second they hit the stage, the anticipation at the sandy venue went up a notch or two. The audience's appetite had been whetted by three rather funny competitions just before, but now they were in for the real thing and Square One was ready and willing to deliver.
Alison Hinds, with red-hued dreadlocks and her assets being shown in their full glory courtesy of her costume, was the first to take the microphone.
"This is the only place to be right now, Margaritaville Negril, so if you ah party people, let me see yuh hands right now..." she said as the screams erupted and the hands went up. "All di sexy woman dem, SCREAM!!!!," she asked, and sexy or not, they obliged, loudly. "All a di bad boy dem, mek mi see yuh two han'inna di air...," she continued.
By this time bikini-clad young ladies and shorts-wearing young men were paired off and ready to wine, while some other young ladies opted to go it solo, grabbing onto the front of the stage as they raised their posteriors, ready for action.
"Me si di ladies wining good, so look, if yuh si a nice man who yuh wine wid, he not going to say no... I have to see how a Jamaican man wine... We came to play Mas, to wine down...," Hines declared, before launching into the lines Somebody check mi fi Carnival/Carnival for everybody/Somebody check mi for Carnival and the venue suddenly became a writhing mass of bodies on the sun-drenched sand, as the band went through one hit after another.
The six-member band, three lead singers, a keyboardist, drummer and one guitarist, were on fire and kept in constant motion on the stage as they entertained and the lead singers exchanged microphones. "Who is it?" one asked. "It's the plumber!" he shouted, before shouting a 'Whoa!' which was echoed vociferously by the crowd.
Whoa di wata running they sang a number of times as the crowd went even crazier, Here kitty they sang, repeating the line Get the cat a number of times before instructing the crowd to Attack it from the front... Attack it from the back, orders they followed gleefully.
"Now I want to see all the hands in the air like this, it's called cat's paw..." one lead singer said, before singing Somebody pussycat get away and it causing problem... get the cat and hold it dung.
The venue was steaming hot and Hinds got a towel to wipe her face before asking "Anybody really ready to get really bad bad right now? You really ready to party? Let me see yuh right hand... Jump an' wave... she sang as those who danced went way past the point of frenetic. "Good Lord, we have to do that one more time," said Hinds, seemingly in awe herself.
She then said "The war must done, - I wanna hear yuh! - When I say 'What is the word?' and the crowd screamed as one "Togetherness!"
"I see the Bajan crew is represented and I see the Jamaican crew is here, so I want to see two hands in the air," said Alison Hinds, and suddenly there was a sea of limbs stretched to the sky. The microphone changed hands again and there were the words "Siddung pon di riddim like a tire pon a rim, work it, work it, work it baby, wine, wine, wine...," and the young ladies at Margaritaville Negril seemed to be remote controlled, as they moved their waists in almost perfect unison, 'wining' like crazy. School was in session and the students were paying rapt attention. Let me see you push back/push back baby/wine baby/push back baby/wine baby...
As those in attendance obeyed they were sprayed with water courtesy of two men with water guns on-stage as Square One sang "Me sey yuh wake in the morning an' yuh..." and the audience completed "...just realise." Cheers greeted the introduction to a cover of Inner Circle's Gonna Make You Sweat and even Sean Paul's Gimme The Light came in for some Bajan treatment. There was a reggae feel to the band's next song, which Hinds said was from Square One's next album and she sang ...I'm a jealous girl/I've just got to let you know/You belong to me.../and I'll always love you/I'm a greedy girl/I've got to let you know.../You belong to me, all the while moving her body in ways which are probably illegal in some countries.
Di Wata Running followed and Alison Hinds even deejayed for a bit asking "If yuh don't do dat, put up yuh hand," and then declaring "Yuh lie!" - no need to wonder what 'dat' is. Ride Di Riddim followed and then Hinds challenged the Jamaican men in the house to a competition, declaring that she '...had the best Bajan 'wine' and saw the best Jamaican 'wine' and wanted to combine the two. Two volunteers were immediately on-stage, but were pre-empted by MC Rodney Campbell, who proceeded to 'wine and jook' with the Barbadian lady to the roars of approval from the crowd.
After this the band took a break and the selectors took over as the crowd took a rest. As the evening fell, Square One re-took the stage and, starting off with their monster hit Faluma, went into another set that left everyone interested in the venue totally exhausted.