>> Friday, September 18, 2009
Nurse Karen and Pupa Leendi
Few people realize that in spite of my public persona as veritable Queen of the Soca Dancehall (LOL), I like to stay in. My Toronto crew can attest. I do go out, but I'm noticeably absent at a lot or great events too. I dunno, I just like my bed or something.
Last Friday, even though every ounce of my being ached for the familiar conforst of home, I partied. I partied kinda hard too! (Jumping and ting, what a site)
For me the hot spot was a show called Vincy and Grenadian Hype, held up at Fusion Lounge, near Jane and Wilson. I live pretty much in the downtown core, so it takes a special push to get me to pump enough gas in the ride to make it to them parts. Special push came from DJ Tarrus of the Vincy Soca Dans. He popped up on my MSN, right around the time I was starting to kiss all my "tweeters" goodnight. I got a stern reminder that I missed their big show in NY the weekend before, and I'd better not flake out on the Toronto appearance. Point taken.
The event featured a cast of artists Toronto seldoms sees together. From Grenada it was veteran artiste, Inspector and multiple-time Carriacou Road March champ, Pupa Leendi. From St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there was the nookieman Jamesy, six time soca monarch Fireman Hooper, and "D'Crowd Motivator" Luta.
I got up to Fusion about 1 am-ish. I dolled up, cuz it wasn't supposed to be heavy fete night for me. Just wanted to suss the show, say hello to the artistes and go on my merry way (back to sleep). That's not the way it went down.
When I arrived, a steady flow of patrons queued up at the entrance. A couple of Toronto Police were hanging around making easy dough. I ran into Andy Lavia outside. We had a great chat about all things soca. Dunno if it was planned, but he ended up being the MC for the night. I need to get those kind of jobs!
I'm pretty sure our lime continued outside until after 2. When I got inside, the crowd barely even seemed to notice that the artistes weren't even in the building as yet. The action on the dance floor was the kind of wildness that you would expect from Spice Mas J'ouvert of Vincy Carnival events like "Slippery When Wet". For some the stage doubled as a King-sized mattress, for others the floor was good enough. Never seen that kind of behaviour in Toronto before....EVER!
DJs Fusion and Tarrus juggled from Jamaican Dancehall to soca from the two featured islands plus a healthy dose of ditties from Barbados, Trinidad, and Antigua too.
Finally it was show time. Grenada was up first! Pupa Leendi...who most of you know from "Rum ooooooooooye, wey you dey?!!!" got all the roots coloured flags waving high and proud. A couple of lyrical improvisations gave the man's songs a parental advisory warning much higher than that required for liquor references, if you know what I mean. Eh hem... Sometimes I wonder if I'm old enough for this stuff.
Next was Inspector. It was great to see him command the crowd. I really appreciate witnessing performances by persons who've been in the game for a while. I remember seeing him at a Carifiesta show in Montreal. That could have been 10 years ago. WOW!
He performed is set to an ecstatic audience. For obvious reasons, the Grenadian crowd was loving it a little more than the Vincies...until, he did something no one expected. Inspector got the DJ to give him a one drop...to which he performed classic Vincy soca songs from the like so Poorsah and Becket. If you see exitement!
Nurse Karen with Inspector
Why can't I remember who was next? I believe it was Jamesy P. Boyfriend came dolled up looking like somebody's groomsman. He had everybody singing along from start to finish.
Luta! Love him or hate him, you can't deny that the man knows how to hold a crowd's attention. From the girls rushing the stage to test the wine, or the freestyle verses of "Busy Tone". Luta shows the Greenz crew some love by dropping some Lavaman verses in his set. Lava was advertised, but I haven't got the story on that. In my opinion, Luta was a true show stopper.
Nurse Karen, (pit stain), and Luta
Time was running out at Fireman hit the stage. I was already privy to some of his outrageous antics in the VIP, so one could expect nothing less as the dreadlocked mad man approached the stage shirtless. I can't lie, I lost all my poise and composure when he did "Anaconda". I didn't expect that. So, I had a little more jump left for "Spirtual" and "Rags Invasion". He brought back a few great Vincy Mas memories for me.
Towards the end of the set, the security team just didn't look like they were having fun anymore. It was getting awful close to 3:30 am...so by the time Tarrus took the mic to do his song, the lights were on.
But you know what happened next.... PARKING LOT LIME. Thanks for getting me out gents. It was a real fun show, keep doing your thing!
Love and Soca,
P.S. The same night there was a huge b-day bash for DJ Jester. I'm very sorry I wasn't able to make it. He's a buddy of mine, that I appreciate in so many ways..and have the utmost respect for. I know the party was amazing, and so would have loved to be there for the fun. Lots of continued blessings! K.