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Comparing the RENEGADES and DESPERADOES versions of "YEAR FOR LOVE"

This is not my topic!!! I am just following the orders of Ms. Gillian Bishop as she wants a musical discussion integrated into the back and forth. Earlier today I made a call for KNOWLEDGEABLE MUSIC PEOPLE on the forum to come forward and discuss the 2018 Panorama Performances.

Ms. Bishop took the initiative and drew a musical comparison between Renegades and Desperadoes when she said that one band used the song to reflect the violence in the society and the other chose to represent the sweet voice of VOICE.

What are your thoughts and interpretations of the performances.

(Gillian: You just put me in a trap because merrytonestothebone and doctor delight just waiting for me to say the wrong thing about RENEGADES and they want to chop off my head. But that is OKAY!!! No rank!!! I just try to keep the forum going -- not just at PANORAMA.)

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2018 Panorama Semis Large (on d track) BP Renegades (1st place)

2018 Panorama Semis Large ( on d track) Desperadoes (2nd place)


Panorama is about drama, excitement, melody, and sweetness. Panorama is not a music festival.  Ms. Bishop obviously does not know what she is talking about. Renegades met all of the above criteria. Their performance had elements of Guinness Cavaliers, Solo Harmonites, WITCO Desperadoes, Amoco Renegades, and CIBC starlift.  This begs the question— what is sweetness?   It’s that intangible element that separated Renegades from the bland Desperadoes performance. It’s the element that made Guinness Cavaliers unforgettable.   A fella from Marabella defined sweetness as a feeling you get such that if yuh house burning down or you getting horned, it doesn’t matter. I won’t put it that way but I knew what he was trying to say. I was in that zone during the Renegades performance. Desperadoes, by the above parameters, did not come close. 

The steel drum was made into the only MUSICAL instrument invented in the 20th century, something that Trinbagonians are and should be proud of. Musical instruments paly music and consequently promote drama, excitement, melody and sweetness. The quality of the MUSIC is what brings out those feelings in us, so to say that Panorama is not a music festival is extremely short-sighted.

Ah now reach! I'm quoting from Israel Mc Leod. "Year for Love is not about a competition. It is a movement to reclaim our communities. It is a statement from #teamdespers about the escalating violence and crime; first locally and then, internationally. It is also about fostering unity in our local steelpan fraternity." .............In this statement he gives us a clue to the secret behind the Despers arrangement ( My sister Pat used to approach the Desperadoes' music in that way. She always communicated the secret or message to the players in order to get unanimity and meaning in the heart of the players and the playing). I am hearing gunshots and general dread sounds in the Zanda arrangement which speak to the reason that the proud Despers Steelband is like a band of refugees unable to work at home on that beautiful Hill! And yes, Renegades are located in a high risk area also but a large police station was erected next door and I suppose it offers some degree of protection. So now, Duvonne Stewart has done a very clever job at replicating all the nuances of the voice of the Voice and has made a very beautiful arrangement that is perfectly executed. Despers on the other hand are dealing with the substance of the composition..."SIDDONG, ROCK BACK!"

I'm hearing shots even in those words and Zanda, I believe, cannot help but factor the conditions on the hill into his arrangement. It is aggressive, atonal and uncompromising. It is NOT SWEET PAN. but it is completely authentic. No shots please .....I'm just a total devotee of this wonderful National Instrument! 

My apologies.  I thought you were referring to the renegades rendition.  I love pan.   I just think Duvone Stewart has brought back the essence of the glory days of Panorama. I follow what you are saying. However, we must remember Panorama is about the music and the elements of drama and excitement. I leave the rest for the concert hall and music festivals. Let’s agree to disagree. And no hard feelings. 

Pure musical Excellence.Renegades Thank you.and Good luck on the voyage. 

Most interesting!!! Earlier on while reading some reviews on the music, one person said that it was pure GUNSHOTS in Renegades music. We all come from such different perspectives but we are all magnetized by PAN MUSIC -- again for different reasons. I come from a very simple CALYPSO PERSPECTIVE -- if you are playing a CALYPSO, I want to hear you playing THE CALYPSO. I don't want to hear no European or Jazz (attempted Jazz) or Latin or R&B or Samba in my CALYPSO MUSIC. And the subject here is PANORAMA.

