Carnival this…and Carnival that…

28 02 2008

So if yuh been following us from de beginning, you know we speak based on our past experiences.  Every year we learn something new…and every year we see something old and familiar.  Sometimes I think these things haunt me.

In contingency planning, I mentioned, you should always look down when walking on the sidewalks.  Well, my reason for that advice was due to my own misfortune in 2007 while jumping up with IP.  Down by the complex, I on the sidewalk. Proceeded to jump up off the sidewalk, and right into a drain.

So after abandoning Evolution and spending the remainder of carnival Tuesday with IP, we come up on the scene of my 2007 misfortune. As expected, blasted hole still there.

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That damn thing swallowed my left leg but I managed to score a 9.5 on the face plant.  I think I lost points for actually spilling my drink but I got a rousing applause (or was that laughter?) from those that witnessed it.  IP medics came to my attention though b/c the wire grid left me with some very nasty gashes.  Nothing like having iodine poured on your freshly opened wounds.  Needless to say,  I learned a valuble lesson.

I also mentioned not to pet any stray dogs.  Now I’m proud to say, I did not touch any stray dogs in the past and this year I was not confronted by any in the streets.  But  found it ironic that this critter was sitting behind me at the Break Biche fete while I was eating.  I felt his eyes piercing the back of my head and everytime I would turn around, the blasted dog would turn his head and look off to the side as if to say, “I’m really not staring at you”.

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I picked up my plate and moved.  I felt like the little bastard was stalking me.  Fortunately I didn’t have to resort to and extreme measures to chase his arse away. He quietly left as the fete picked up.

Like most fellas, especially during carnival season… the entire island is our port-a-potty. No wall, no tree, no bush, no corner is sacred.  I think I hit an all time low when I had to go and proceeded to enter Maharaj Cemetery.  I was told that as long as you don’t pee on anyones grave, you will be fine.  I took that advise and peed in the canal. There were many others in there male and female, using various parts of the cemetary as their own port-a-potty so I didn’t feel to guilty.  None of us was hit by lightening after we left. I came across this sign at a gas station that made me chuckle.

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They can use this sign all over Trinidad during carnival season.  Not that anyone would pay attention anyway.

“If you see de horse, de tail gone”  I think Patch had this woman in mind when he came up with that tune this year.  The damn pony tail don’t even match the rest of her hair.

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Mampees to the Left of me, Mampees to the right of me….(hang on to your lunches).  This is your opportunity to make your own comments as you see fit.  Canboulay already warned me that the mampees probably have a contract out on my head.

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This woman is the Shaquille O’Neal of all IP masqueraders.  This picture doesn’t quite give you the full effect of her massiveness.  She dwarfed everyone. I strongly doubt and crew of fellas tried to bumb rush woman for a group wine.

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Not sexy

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Ok…now on to sights thats easier on the eyes.

Tobago is a beautiful place.  If you don’t already do so, you should fit this into your schedule every year.

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Visit the Falls

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Take a glass bottom boat to the Nylon Pool and Bucco Reef

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Pigeon Point Beach

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Personally, I enjoy taking the ferry but if you have a weak constitution and you’re prone to get seasick, take yuh arse out to Piarco and hop on the “other” T&T Express.

Destra say she not pregnant.  http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/print?id=161271249 Ah still want to know where all dem breasts come from.  

I went to Tribe-Ignite Fete this year.  It was a social.  Atleast it was all inclusive.

I think this was everyones favorite monday Masquerader.   Word of this woman traveled all over the country before the day was over.  Personally, I “heard” of her but didn’t think I’d actually get to see what everyone was talking about….but there she was, like a beacon of light. I automatically knew this was the superstar I heard of.  I think everyone was disappointed when she actually wore a full costume on Tuesday.

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I’m not a fan of the ladies wearing stockings, I want to see all the bamcee on the road… but every now and then, you get one that makes you think…well…maybe.

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OK….ah Done fuh now.

 When the next carnival? 





Bamcee to the left of me, Bamcees to the right of me

24 02 2008

Obviously, I must be idle if I take that time to make a bamcee collage.  Well, I don’t have any other excuse. So I borrowed a couple of pics from my breds that played with Tribe and combined with my own collection. I didn’t show any discrimination for the pics I actually took.  So here is a collection of all shapes sizes. 100 bamcees….big, small, round, flat, nice and not so nice.   

enjoy  😉

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Sally what? The Salybia Fete review!!

