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Get ready! J'Ouvert hasn't been this weird and convoluted in a very long time. Dirty Dozen J'ouvert left the tepid torture of glam and couture behind - though they really didn't revel in it, if you think about it - to deliver Camboulay ... the most stormy and odd dark ride of J'ouvert this or the year before. Rediscovering the basic joys or mud & paint mixed with free drinks & breakfast, the group didn't so much re-invent the J'ouvert concept but did revel in such modern concepts.
By using a simple set-up and a plethora of advertising campaigns, dirty dozen j'ouvert plays like a joke-a-minute parade in dirty materials where stormers, lack of security & clashing with other J'ouvert bands takes the place of sheer enjoyment, pure excitement and uncontrollable delight ... but this was just the beginning.
After starting delayed, with the set up taking some time, the breakfast being served, the bar being stocked and the security being prepped ... We were on our way ... Off We Go ... Mud On ... Paint On ... The usual guntas have the buckets of mud and paint ... normally all bathed in it ... and did I say .. We Are Off!
Hoping to get a drink early in the mix ... I had the pleasure of deciding spirits or a beer from the tubs ... went for the beers as they were easy to access and hey ... its just beer!
Steeped in a wealth of J'ouvert history and and not afraid to do almost anything for excitement and entertainment, Dirty Dozen is, without a doubt, one of the smallest J'ouvert Bands for Trinidad Carnival in Port Of Spain. It's the perfect size ... so why did it have stormers? Where was the security? Who was the security ... Recommendation: Dress your security in brightly coloured outfits - jerseys - and you should know how many people are registered in your band - so you do some maths and you hire security per number of people ... if you have 300 people in your band - why not have 30 security officers ... 1 every 10 ... have some rope that has some colour .. maybe blue? or orange?
... Really ... J'ouvert is really only 4 to 6 hours of fun ... it is not hard work keeping out stormers ...
That not withstanding, the vibe was very much there and present in class. You could literally call Dirty Dozen a post-modern fun-house, complete with moments of levity and sequences of nerve-shattering stormers wining on you i.e. unwanted wining! Now with music being supplied from very good top notch disco jockeys ... I do not blame the stormers for their presence ... so once they were spotted I knew we were in for a traditional terror J'ouvert
- I could have missed it ...
This was a masterful experience last year and this year plenty has to be said about the experience ... the kind of solid mud & paint festival that will remind many of the first J'ouvert experience that turned them on the year before. Complete with the bathing festival with some hard penetrating water at the mas camp ... i.e. ... a water block-o ... I believe the only time the security were actually securing the band, this gave the edge from the other bands around the area. Yes, thats correct, playing with Dirty Dozen, you get your own Water fete Block-O at the end! Can't do better than that ... made me actually eat my words about missing it ... I think this is what happened ... Dirty Dozen ... the twelve ingredients ... paced these ingredients (concepts) out which built a level of excitement that treated the patron as a willing and wanting participant. As little touches (late start ... music pumping outside the mas camp) builds to massive set-pieces (grand take off, mud being lavishly draped on, paint being powdered on and hence ... wet! Dirty Dozen never let things get out of control (except the stormers).
Indeed, Dirty Dozen's script seems to consistently find the right fun, from initial band troubles to the last act revelation of an important water fete block-o!! Throughout, Camboulay kept channeling the entirety of the dirty mas! The only thing missing was security and such unnecessary gratuity is not needed here!!!!
A lack of security does not mean a lack of intuition nor guts nor does it represent cheapness (maybe!!??), however dirty dozen revels in taboo elements (uncontrollable wining & massive consumption of alcohol) to get their fun across, and their composition is complicit in the results. Dirty Dozen makes for a perfect post-modern J'ouvert Band where J'ouvert is concerned yet, precariously detached from the rest.
Even better are the proximity and location of their mas camp and the vast age group brackets! But this can be at times a J'ouvert band leader's showcase, a career calling card destined to make Dirty Dozen one of the most beloved J'ouvert Bands for complete dirtiness and utter winery ever.Camboulay was a classic just waiting to be confirmed.
Scorn Juice ... are you surprised?>> View Dirty Dozen J'Ouvert 2011 Camboulay Gallery>> View Trinidad & Tobago Carnival 2011 Coverage