All systems are go for the January 21 opening of Kalypso Revue calypso tent. As is traditional, the tent will premiere its C2K12 season in Arima (Velodrome), birthplace of its founder, the late Grandmaster Lord Kitchener. The following week, the Revue will have its North opening at SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. It was said at the auditions that Kalypso Revue is the longest standing kaiso house in the country, and was one of the first to hold auditions for the 2012 Carnival season. It was the second day in the new year and, with Carnival 2012 just mere weeks away, Kalypso Revue held its auditions at De Nu Pub, located on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook. There was a large turnout to the auditions and many of the artistes proved that they are ready for the season, whether they were chosen on the cast or not. There was a variety in the musical styles and presentation—from comedy to political commentary, to groovy soca, and soca.
One of the offerings which really got my attention and members of the audience, and even the screening panel, was southern bard Fitz “Fitty” Taylor’s, Gone Where the Money is. Also generating much interest was Joanne Foster singing Now Return, its chorus refrain, “Good morning, Good morning T&T, ah fine when ah smile, you no longer smile back at me,” ringing in my ears long after she finished her ditty. Blessed with a strong, beautiful voice, Foster is the 1994 National Song Festival winner, and seven-time National Calypso Monarch semi-finalist. After her performance, Foster revealed to me that her clean, strident voice comes from constant work as a background vocalist for the past 15 years.
Another singer who had listeners in smiles, especially the women, was Merinda, singing SOE Love, stressing on the happiness she found during last year’s curfew and SOE. To be more explicit she spelt out she found, “ha-p-pi-ness, which was hard to find, but now ah found it, it’s all mine.” Also pleasing was Feyole Fannis, from Maracas St Joseph, singing Faith. Her presentation had the patrons at the showplace listening attentively. Fannis reminded me of Singing Sandra, in her heyday. I think the screening committee of the Kalypso Revue has its hands full in attempting to choose a few good calypsonians out of the many who turned up for auditions. One thing is certain, though, if you are looking for good music and a strong cast for the Carnival kaiso season, the Kalypso Revue is the place you would want to be.