23 02 2008

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Can somebody please build a highway to the Northeast corner of Trinidad.  I’ve had an easier time getting through rush hour traffic in Manhattan than getting to Salybia on Carnival Thursday f0r this all inclusive I spoke so highly of in 2007.  So after a 2 hour drive, through small one road towns, over dirt and gravel roads through bush…we reach the Eastern Coast of Trinidad, about 2o kilometers south of Toco. 

 Well, its a new year, and once again..I didn’t get as pissy drunk in 08 as I did in 07 so I was able to observe and take in the vibes with a little more clarity.  I think part of my soberness had to do with the fact that Patrone did not have a booth this year.  I was looking forward to alternating the silver and gold over and over again.  As soon as I walked in..I went straight to where Patrone was the previous year.  Low and behold, there was no Patrone.  Camboulay is a scotch drinker so he went looking fuh d Johnny booth………ahoy…..there is no Johnny booth.  And to make matters worse the highest rank ah Johnny dey have is black.  So why did I pay $700tt again?  As disturbing as the drink situation was it was too early in d game to call d fete a wash……. its not the end of the world.  They did have Remy, and these Carib girls were easy on the eyes.

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Let we go get something to eat.

An hour later……. still in line.  Food lines were ridiculously long and when yuh finally reach dem people serving, yuh have to beg dem to put an extra spood of sumptin on yuh plate. My people were in a line opposite me heading in another direction. 2 hours later, they still had not eaten. I get to the food and of course, people who did NOT spend the hour in line are asking me to fix them a plate. I look at them like they have 3 heads.  I hate to be an asshole about this but allyuh get behind me..I just stood in this damn line for an hour. I ent fixin sh!t. 

The fete was OK this year.  Vibes were still nice but not on the level of 2007. It rained (and Machel wasn’t even there!), the music died for a good half hour or so as we all limed in silence or to the riddem section on the lower level. 

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Imij and Co performed.  They are the ultimate “filler” band…notorious for singing everyone elses tune. 

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I think Roy Cape Allstars performed as well  if my memory served me properly.  You know the Allstars were everywhere this year.  In 07, Allison Hines and her band, as well as Traffik performed so the entertainment was definitely down a level this year.   1 thing I must say bout this fete……dey say Army fete is d safest fete in Trinidad (I doh truss dem prima donna soldiers wit machine guns in dey hand)……I say dis fete was d safest in Trinidad.  I honestly never felt so safe in a fete and did not feel the need to b concerned bout anybody “marking” meh fuh later or dat ah had to control meh drinking.  Oh b4 ah forget………. best decision was to hire dat maxi……well except fuh d asshole chick who decided to leave on here own without telling we and had we looking fuh she……….but we wasnt leaving anyways because the traffic/parking management was piss poor.  Now ah always hear people talk bout “Salibya have too much ole people”……guess wat……I doh mind d geriatrics………even doh ah tink ah see Jean and Dinah dey………remember folks…….ah good wukking ole ting is better dan a young ting.  D ole people does behave demselves and only dey to enjoy demselves.  Also realize at d end of d nite I eh see 1 ole person vomiting or passed out in d grass.

In a nutshell…..this fete was way oversold like a bwee flight from Kennedy d week b4 Carnival.  Maybe in years past this was a great fete………but from wat ah hear somebody in d organization might of also pulled a fast 1.  D word I heard was dat there was somebody selling wrist bands for $500.  Which might explain some of d well dressed Guntas ah see lurking about d place.  Maybe next year it might be a better fete if d promoters pay attention………but I  eh planning to return.  D experience was an experience and nuttin more.  Dere was absolutely nuttin special bout dis fete.  Too much people, no quick access to food and regular drinks.  Entertainment was blah.  I doh care dat it rained, I doh care dat it had iron and swanky ole people and I doh care it was up in d bush.  I do care dat fuh d money I payed I was not fed like a bloated pig, I was not given access to premium drinks and ah had to listen to 1 high tier band perform. 

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I Out On D Road….I Dere Wit My Friends and Island People Mas

14 02 2008

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A friend of mine was doing a Carnival project and asked me what Carnival meant to me?  I responded by saying freedom and friendship………there are the 2 things that I value most with Carnival.  Its the 1 time of the year that my head is clear of ALL responsibilities (except young Canboulay) and when I enjoy the companionship of my family and friends @ fetes and on D Road.  These 2 factors often make my Carnival experience a lil bias because my mind is free and im with loved ones.  Okay enuff of the nauseating nostalgia…..on wit d frikkin show.  So allyuh boy played wit Island People Mas………..Animal Instincts dey call it.  First allyuh must understand dat  ah had a very bitter taste in meh mout from IP last year, but true Carnival veterans understand all d politics when it comes to deciding on a band.  So D Trini cew and D foreign crew came to a last minute decision dat we going back into d belly ah d beast. 

