I've been thinking of my most memorable Panorama experience, and I have to give that honor to Solo Harmonites performance in the preliminaries of 1968.
The decade of the 1960's saw the greatest advances in the steelband world, and we saw the steelbands grow from the single pan "pan 'round neck" era of the fifties to the large racks and chariot like structures used to give mobility to the bands from the mid sixties, onwards .
By 1968, the bands had gotten much larger, and one of the largest and most powerful of the steelbands was the Solo Harmonites Steel orchestra.
For the youth in those days, Panorama was more about the preliminaries, and the finals was almost anticlimactic. And the place to be was on the drag, since the bands started playing their tunes near the Savannah entrance, and went down the "drag", across the staging area, to the exit, in full "pan on the move " mode.
I remember going down the drag behind my tenor bass pans with my band Wasa Silvertones, playing Lord Kitchener's "Miss Tourist" arranged by Kenrick "Kicker" George.
After playing, I took a seat in the Grand Stand to watch some of the other bands coming down the "drag", and then Solo Harmonites came down , and what an impression they made!
The band was so large, it seemed to fill the whole of the track, and it looked as if half the people in the Savannah was coming down the track with them.
And how sweet they sounded. The pans tuned by the late great tuner Alan Gervais sounded sweet and clear, and Earl Rodney's arrangement of Lord Kitchener's "The Wrecker" had the Grand Stand rocking.
I recall that as the music swept over us the crowd started chanting along with the music (at 02:20) Solo, Solo …..Solo Solo.
That performance has stayed with me since that day, and after the performance Solo Harmonites was the talk of pan lovers.
Their finals victory was a foregone conclusion.
Here is my best recording of Solo Harmonite's "The Wrecker".