Panorama 2005

(I apologize in advance for the damage my use of all caps and multiple exclamation points may do to your opinion of me. I promise they are important and I will never do it again.)


Ok… I know most of my loyal readers will not have a clue what I’m talking about… But this is important enough to bring me off of my self imposed blog slump.

It is about 3:02am in Trinidad. (that was when I started writing… it took me about an hour to write this) The 2005 National Panorama Finals that started at 7pm (Trinidad time) in Queens Park Savannah are OVER. Let me tell you… This is the biggest steelband competition in the world. (don’t know what steel pans are or why bands of them would be competing? Google it.)

The Basics

The 8 best medium bands (60- 90 members) and 8 best large bands (95 – 120 members) play their pieces in hopes that they will win the grand prize of 30,000 dollars and a lot more importantly… the love, support and fame that follows the winners. It’s not just about the players either. The arrangers and tuners are an important part of the overall sound of the band, in fact quite a lot of loyalty is given to tuners vs the bands they tune for. *cough* long live boogsie sharpe *cough* Luckily for the sake of my loyalties, arrangers tend to to stick to a particular band.

Executive Summary

Thanks to the glory of technology *wincing* I got to hear the entire competion (complete with commentary and commercial spots) LIVE!!!! Yes… I have spent the last 8 hours alternately cleaning and making odd convulsive movements around my apartment. Oh there was also some time that I spent pleading with my computer to stop buffering and just play already and a few forays into human contact and a touch of Zelda. But overall lots of random outbursts of excitement and despair and more than a little dancing like a spastic squirrel to the “bangin’ pan beat”. It was good stuff.

To summarize 8 hours of sweet, sweet pan goodness, a loverly bulleted list.

  1. Phase II is the SHIT. The ABSOLUTE SHIT. Do you hear me? THEY ROCK and you don’t deserve to kiss their sticks!!
  2. The Desperadoes did the thing. Everyone is talking about Exodus deserves second but I want to go on record that Desperadoes deserves it more.
  3. And Phase II is still the ultimate reason for my existence.

Hold please…. results coming in. YES!! Note that I’m leaving out the medium bands… not because they are less important or because they don’t sound as good but mainly because I don’t care as much. 😀


  • 8th place with 427pts – Skiffle Bunch with Liam Teague arr.
  • 7th place with 429.6pts – Trinidad All Stars with Smooth Edwards arr.
  • 6th place with 431pts – Redemption Sound Setters with Winston Gorder arr.
  • 5th place with 433pts – Invaders with Arrdin Herbert arr.
  • 4th place with 437.5pts – Renegades with Jit Samaroo arr.

Now… there were distinct “boo”s in the crowd when the Invaders were announced as 4th place. I can’t blame them but scoring is complex and based on a arrangement, tone, rhythm and general performance (including the look of the band and any special effects or dance moves they throw in). Ok so it’s not that complex but you don’t see audience appreciation in there anywhere do you?

I also thought that Skiffle Bunch (the band with the coolest sounding name) deserved more than 8th place, but Teague does tend to be a bit ahead of the pack so maybe he was just unappreciated. But on to the real deal. Top 3.

  • 3rd place with 454.5 points playing “Action” (and playing it damn well too I might add) – Witco Desperadoes with C. Bradley arr. (apparantly the judges didn’t agree with me about them deserving second. Doesn’t matter I’m still right until convinced otherwise)
  • 2nd place with 458 points playing “From Beyond” – Exodus with Pelham Goddard arr. annnnnd *drum rolling*
  • 1ST place with 478 points playing “Trini Gone Wild” – PHASE II PAN GROOVE with the inestimable Len Boogsie Sharpe arranging. Complete and utter hotness.

The party continues

Now… since that was a live radio cast… I can’t really expect you to go at least listen to the first place winners. But what you SHOULD do is go to i95.5 fm tommorrow evening (Sunday) and catch their live coverage of Dimanche Gras hopefully going well on to Juve Morning when the steelbands will play again (at least some of them).

Now. Back to the real world where I let my tea kettle burn dry while listening to the results (you know that thing they say you should never, EVER do to tea kettles?) I’m debating whether I should throw it outas the instructions say (even though it’s brand new) and take yet another trip to Walmart to replace it or if I should accept the risk of metal poisoning and pretend it never happened. Suggestions?

Either way it was SO worth it.

Here’s to me being in Trinidad this time next year and to this game boy not cutting off right before I fight Vaati (again).