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‘Is Devil mas and Midnight Robbers for so’

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Tony Fraser

“What kind ah mas band yuh playing in for de election this year Bobboy? Yuh going back to tribal mas like when George Bailey restore pride in people with Back to Africa showing that they had king and queen on the continent? 

“Or yuh going to bring back a splendour like India—the Story of Boyie—that was ah wonderful splash of a great civilisation that McFarlane bring?”

“Nah Tall Boy, the kinda tribal mas it have in election bands these days is about who hate who, who better than who. Check on-line yuh go see.”

“Bobboy, maybe we have to go back to the 1960s when Sally bring El Dorado–City of Gold. Bobboy, when the sun hit them costumes, man get dazzle and feel is real gold.”

“Well Tall Boy, yuh could play that mas now and it go have contractor, lawyer, blogger, talker, politician and minister in the band—gold for so in the band.”

“Bobboy, yuh know this tribe thing like it in we blood. You remember Neville Aming? Once he bring ah band called “Oriental Fantasy” all the masqueraders used to be mix-up people, Chinese and Indian, ah lil Creole here and there. Today though the mix-up band have no real flag woman or man; they done cop-out already. 

“Bobboy, that remind me bout history mas with long velvet cape, brass breast plate make by Ken Morris, mama that was mas band when Bailey bring Ye Saga of Merry England and Sally come with Imperial Rome.

“Tall Boy you dreaming, that kind ah mas can’t make today, too much thought and big costume and designers researching whole year to put that mas on the road. 

“For this election mas bands importing yellow and red T-shirts from China, they going America to find makeover artists for their candidates and it ent have no more wire benders like Cito Velasquez; last carnival Stephen Derek say he done with that so forget that kinda mas.” 

“Bobboy ah longing for ah Irving McWilliams to bring another Wonders of the Buccoo Reef to show we how beautiful we could be; today them bandleaders only showing us how ugly we is. Is Devil mas and Midnight Robbers for so. And them fellas have lyrics, but not sweet creative lyrics like Puggy Joseph and he pardner Brian Honore. One thing they take from Brian and Puggy though is the name of they band: Mystery Raiders. Who raiding Chaguaramas? 

“Tall Boy, remember the satire and creativity of Minch bands? The River had characters like Mancrab and Washer Woman. That is good mas to play but Minshall done with that, he say is only bikini, beads and empty pretty mas them bands playing.

“This election mas band sounding confusing to chose from, Tall Boy. Maybe we could play ah individual mas and put them big masquerade characters in front yuh band to hide the bikini and beads that making empty noise behind their leaders.

“We could create a Beauty in Perpetuity like in Bailey’s Bats and Clowns with masman Terry Evelyn. Rudy Piggott always telling me that is the best individual mas he ever see. 

“And remember Playing Cards with Kim Christopher? She win Queen of the Bands with that, and she band win.

“Bobboy, ah could take on ah Errol Payne Jeweled Peacock; Tall Boy, you cyah say de last part of that bird name these days, all kinda ah peahen go get vex. Well Bobboy, we better let Wendy Kalicharan come from south with a big costume from she husband band.”

“Ah-hah Bobboy, the best individual mas to play in this election band is Tan Tan and Saga Boy.”

“What wrong with you Tall Boy? If you put them two characters on stage and they start to dance and Saga Boy bounce Tan Tan plenty people go be scandalised bout that.” 

“Well Bobboy maybe the best thing for people to play this year in the election band is J’Ouvert morning mas “police and tief” and remember, it does have serious mas on J’Ouvert morning, that is where Black Power thing first come out in 1970 and after that is “Africans and Indians Unite” banners on the road.”

“Ah hear all of that Tall Boy, but hear my serious mas in this election coming up. Ah playing Book Man dress-up in ah simple but colourful costume asking people to read the Book that have good thing in it to guide them, that is the kinda mas ah want to play.

“We can’t go back to tribal mas, devil mas, midnight robber mas, although ah like to hear them fellas lyrics; but is them lyrics that does get we in trouble. Listening to man and woman with sweet tongue ent get we nowhere over so many carnivals, we cyah go back there Tall Boy.”

“You right Bobboy this Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night mas tying-up we head with stupidness; we need to tell them bandleaders that we want something solid. And yuh know what they need to listen to we.”

“Yes Tall Boy if they doh do that, ah playing spectator.”


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