 Fast forward to Carnival Friday……..we drive down by d National Stadium park and gone inside to start d madness.   What frikken madness……..we pay and pick up costumes for 5 people in 30 minutes.   There were a few discrepencies with the sizes written down…..no problem and no stinken dutty Trini attitude (allyuh kno wat ah talking bout) the young lady made the changes without incident.  The overall vibe at the distribution center was very pleasant and professional.  Did I mention dem no good people gave us 2 goodie bags……well im sure allyuh did hear bout dat since day 1.  Is not much considering the money we paid…….but I doh mind getting mammaguyed into thinking ah getting a good deal when im being robbed blind.    Fast forward Carnival Monday……….niceness continues.  No problems with drinks…..no problem with food…..security tight.  I found dat the bars were never too crowded.  At 1 point in time I actually thought they had too many drink trucks because that bonus Stag truck really helped.  My only complaint was that  we get of d road a bit too early. 

Tuesday is here and we late cuz woman need to put on all dey added accessories..  Wait……wats this……a Band Locator Hotline…..the phone ringing and a pleasant voice answers.  “Hello this is Canboulay…….wey d band?”  IP Operator: “Sir the band is presently on Park and Charlotte Streets.”  Niceness.  As simple as dat was ah was grateful dat d phone ring and dey gave us accurate info.  Dat number came in handy a few other times when we went roaming later in d day.  Everything was good again on d road.  No problem with drinks or food and security was TIGHT.  There was always an open line of COMMUNICATION as they announced everything.   We reach by the Hospital wey d drink trucks does go around cuz we going and cross D stage……dey tell we………we passing by “hot zones” wey d Guntas waiting to victimize people……dey tell we “stay within the ropes”.  Music was good but I woulda like dem to play more tunes.  We  was parked up on D side of QRC for a long period of time which is when I guess they ran into watevah technical issues they sent that recent email out. 

When we reach arrung D Stadium ah hear dem say dey making 1 last lap arrung and den heading in fuh D After Party……….we decided to head straight inside.  It was then folkes that we experienced EXTACSY…….D BEST Jerk Chicken ah ever taste in T&T.  We stumbled upon a food truck and D fella say “All ah have is chicken”…………God Bless that fella.  Ah eat ah whole container ah chicken.   We killed some time inside and for a while tort IP give we a 6 fuh a 9.  Was actually gearing up to leave when security started pushing everybody towards d After Party.  Waiting outside fuh d rest ah D crew ah bounce up meh partner Midnight Robber.  Being d good fella dat ah is ah forgive him fuh not jumping wit we and gave him D Complimantery Pass to enter D Party.   Yes they gave each masquerader a complimantary pass that they could give to family or friends.  And like Shurwaine said “Whole Day We Jamming…..Whole Day Whole Day”.  After Party was sweet.  No premium drinks……..but there was still alcohol.  Now if yuh been following this blog from day 1 we been giving allyuh survival tips…….so when people troat dry…….Canboulay and D crew had they Rum Bota full ah Johnny Green to take dem into the night.  But all good tings must come to an end……but not the way we left.  Ah wah send a special “Haul Yuh Mudderscunt” to Jugglers or wateva yuh call dem fuh disrespecting we music and culture by playing dat Passa Passa reggae.  IP……..if allyuh doing an After Party again next year…..make sure allyuh hire disc jockeys who are committed to Soca music and the culture of T&T. 

Last year ah gave Island People ah grade F fuh fukkery……….this year ah giving dem a B+.  My assessment of the band is minus the influence of alcohol and the fun with my friends and family.  Its based on Customer Service, Security and Mammaguying.  Food coulda been bettter, music coulda been better, more time on D road and crossing ALL D stages.  I doh wah no email with excuses.  As much as I appreciate the excuse………Carnival didnt start yesterday.   Allyuh suppose to have a plan A-Z to get allyuh masqueraders across these bootleg stages since dem jackasses at NCC and D Culture Minister cant seem to get dey act together with D Savannah.  Ah go give allyuh a lil bligh because D excuse kinna make some sense……..but shame on allyuh fuh not having proper contingencies in place.  With that said if allyuh could do some damage control with costume prices fuh next year and provide a better product on D road………allyuh might see us again……..and we might bring some more friends.  Costume price is UBER IMPORTANTE….juss pay attention to d housing market in D USA…..dat bubble buss and look at pressure dey facing now……..yuh could only squeeze but so much juice out of ah orange eh……..doh let d bubble buss on allyuh too.  Finally……. Big Up to all d rope pullers, security people, food and bartenders for IP…..u folks were the diffeence makers on D road.

