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Where is the Pan in Carnival? - Pelham Goddard asks

In a letter to When Steel Talks -

After again witnessing an almost complete domination by the DJ trucks, veteran and champion arranger for Trinidad and Tobago's Exodus Steel Orchestra asked this question , "Where is the Pan in Carnival?"

Pelham said, in a recent interview he asked the President of Pan Trinbago to immediately create a separate route for the steelbands so they would not have to compete with the loudness of the DJs. Pelham fears that unless something is done very soon, Pan will be phased out of carnival completely in Trinidad and Tobago carnival.


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listen here eh,...Brother Pelham, .....Steelband forgetting its roots, where it come from  and who it is. Truth be told, brother.

 Pan in Carnival starts for me with the campaign of Panorama and ends for me with Phase II on the road for J'ouvert every year. When dat done it done for me. Ask Bertel Gittens & Cecil Hinkson for a reference this year as they were there. Phase II passing on Duke Street going west crossed Frederick Street between Despers & Renegades going towards Independence Square......It was like a time from the golden past....How few of us remember..Sweetest like dat>

Straight up.....even though there was no special route for steelbands, the same noise pollution protocols when a steelband approaches for deejays must be ENFORCED. Respect dat. Make sure to have marshals to shut them off. People who drink too much and hanging around the tractor tyre to get crushed...ENFORCEMENT on that  ...throwing that out as well. Respect the steelband. Be disciplined.... have a good time, don't get confrontational even with POLICE following asinine traffic instructions. If you weren't there, then you were absent without leave in the Book!  

Lindsay, Calypso have ah Last Badjohn, how come steelband aint have NO badjohn? ah bet yuh if Phase II had ah badjohn to let loose ah couple Carib bottles upstairs that place j'ouvert morning the DJ woddah get the message. 

That Duke St. experience was priceless, after leaving More Love by All Stars front gate to bounce up with Despers and Renegades made my day, ah was kindah lookin for ah man to drop ah pan and have people scamperin like the old days but ah guess that doh happen anymore. Ah doh think Despers was Ready For The Road, Phase II was.

Meh boy, memories I only remember.....jumping in a steelband......playing a mas......dah daa........Help me nah Cecil.......

Road music is something special especially when from Pembroke on Park you approach Frederick by T&TEC, those tall buildings and the amplification effect.. ....and the music being played always mmmmmm sweetness....sweet spot like that. Bob Diaz ....I agree with your comments totally, the seasonality of our music is constrained......Sweet Eustace......hmm...they say you were marked present and accounted for in the Book...:) Sister Sandra......Hmm.on point......

BadJohn thing I dunno boy Cecil....But as you can well attest to I have walked through some fires in the movement for the thing here called as Sister Sandra put PAN.......and win, lose or draw, they were some other volunteer marshalls in the band how performed their jobs with excellence........"Respect the institution of the steelband passing TURN off your system, or bottles going to fly would be the least of the concerns"......"Drunk and disorderly behaviour towards loud music versus my STEELPAN on the road for JOURVET. Penalty for dat..Throw out the individual.....I am from the burgess of Woodbrook within the City of Port of Spain and my home band stop on my street first before we make up de Avenue round the bridge hearing we self ALONE.whilst the bereft are captured within the ecstasy of the sound and the MASS that is following....check Lyndersay photo out for the visual..

Brother Pelham....On Phase II way home ah police officer at Pole-Carew and Tragarete say we can't move to Roxy Roundabout because of instructions....acting like an ass.....being unreasonable to my steelband with their oversized trailer.........well brotherman let Cecil tell yuh dat I glad that Keith st. Cyr was there..because the marshalls move the band to de Roundabout....unhindered...Ah taught dat for sure for sure dat I was going and get lockup for disregarding his instruction because he and de COP instruction was disrespecting my steelband.........Talk bout BADJOHN thing for your steelband....tell meh ah lying nah Cecil......


"Where is the pan After Carnival?"

........Rhapsody is leading the way of the future...

That is why I wrote this in 1997


I do agree that something must be done to save pan.  It seems to me that Panorama is killing pan. Arrangers spend two to three month perfecting one song.  Then when they come on the road, they only have one song to play over and over. I think they should use those same panorama players to teach them a few of the current songs they can play on the road. Many foreigners come to Trinidad, the mecca of pan, to see pan all on the road not at the panyard practising, stop and start.  Many of them don't have the transportation to do that. Steelband is carnival.  Not big truck and DJ. And instead being stuck in a pan yard, they should be playing at venues some nights, maybe alternative with DJs. So after semi-finals most bands are done for carnival.  That's a shame.  Pan owners should be rich.  The amount of people who come here for carnival mainly to see pan is enormous .  During carnival season, Pan should be all at the airport greeting tourists with our culture when they arrive, and the malls, everywhere.

Well said my friend

To all those who are trying to promote those electronic pan want-to-be, the steelband aint dead yet, Djs wipe out music bands, who is you?

I am glad that Pelham ask this question, it has been asked before and I hope that pan people continue to keep this topic on the front burner.

The answer is not a separate route for the steelband because they will always run in to DJ at judging points.

We want carnival Tuesday for steelbands only. Culture first, save the steelband.

"Where is the 'Pan' in 'Carnival'?"

It's there? Panorama!

"Carnival" is the/a season/production of which pan plays an integral aspect -- Panorama -- but the question should really be: Where is Pan on Carnival Monday and Tuesday?

Having experienced performing on the road, and I say performing, there are many challenges stemming from tired players, out-of-tune/panorama-battered instruments, playing for whom if your band isn't the music provider for a mas band, the belief that pan 'slows 'up the parade -- causes band jam; poor on-the-road steelband management, transportation issues to get certain steelbands from their respective locations to the carnival arenas and back; inadequate road players caused by poor rostering of players for daily and nightly performances (catering to day and night entertainment needs), and the list can go on and on, but my God...what's the budget to cover this scope of work?

Panorama thrives because each player is guaranteed some form of payment from appearance fee even though his/her band didn't make it past semi-finals.

Self-criticism is the best criticism: The pannists themselves/ourselves too, must realize that through their/our own conduct, appearance/posture behind the instrument, level of commitment, dedication, loyalty -- the brand they/we create/project impacts on how well we sell/market/promote the 'thing' as the reality is...quality breathes opportunitites, recognition and MONEY!

I firmly believe, pan on the roads for carnival can be attained in a meaningful way but the forementioned MUST be seriously addressed.

As I keep saying...Pan is Pulsating, Amazing and Noble but we, as pan practitioners/players, MUST grow towards a place where people must want us; want to be us; want more of us.

Long live pan my cousin Pelham!

And, congratulations to all the pannists who performed during Trinidad & Tobago's Golden Jubilee Panorama Season 2013.


Oooops! But to extend upon my first reply...in reality, I guess Pelham's question can also speak to where is the pan in carnival meaning there is absolutely none during the fetes. Hmmmm!

Pan is the love child of carnival, and I remember when the J'Ourvert bands, stopped doing ole mas and start playing mud, then they had costumes and the bands grew so big steel bands were too small for the large bands and they hired one or two brass bands, Joey mano marcelin  and them played straight up brass not big trucks, then Rocky and them came out and I went in the phase used to turn back by green corner, it was sweet pan had people jumping in the drain water by salvatori building in 1972, dem days gone, lindsay when the first dj truck came, pan lost is voice after the Cathedral,and flag that is a device resembling a pan, but that might be the way to go in d future at least it could pump up the volume, and you could play your double second lines on something resembling a single tenor


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