Date: Saturday 26th July 2008
Location: Kensington Oval. Bridgetown, Barbados
Promotions: Party Central Promotions
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With tons of great hits such as "Ragamuffin", "Twister", "In The Meantime", "Aye Aye Aye", "Controller", "Faluma", "Togetherness", "Turn It Around", "Sugar", "DJ Ride", "Iron Bazodee" Carnival Baby", "Kitty Cat", "Push Back", "Bam Bam", "Plumber" (and we can go on and on) and some awesome albums (Full Bloom and Faluma) under their belt, Square One has always been one of our favourite Soca bands. And indeed, 2004 was a sad year for Soca music when the band broke up. So when we got a call from the promoters, informing us that Square One was having a reunion concert in BIM the weekend before the main Crop Over festivities, it was a no brainer that Trini Jungle Juice was going to be there! And it was for "One Night Only" ... we not missing it for the world!!
Braaaaps ... "Hello, American Airlines. We're now going to Barbados earlier!" All day Saturday, we traveling. Zero sleep the night before to catch a 6:00am flight, with a connection in Miami, and then onto BIM. 8:30pm, flight land. Quick link up with Bajan Brett, then onto Sandy Shores apartments (one of our sponsors) in Christ Church for a quick fresh. Well, when we tell ya, we staying in a prime location!! Beach front furnished property, less than 5 minutes drive from St. Lawrence Gap, and like a 10 minute drive to downtown Bridgetown. So Harbour Lights and The Boat Yard right dey, and if you stumble out of your bed by accident, you will land right into Mojo's bar! Prime ... we tell ya!!
It's quickly approaching 10pm, so it's time for movements to Kensington Oval. The venue wasn't hard to find, because when we look twice, there's a long line wrapped around the corner outside the oval. Immediate parking ... negative. Luckily, security gave us a media bligh parking spot right in front the oval, so we feeling nice. Checked off on the media list, then a quick pat down at the VIP entrance, for smooth and easy access into the venue. We love to see when promoters have their stories well organized. Food and drink stalls were set up outside the main oval area, and inside, the main stage was set up in the middle of the oval - we expecting a pretty decent size crowd. We decided to scope out the scenes a lil' more before engaging in the food and alco.
BIM's finest DJs were easy juggling as the crowd trickled in. Seeing the massive Square One logo at the back of the stage brought back some fond memories of partying with them in the Boat Yard back in the days. Showtime got on it's way just after the scheduled time of 11pm. But wait, are we in the Caribbean? Things actually moving on time??!! Local Bajan artists such as Barry Chandler (Jabae), Pong, Contone and a couple other artists, entertained the crowd with their popular songs, which had stage front concert-go'ers getting their waistlines properly loosened up for Square One. We just love to see Bajans "wuk up"!!! Most entertaining!!!
Alison Hinds and Andy Armstrong, together with the rest of the original Square One band members graced the stage minutes to 1am, after a lengthy intermission. It's a good thing we grabbed a flying fish 'n bake, yes! It was then nonstop jamming with Square One and special guest artists straight through until 4am. The took fans down memory lane and even demonstrated their versatility singing some Reggae (some real classics too) and Latin selections, as some sexy dancers executed their routines in the background. It was great to see all of the artists they collaborated with in the past, accompany them on stage once again. Iwer George and Alison singing 1999 "Bandit Dance" ... Peter Ram and Alison singing "Top Class Bubbler" & "Wave Wid Me" ... pore raising! Then Biggie Irie dedicates Tarrus Riley's "She's Royal" to the Soca Queen ... just beautiful. Of course the show could not end without Lil' Rick blessing the stage. Hyper Dawg, always entertaining as can be, had Alison stretching before he put a good ole fashion wuk up on her. "It's been a while since I get a proper wuk up from Rick", Alison remarks.
Minutes to 4am, and the police apparently gave word that the concert must end promptly at 4am. What madness we hearing? Lil' Rick on a roll .. and Square One still have an arsenal of tunes to sing!! The crowd starts to shout out all the different tunes they still want to hear Square One sing. "But wait, they ain't even sing Faluma!!!", shouts one concert-go'er. "Like they have to have a Back to Square One Part 2", shouts another. It wasn't long before the law turned the microphones off, with Hyper Dawg still jammin'. In good spirits, they eventually allowed Alison to thank everyone for their love and support, before the band took it's final bow.
We must mention the 80 year old woman (we sure that's how old they said she was), who still looking like she's 50 - and still able to wuk up - that Alison invited on stage to show her admiration and respect. If we all could look and act like that at 80... it will be great we tell ya!!! Special thanks to Simone, Tamara and the entire Party Central Promotions crew for their hospitality. Good times!
ps. We got inside information, that there might be a "Back to Square One" concert coming to NY soon. Stay tuned.