Barbadian group Az Man & Zimbabwean Spoken Word Poet dismay yet Ghanaian-American poet thrills: A Review of Crop Over 2010 Read-In “Don’t Care Where You Come From” {Devil’s Advocate #7}

Devil's Advocate allows average Barbadians on the Bajan Reporter to express themselves freely - since the schoolteacher did not want to discourage any of his pupils from a career in Culture, he wished to remain in the background and let his words spread forth...

Devil's Advocate allows average Barbadians on the Bajan Reporter to express themselves freely - since the schoolteacher did not want to discourage any of his pupils from a career in Culture, he wished to remain in the background and let his words spread forth to guide...

It started with a wow! The National Anthem performed by the tuk band, Pompasetters, was off the hook. Words cannot describe. Your mouth was left open and hanging in a good way. I need to hear the National Anthem in tuk again, Pompasetters. Kudos to Ronnie D and company the two pieces by the group ‘Pride of Wilson Hill’ was great. Their voices were melodious and harmonious, the expressions on their faces almost angelic and they were well coordinated, suggesting many well spent practice sessions.

Sun Rokk was who stood out that night. His fresh faced, bubbly approach is captivating. From the moment he walked on the stage you loved him. To pair him with Trina Headley was not a good idea. Her delivery was dead. It seemed like she was not ready or someone forced her on stage.

To say that Sun Rokk upstaged her is the understatement of the year. That guy has lyrics and his delivery was infectious. He was the only one who got the somewhat reserved, should I say bourgeoisie crowd to mellow and show their true colours. The only negative was that at times the band drowned out his voice.

By the way, kudos to the band C4 – great accompaniment, I would want them for my next gig.

The next performer who captivated me was Sonia Williams. She took to the stage like butter to warm bread. In a different forum I got the impression that she would have gotten down right naughty. I loved how she disked those who disked fat people. The people of size were appreciative. She was very relaxed on stage. She left us hanging for more and implored us to buy her book. I would prefer to buy the book along with a CD so that I could listen to the nuances of her voice. It was a pleasure to watch her delivering her craft with consummate ease.

Amanda Hoyos-Cummins was lovely to behold and her spoken word was smooth.

Sonia Williams did "Fatology" and here she is backstage with Mrs Alex Cummins, IMAGE COURTESY: Mandy Cummins

Sonia Williams did "Fatology" and here she is backstage with Mrs Alex Cummins, IMAGE COURTESY: Mandy Cummins

Az Man. What can I say? Not my style. Too over the place and a tad monotonous. I got the impression that if you did not stop them they would go on and on and on.

Take a deep breath. Enter Heru. Militant, cool, deadly, passionate, controversial, volatile. He delivered without a smile and his face is so easy on the eyes. If militant turns you on, then Heru is the man you want … to see perform. The Ghanaian-American came out in a very understated style. White T-shirt, red, gold and yellow tam, jeans, sandals. Seemingly innocent attire, but the man was deadly. Sometimes it seemed like his own work got to him and his eyes seemed trance like. He delivered his lines with precision. His was the performance of the night. All hail Heru!

Lowrey Leon Worrell, Indra Rudder & Justin Taylor breezing between sets, IMAGE COURTESY: Mandy Cummins

Lowrey Leon Worrell, Indra Rudder & Justin Taylor breezing between sets, IMAGE COURTESY: Mandy Cummins

The pairing. Heru said it was like going to a Beethoven concert back in the day and there was no Beethoven performing. So he called Adrian Green, who was the MC to the stage. He wanted to know why was Mr Green not on the programme to perform? Adrian said that Heru was the person who inspired him to do the spoken word. Then they had a sparring session. It was like pairing chalk and cheese. Two completely different styles – Heru is totally in his craft while Adrian Green has a way to go before he reaches Heru’s level, yet it was fun watching the two trade verses.

Amanda Hoyos-Cummins with Zimbabwe's Comrade Fatso - IMAGE COURTESY: Mandy Cummins

Amanda Hoyos-Cummins with Zimbabwe's Comrade Fatso, IMAGE COURTESY: Mandy Cummins

Comrade Fatso! It was strange to see a Caucasian with locks walk on stage. He performed the street songs of Zimbabwe. His jovial remarks and interaction with the crowd was great. However his performance was not so great. Kudos to Indrani and Rhesa Garnes, easy on the eyes and great voices what more can you ask?

So see you at next year’s Read-In?

4 Responses

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  1. I would have got a photo with Heru except that he kept running away from me, and wouldn’t really talk to me all night, and kind of looked like he thought I was going to suck away his soul…I think perhaps my skin was a little too ‘bright’ for him. :/ Anyway nice article!

  2. (word has it that Heru was most upset not about Fatso’s music/petry, but about the fact that he is white. And it appears he had a problem with me, too…looked at my husband as though he was festering with this infectious disease when he found out that I was the wife. He entirely missed the point on “No Matter Where Yuh Come From”. Just the kind of attitude to keep us segregated.)

  3. Article fail! You’d probably make a better expert on zero.

  4. LOL, this is not my review but what an audience member saw in their view that night – it is their right to express what they felt – since I was not there personally, I cannot refute nor confirm what was stated in this item which was offered and not procured. For future reference – if you see “AirBourne” then I wrote it and if it says “Bajan Reporter” this is more likely a press release while “Devil’s Advocate” usually is a contribution (anonymous or not) from another reader… Happy sifting!

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