The challenging thing about this forum is that it forces me to listen to PAN MUSIC that I would never have listened to. And now that Miss Gillian shared some intrinsic details -- I am forced to go back and listen to those two performances again. I never listened to DESPERADOES in the PRELIMS and I think that I gave them like 15 seconds today when I found the replay (of the SEMIS) on YOUTUBE.

Come on Anthony Joesph -- I know that you could do better than that ONE LINE!!!

Miss Gillian: Since you have brought such refreshing perspectives to the discussion, I will tell you a story!!! When I was a little boy growing up in Trinidad I loved CALYPSO MUSIC with a passion (still do). Pan never quite permeated me (until I ran into SILVER STARS one carnival in town in the EARLY SIXTIES). But as a child listening to and loving CALYPSO growing up in the FIFTIES, I had this built-mechanism that discriminated against the limits of THE PAN. Specifically, at that time I would hear a steelband playing a CALYPSO on the radio and I would say to myself: That STEELBAND should not been playing that CALYPSO. There was no REASON or EDUCATION about it. Just THE SOUND!!! I have never gotten over that EARLY DISCRIMINATION. So, today (2018), I am asking why SUPERNOVAS and EXODUS chose to play a CALYPSO that the PAN CANNOT DELIVER? With all the musical expertise they have around them and the HIGH STAKES.

FYI: This is a forum where people have to come on and PRAISE PAN MUSIC night and day if you want to be liked. But as you might guess by now, I have a little bit of RUSSELL PROVIDENCE in me.

I would like to see more people join your topic with specific and informed music critiques -- NO GUN SHOTS!!!


Difficult to be president of this forum and not liking Pan music...yuh brave!

Nice topic. 2 bands.  2 arrangers.  2 expressions.  2 perspectives.  2 interpretations.  1 art form

Art is always interpreted and perceived differently by different people.  No 2 perspectives are the same.  At the end of the day, both bands executed their respective arrangements brilliantly.  The arrangers had different things to say and what might resonate with some, may not necessarily similarly resonate with others...even though both are much appreciated.

Neither is my band...but I can appreciate and enjoy both perspectives.

I don't know if we truly appreciate how blessed we are to have this art form.  What other musicians would give to have such a forum to express and explore their musical offerings.  Panorama is unique and special.  Nothing like it anywhere else in the world.  


Hello Pan Rebel,

All of us must be in awe of the enormous musical talent we have in this country and we do ourselves a disservice by dissing one and praising another. And this is why I spoke of the two completely different arrangements each valid in its own way. As a piece of dramatic orchestration speaking to the crippling violence plaguing our streets, Zanda's interpretation is more earthy and suited to the Despers playing style. Renegades' arrangement is more stylish and elegant which also suits their playing style. And I understand how Renegades plays like that. The influence of Jit Samaroo's playing style is still with them even with a new arranger as talented as he is........and I have heard this from arrangers who transition to other bands...that they honour the playing and arranging style of the previous arranger for a while and this is so civilized, which is the way I'd like this discussion to go!!   Thank you, Panrebel. RESPECT........ in this Year for Love!

Love that point you made about arrangers that transition to other bands honor the playing and arranging style of their predecessor.

The late Eddie Quarless (R.IP) was a master at that.  And music being what it is, one cannot help but be influenced by what resonates from within oneself.

So is no surprise that Duvonne offers glimpses of Jit in his arrangements.  Carlton has elements of Bradley..particularly orchestration and phrasing....in his arrangements.

Duvonne is still evolving as an arranger and HIS VOICE is becoming more and more strident with Renegades.  But it;s most evident in his arrangements for Pan Elders IMO.

Smooth still has his marvellous riffs and passages as always, yet his evolution IMO is in his use of background elements to supplement his impressive frontline.

Boogsie has evolved musically from a brash, risk taking, street music youth of the early 80's to a much more refined, polished, dare I say orchestrated arranger.  You'll still get glimpses of the fiery Boogsie of yesteryear, but his arrangements recently have, again IMO, shown an impressive musical maturity.

What's best is that we get to enjoy all of them,..including those not named but no less worthy....year after year. 


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