Grenada Spice Mas J'Ouvert 2010 Review
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Jab Jab taking No Prisoners!
Besides having some of the finest beaches in the world, often appearing in countdowns of the world's top 10 beaches, and being the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg (after Indonesia), The Spice Isle boasts of having the “Best J’Ouvert in the World!” And if you tell any Grenadian otherwise, it’s instant war!!
FeteFreaks and SummerCrew hosted respective Pre-J’Ouvert fetes, but Dimanche Gras had us engaged. So after getting a couple hours of shut eye in the media van following Dimanche Gras, we could sense that J’Ouvert celebrations in downtown St. Georges were about to begin (around 4AM) as revelers buzzed around in search of their bands.
First stop for team TJJ was in De Real Jab Jab who won the 2010 “Best Jab Jab Band” with their ‘Jab Jab Nation’ presentation. This is REAL J’OUVERT! Horned helmets, construction caps, shackles & chains, coffins, men wearing wigs and earrings, and even a mobile pot of ‘Oil Down’ ... this band had it all. TJJ Carnival Guidebook – Chapter 8; Section 3a:- If planning to play ‘Black Mas’ (get greasy or oily substances on your skin), be sure to apply lots of Petroleum Jelly as the 1st layer over your body. This will allow for easy removal of all dirt post j’ouvert.
Blackened from head to toe with tar and grease, De Real Jab Jab masqueraders were clearly taking "No Prisoners"! Time to check out other j’ouvert bands…. We headed down Lagoon road towards the beautiful Carenage waterfront, which overlooks the scenic St. Georges harbor. This is the same stretch that Carnival Monday and Tuesday’s fancy mas will take place, so we’re definitely looking forward to seeing all the pretty costumes along this route later on.
Once on the main route, we started to see lots of colourful devils ... Blue, Yellow and Green Devils! And if typical j’ouvert, we couldn’t tell the revelers from the stormers (which we suspect outnumbered the registered masqueraders) ... ALL MAN JACK DUTTY! All bands pretty much had their own music truck (or steelband) and some had a drinks truck. So you know where TJJ ended up??!! Large up Bobbie and Melanie (SummerCrew Reloaded) for the love, and we must shout out Alexandra for getting us all access on the Digicel truck for that bird’s eye view of the parade.
So, is Spice Mas J’Ouvert the best j’ouvert in the world? The answer to this question is very subjective. We love the authenticity of Grenada’s jouvert, and the fact that there were no fights (or arguments) on the road … definitely a safe and fun-filled j’ouvert. But after seeing the Grenada posse in Houston CaribFest J’Ouvert with their pig heads, skinned chicken & ducks, and other antics, we honestly expected to see a lot more vivid (and gothic) sightings in the motherland. Now we were told that a lot of this stuff was banned in St. George, but other parishes apparently have their own j’ouvert action going on with all of the real grimy, scary action. [See Adrian Lenz - Cover Me music video]
And if you’re a lover of the more uptown, organized all inclusive j’ouvert, then Trinidad & Tobago j’ouvert (in the right band of course) is for you!
Our j’ouvert jump wrapped up around 9AM with some local breakfast. I had bake n saltfish, fried breadfruit, and fish cakes ... all washed down with some delicious Golden Apple juice (x2 cups) at a nearby restaurant & bar.
Let’s see just how long it will take to clean up...