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Curry Tabanca - Slight Pepper - BEST PANORAMA STEELBAND IN THE WORLD by Dalton Narine

Curry Tabanca - Slight pepper


by Dalton Narine


A When Steel Talks Exclusive

Trinidad All Stars on stage at International Panorama 2015

Global - I took time out Sunday night from a serious writing project, did the math, alarmed my phone, then waited for the signal that Massy Trinidad All Stars was about to redeliver Curry Tabanca for the second time in 28 years.

Everyone Behind the Bridge knew that the band had won in 1987. But it came fourth. And so, it took a new millennium and a world steelband competition to recognize the pop culture mastery of Leon Smooth Edwards, who usually leaves the Savannah right after the band plays its last note. 

I simply wanted to congratulate him, as night was rubbing up against early dawn, because I’ve never been as proud of my pan heritage as tonight. Smooth brought a new shine to Winsford Devine’s masterpiece. He could have stuck with the fourth-place version, but perhaps he knew he’d get a fair hearing of his slightly reconfigured paean to Indian culture and indiscriminate eulogy on love, from a panel that included foreign judges..

Perfect timing to wring out the millennial sound just for them as well as the international crowd. After that, Smooth dismounted from the Savannah stage and drove home. Not to be awakened until morning as has always been his wont.

But it behooved me to call. You don’t dismiss a steel orchestra that has won the Trinidad & Tobago Panorama, People’s Choice award, Carnival Band of the Year title, and now topping off such a galaxy of accolades in a span less than a year.

Besides, as a member of the band since 1959, during the Barcarolle, Intermezzo and Liebestraum era, I can testify that Curry Tabanca, [the repackaged song], reached me like Franz Liszt’s Love Dream, a k a the Liebestraum Bomb dropped that memorable Jouvert.

Dalton Narine with Trinidad All Stars in the garret (1959)
Truth to tell, with slight pepper, Tabanca was hot enough to understand the sentimental significance of the moment it had inherited - what with its romantic strains wafting across the globe. Indeed, wherever our novel percussion has found a niche, especially in other cultures.
It was that handsome, magnetic and irresistible.

And, I, like Trinidad All Stars' aficionados around the world, pride myself on the Hell Yard band/organization, which I joined as a schoolboy, operating in the garret of a gambling den, above Maple Leaf Club - and hiding from my father Carnival Tuesday lest I suffer an absolute beatdown by the old man right there on Frederick Street, in the middle of the mas and in front of the massive crowd the Stars had perennially attracted.

Thus, without prejudice, I apprised Leon “Smooth” Edwards of my mood; that tonight has been my proudest moment since Neville Jules rescued me from the depths of depravity that suckholed me upon my return from the war.

Massy Trinidad All Stars, the Best Panorama Band in the World. Such a nice ring.

Congratulations to Capt. Beresford Hunte, Smooth, and the gang for the win by such wide a margin, disproving a myriad of myths that the band swallows year in and year out, without argument.

Now, it’s as official as it’s real.

Bring on the forum.

Dalton NarineDalton Narine joined Trinidad All Stars when the band played in the Garret, the attic of the building housing Maple Leaf Club on Charlotte Street. While serving as a Carnival and Panorama commentator and interviewer on Trinidad & Tobago Television for more than 20 years, he continued to play the Bomb every J’Ouvert until he switched to filmmaking.

contact Dalton Narine at: narain67@gmail.com

- See more at: http://www.panonthenet.com/news/2015/aug/slight-curry-8-10-15.htm#s...

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Well said!!!

Well said Dalton .

I didn't have the heart to watch the panorama on a computer monitor yesterday , ( though I suppose I  could have attached the computer to a TV ) , so I do hope that there is a DVD , so I could enjoy the entire show at my leisure .

I am not surprised at the All Stars victory though.

I may be a bit biased, but in the steelband world I have the most faith in Leon "Smooth" Edwards and the Trinidad All Stars organization to deliver , and rise to the occasion when necessary

Apparently the show was a success .

Congratulations are due to the organizers , and to Pan Trinbago in particular, who are often criticized on this forum 

But most importantly , it proves that A Panorama festival CAN be successful on its own , separate from Carnival.

brave to say, and well said. Right to be proud.

The curry served on the menu 28 years ago was not fully appreciated by the judges panel, although clearly by most of the population. It did indeed feel like tabanca back then! Last night, from appetizer to dessert the curry was immaculately haute cuisine. Thank you chef Smooth and the gang, for leaving us completely satisfied. 

Congratulations to ALL STARS best Panorama Band in the world. Thanks for a wonderful evening .Ray from Cleveland.

This is one time I would have loved it to be a ten minute performance. I was hungry for more at the end. I wanted an encore... a replay and was glad I recorded it; uploaded it so everyone could have that encore time and time again…. Bless …..All Stars Forever... I finally got the chance to hear "winner" for that majestic tune…Thanks Smooth.   

Yea  best Panorama band in the whole wide world. 1st band to win the first $1000000.00 prize, the first band to win the first $2000000.00 prize and the first band to win the first International Panorama. Somebody tell me something I don't know.

Leon smooth Edwards is a genius.

Ah thought BOOGSIE was a PAN GENIUS!

My sentiments exactly...He foolishly took an All Stars Classic and thought he could outdo Smooth. He may be a pan genius but he is really bad decision making,  

Congrats and well done no one couldn't beat that. It's been along while since I've heard them stick to their format. Sometimes when steelbands  make changes they tend to stray from their  tunes. You find yourself trying to catch the song being played because you get lost. On Carnival days we want to hear repertoire on the old goldies, to make you sing and dance not aerobics. Love you ALL STARS and  to all the other Orchestras congrats.


Although there are people who will claim that All Stars are not the greatest panorama band and bring all kind of statistics to support their argument, EVERYONE  must agree that their ' Curry Tabanca' is the greatest panorama tune ever performed.

I have always said so. The song has been the yardstick by which I (incidentally, I am a Starlift man) has always judged panorama tunes. I remember when I was in T&T for Carnival 2014 and fans (including my Jamaican wife) were raving over their exciting performance, I turned to her and said 'Great rendition, but it is no 'Curry Tabanca' ". She laughed and said "For you, there is no tune that is a s good as 'Curry tabanca' "

She was right. And now an international panel of Judges agree with me.

Congratulations Smooth and the Gang!


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