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Further thoughts about steelband mobility

My comments about my enjoyment of the recent steelband parades have been misinterpreted as an endorsement of steelbands on trucks , so I wish to further clarify my thoughts, to clear up any misunderstandings.
Now , I fully appreciate why it's done , but I don't like steelbands on trucks.

Like I've said many times, I think something about the steelband vibration is lost , with the distance created between the steelband , the natural environment , and the people.

Having said that , I've never been about necessarily returning to the way we did things in the last century , and I've also stated this on many occasions..

My thing is, and always have been, about the importance of the steelbands participating in Trinidad's main cultural event , the carnival street parade.

I'm convinced that modern , efficient , twenty-first century means can be used to mobilize the steelbands , but if we must settle for trucks , so be it.

I however will never accept the fact that putting steelbands on trucks is the best way to display and demonstrate the beauty and power of a steelband on the move.

Other forms of motor driven conveyances , platforms closer to the ground for example , may prove more effective., but the truck bed , though it affords a convenience we cannot deny , is certainly not my preference.

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Comment by Herman Assee on August 29, 2018 at 3:59pm

Choice of the best route for the bands to move smoothly on the roads, thumbs up on this idea.

Comment by oswald alexander on August 28, 2018 at 10:32am

Glenroy,my thinking about that special route in POS,is all about that "up close " to the player,the band and the music,which can bring about a most unique experience.

I am thinking Stanmore Ave (west) Tragarete Rd (south) Victoria Ave. (East) Albion St or Queens Park  (north) as a circular route.

The surface on these wide roadways are fairly flat, and should make for a great economic opportunity.Because of the location,law enforcement should be able to police the area comfortably.

Steelbands would have opportunities to set up food,bar,and gift shops.

Around Queens Park Oval can also be considered.

Of course the GROTT must consult with all the stakeholders and create the proper infrastructure,to make the activity profitable.

In Pan

Comment by Love City Pan Dragons on August 28, 2018 at 8:20am

Good morning, folks -

Motorized pan on the road has been a thing in the Virgin Islands for over 25 years, with purpose-built double decker trolleys towed by ordinary wreckers. Google "Rising Stars Steel Orchestra" to see plenty of YouTube examples of their 3-trolley "train" on the road in St Thomas. They keep the sound tight with speakers mounted at the trolley ends so the players furthest from the middle can keep the tempo. It's impressive and awesomely powerful. The rest of the bands in the Virgin Islands are much smaller and use single trolleys. These could work in the streets of Port of Spain, if routes are carefully chosen.

Comment by saleem majied on August 28, 2018 at 12:06am

Why dont you innovate and find ways to implement your IDEA 

this idea is probably a God sent one that is meant for YOU

Sometimes this the way nature works

Suppose this was a BUSINESS idea that would be financially rewarding

wouldn"t you energize it in what ever way you can?

GIVE IT A SHOT..........

Comment by Gerard Clarke on August 27, 2018 at 8:31pm

The idea of motorized racks was shelved years ago. The Ministry of Transport saw each as another vehicle on the road and the fees to licence them for two days was excessive,plus insurance companies saw those racks as another vehicle on the road and can cause injury or even death, with hundreds of people in a band with those racks and were not willing to insure them to be on the road,especially when drivers may not be licensed to drive them. Those who were willing offered insurance coverage over the moon in the event they had to pay compensation. 

Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on August 27, 2018 at 2:32pm

Oswald Alexander . I do appreciate the thoughtful , reasoned points you've raised , obviously based on experience.

I can dispute none of the points raised , and am aware that there will be many difficulties involved , if we are to have a successful re-integration of the steelbands into the carnival parade in a big way.

However , if we are ever to establish a thriving tourist industry to supplement the energy sector , it will take a substantial investment in culture , with the steelband being the most valuable cultural asset.

This means that it cannot be just left up to the steelbands.

The government ant the NCC will also have to be involved , with a plan and strategy for development and growth of the art-form , especially in its participation in the carnival.

Remember , Trinidad's steelband -calypso carnival had long ago been established in the world of entertainment , and hopefully this can still be capitalized upon..

And , it will also have to be done with the blessing and support of the general public , once they recognize that such an investment is in the nation's interest.

Of course , there is an element of wishful thinking here , but one can only hope....

Comment by oswald alexander on August 27, 2018 at 1:48pm

I always cherish my time of having my rack pushed,or of pushing a player's rack,but the costs and other drawbacks of keeping the bands rolling on the road is tremendous.


The roadways that were mostly flat in  the yesteryears, are now mostly severely turtle backed.This means that racks tends to head downhill,left and right, away from each other.To correct this from happening,we tied the racks tightly together,but when we had to turn a corner,we then needed personel to untie and re-tie racks.Costly wheels were damaged,if they weren't properly aligned,in the direction the tractor was pulling the racks.

We decided to tie the racks loosely together,and delegated more personel to manage the racks as we moved along....Guess what?.....we now had to deal with children and adults riding on the racks.....the possibilities of some one being severely injured,plus wheels being damaged because of the added weight.

Golf cart,light aircraft,forklift and other Extra Heavy Duty wheels has been considered as solutions,but the huge costs with minimal returns,doesn't make cents sense.


The human body absorbs sound,which means that for every human body that is very close to the sound,you would need added output for the music to be heard from a respectable distance.This can be solved by having a larger band,but Steelbands have to compete with the DJs and Soca bands and their high wattage amplifiers, speaker systems,complete with sub woofers.

The Steelband could buy a costly competitive system,or rent one at a huge cost,but how is this system and the required generator, going to be integrated with band playing "on the road"? 

Glenroy, I have been suggesting that PanTrinbago approach the GROTT for a Pan ONLY area in P-O-S to parade on Carnival days.I don't know where in Sando/Tobago that can be done,but as I write an idea came to me for the East.

P.S : Pan pushers now expect to be paid,so they have formed a union....the Pan Pushers Association,but Cecil Hinkson hasn't called a meeting as yet,so I don't know when is elections.

In Pan!




Comment by Mercer Ramdoo on August 27, 2018 at 11:49am

If you can motorize a gate, you can do the same with steelpan racks. Bring steelband back down to earth.

Comment by Herman Assee on August 27, 2018 at 11:38am

Totally agree with this. I love my pan on the roads. What great memory I have of pushing pan on the roads. Yes, I think there maybe options out there that can help motorize the steelbands and put them back on the roads, a big enough platform on on some sort of motorize engine . Just love this idea. Looking forward to when this reality takes place in the future.  Peace and love, God Bless

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