Colourful madness at Beach J'Ouvert
Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
Paint, paint and more paint was certainly the highlight of Beach J'Ouvert, which was held at James Bond Beach on Saturday.
As it neared 5 p.m., the selector announced that 'Flight 69' would be coming with paint. He advised those who wanted to be painted to go in one direction and those who didn't, to run the other way.
Soon after, most people were running around with cups filled with red and green paint. Bodies were covered with paint, leaving the eyes barely visible. Throughout, people were still running and dancing like children on a playground.
One male patron was seen walking around with a big, empty, colourful bucket on his head, pretending that he was throwing paint on people. At the sight of the bucket, he had people running, as they thought he was going to cover them in the red and green liquid. And like the patrons in the 'no-paint zone', they were spared. But that was not the case for a lonely dog that roamed the venue with yellowish paint on its back. The sight of this victimised dog provided much laughter for patrons.
But it seems there were also criminal elements in the midst of the excitement, as three policemen were seen escorting a man in handcuffs through the party.
Nonetheless, patrons continued to dance in the centre of the venue in their red, green, yellow, orange and pink thatch hats. It was almost like heaven for some men, as they got the opportunity to dance with some women without much frowning. Jumping on one leg at a time, they 'palanced' for most of the evening. Red Bull Fever was also well received.
After 6 p.m. there was a very short performance by Dr Evil, who performed songs like Tuck In Yuh Belly. There was also more dancehall from Ding Dong and his Ravers Clavers army who had the soca crowd doing the Bad Man Forward dance move. They did the Summer Swing to Holiday while Bravo made a very loud and annoying bird sound in the background. Announcing that this was his first J'Ouvert, Ding Dong asked people to paint him and some of the Ravers, which they did. Richie Loops also did an a capella version of My Cup.
When they left the stage, the selector played soca songs like Bacchanal, Palancing and Not Going Home. It seems this provided more entertainment than the dancehall addition, as patrons continued to jump, gyrate and practise being acrobats, as they danced randomly with each other in a hedonistic way.
Eventually, Fay-Ann Lyons and her husband, Bunji Garlin, took the stage to create 'fire'. She did Heavy T Bumpa and he did Party Animal. They alternated and dropped very fast rhymes. Although they were really good performers, it seemed as if some members of the crowd suffered from the 'unknown song syndrome', as they were not singing along or dancing much.
They, however, followed commands to bounce somebody and to run to the back and front of the venue. After about an hour on stage, Lyons left saying it was a "great show, no fuss, no fight".
With an hour left before the scheduled 10 p.m. end to the event, people continued to revel in the music, many of them intoxicated. They were very responsive to the soca songs but technical difficulties caused the music to stop; and every time the music stopped, some people in the crowd shouted "refund", but they continued to dance when they heard songs like Saluma and Turn It Up.