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Hell's Gate Steel Orchestra In When Steel Talks Pan Classics

The world's oldest steel orchestra "Hell's Gate" opened the Moods of Pan 2007 festival with a bang. Hell's Gate varied repertoire showcased their versatility and musicianship. From ballads to 'jump-up' to gospel, Hells Gate brought it all. Moreover, they left no doubt as to why this storied and highly respected music organization is one of the top orchestras in Antigua & Barbuda. In addition Hell's Gate is the reigning 2007 panorama champion, having won the title two consecutive years. Hells Gate can truly boast that it has some of the best players in the region. Of particular note was the performance of one of Hells Gate's young bass players - a true performing 'triple-threat,' the likes of which has not seen before. He can play, act, dance and hold the attention of the audience. The iconic steel orchestra ended their set with a thunderous roar as they played their panorama-winning rendition to a standing ovation.
To see full video go to http://www.panonthenet.com/classics/hells_gate.htm

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Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 20, 2011 at 11:57am
The technical argument is that since the early Trinidad Steelbands went through name changes, "Hell's Gate" is the oldest consistent NAME in the steelband world.

For example, Trinidad All Stars were originally "Cross of Lorraine", and changed their name in 1947.

This may indeed be true, but that is not made clear in most articles, and I do think it is a bit presumptuous not to make that distinction.

In my research I've found that the only Trinidad steelband that claims to be the oldest is Invaders, and that claim has never been challenged by other bands.

Considering their early leader Ellie Mannette's place in pan history, one would have a difficult argument to prove otherwise.

The other historic bands in Trinidad tend to identify themselves as "one of the oldest bands" in the world, not the oldest..

The story goes that the first pan was brought to Antigua from Trinidad in 1945 by a seaman.

If that is the case , then the source of that pan should receive some credit for the development of pan in Antigua.

On a tangential issue, brought to mind by a recent email received from a friend........... -

I sincerely wish that everyone would cease and desist from crediting the "invention" of the steelpan to any one individual.

While it is true that certain individuals have been rightly credited with innovations that helped to make the pan into the musical instrument that it is today,the creation of the instrument itself was a collaborative effort, and included contributions of many, sung and unsung.

With all due respect to the Spree Simons, Ellie Mannettes etc etc,it does great disservice to the many others who contributed their ideas and labor to developing the pan to treat the invention as if it was a result of one man's "Eureka" moment.

Not trying to offend anyone, I just thought that this needed to be said.
Comment by Hamilton web lexander on June 20, 2011 at 9:40am

 They cannot be the world's oldest steel orchestra.There are many bands that can lay claim to that distinction,as a matter of fact, no band outside of Trinidad can make this claim.Some bands that can make such a claim are Trinidad All Stars, Invaders,Casablanca,Southern Marines and many more.All in all though that was a fantastic performance by Hell's Gate Steel Orchestra.Well controlled for an up tempo piece.

Comment by Kim Johnson on June 19, 2011 at 8:02pm
How can Hell's Gate be the world's oldest steel orchestra when Invaders in Trinidad has been in existence from the beginning of the steelband movement? Are people still pushing the silly idea that Antigua invented pan?
Comment by Khan Cordice on August 7, 2009 at 1:12am
the real band playing de real stuff!!!!
Comment by J.H.Richards on March 28, 2009 at 1:22pm
Comment by Jerome on March 28, 2009 at 12:28pm
de bassman real good ah had ah sight of myself brings back memories

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