SPICE & CO – Come February 27th: IT IS ON! ONE NIGHT ONLY! © Michelle Springer, February 2010
“It is on.”
So announced lead vocalist Alan Sheppard of Spice & Co during a recent press briefing of the band’s reunion, which is to be staged at the end of the month. Billed as “Spice & Company – Alive Again”, the concert will afford mass based fans of the once popular band from the eighties and nineties the opportunity to see the frontline members – Dean Straker, on guitar, Roger Foster on bass and Sheppard – together for the first time since the band’s 15 year absence from the island’s entertainment circuit.
The Bump & Wine Café, which is managed by Sheppard and which takes the name from one of the hook lines of their 1988 mega-hit “In De Congaline“, went back in time as Maxi Baldeo, a former engineer for the group, assumed the role of selector and played tracks from Spice’s important repertoire, including “Make Noise“, “Bob’s Song“, “Guns“, and the group’s 1988 smash release “In De Congaline“.
They gave members of the press an informal history of the group which started playing together from their camaraderie days at Harrison’s College during the seventies.
“Dean, Roger and myself have had the wish and the desire to do this. Year after year would go by and we just couldn’t get it together. We feel really blessed to tell all of Barbados, it is on. Spice & Co is back for one night only,” Shepphard explained.
Spice & Co expect to do what no other entertainment entity has done in Barbados, stage a massive multi-media music concert at the Drive-In and one that accommodates children and families.
On old year’s night the band made a rare appearance at Harbour Light’s private party hosted by the famous Bay Street membership nightclub. Held at Ebworth Plantation, cricketer Brian Lara’s luxurious St Peter property, the fête enjoyed a hearty patronage, with thousands of the club’s members flocking to see them, including children of the original fans who could afford the early bird tickets of approximately BDS $190 to the door-price of approximately BDS $300.
This time, those who jammed with them in the Warehouse, Harbour Lights and on the road in their tee-shirt bands, made famous during the now defunct Congaline Carnival, can all party together at the Globe Drive-In to the band’s hits, which are often played at Back-In-Time parties across the island.
Straker explained the concert will cost approximately $250,000 to stage, but heavy corporate sponsorship is making the event possible.
Spice & Co added an interesting dynamic to the Barbadian music scene of the eighties and nineties by crossing racial barriers in the local music scene of the day. They toured extensively throughout the region and in Canada making their mark at several major carnival events in the Diaspora.
© Michelle Springer: February 2010
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