****Few Pics Courtesy of MR from Monday*** 

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“Hey You..Why Yuh Not at Work?” ——-The Break Biche Review

14 02 2008

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Now admitedly, I had a  bit of skepticism about this “new” fete on the scene, brought to us from the same fellas that promote SunnySide Up.  After all, its a Friday “Day” fete, scheduled from 12-7.  Usually a big costume pickup day, some of the residents still at work, people have business to take care of and chances are, many pulled a double fete the Thursday before going from either Salybia or Beach House then to Tribe-Ignite or UWI splash.  Basically, all the ingredients are there for this all inclusive fete to flop. 

This event is set back in the bush of Tucker Valley. Yuh transport can only take you so far as you must get out and hop on a shuttle to the actual location. We arrive at 2:30 and this is what we see.

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Hmm, kind of empty.  Well, I guess we are early. We actually run into another group of friends from the UK that got there before we did. They are a small click that goes by the name Soca Kartel.  We normally see them playing mas in T&T and Barbados carnivals.  Well, since its an all inclusive, people hungry so we go eat. We ate buss-up, and some other stuff.  Went for drinks with our yellow cups….and what do you know, they have Johnny Green.  Now, me and Johnny Green became good friends about this time.  It was my birthday, and I figured Johnny Green should help me celebrate……often!

So, I’m on my 3rd cup of Green on the rocks and I discover the raw oyster bar.  I love raw oysters.  Yes, I know it looks like snot but I’ve eaten worse. This became my diet for the next hour or so.

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For some godforsaken reason, all my female friends started avoiding me by the time I downed my 5th oyster.  Well, whatever the reason, Johnny Green was still keeping me company.  Its about 4:30 and now the crowd is rolling in and the vibes pick up.  Its turning out to be a nice fete. 5:15, I go back to the bar.  No more Johnny Green!!!!  That sonofabitch left the party without saying goodbye!!  My cup was empty…I had to downgrade to Johnny Black. It don’t matter..my body was numb by this time. I can feel no pain and I have no taste buds. I could have drank diesel feul and not notice the difference.  Damn that Johnny Green.

By now, the vibes was feeling really nice…or is it my .25 BAC making me feel this? I wish I had a breathalizer. Roy Cape Allstars come on stage. I swear they are performing at every fete. I never paid attention to Trini Jacobs before….I’m thinking she’s kinda sexy..

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OK, the oysters must be taking effect too.  It don’t matter, by now the party is on fire.  Blaxx is singing the 25 minute version of Breathless, people wukkin up everywhere.  This is a hell of a fete….I call my transport, tell him come an hour and a half later, this thing just getting started

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Damn, its 7:30….they really shutting the fete down!! no scene, we have plans to lime at crobar anyway.  The entire crew is tore down. Guess I wasn’t the only one the got cozy with Johnny Green.  You know it was a good time when all 50 people on the shuttle bus back to the parking lot break out in song, “You can bring it in a bottle, you can bring it in a Flask, you can bring it in a cup or, you can bring it in a glass…I waaaaaant meh rum in the moooorning……I waaaaant meh rum in the eeeeveniiiing”.

On a critical note.  I would like for them to push the times back a little. Maybe 2-9PM or 3-10pm. So people can still get to Blue Range or GP if they want or pick up their costumes in the morning (unless they playing mas with Evolution of course..might as well wait till Saturday nite).  Keep a little more Johnny Green behind the bar.  It wasn’t “that” many people there that the supply should end so early.  A little more food variety might come in handy as well but given the circumstances of a first year fete at an unusual time, I think they did a pretty decent job and everyone I know had a hell of a time.

Carnival is what you make it.  Break Biche will see me again. 

-Robber





D’Original Breakfast Fete Vs SunnySide Up

14 02 2008

Whats not to love about this infamous “Original Breakfast Fete” in Diamond Vale.  These are the hardest tickets to get as I have spent 3 years trying to find a way to this fete. I finally lucked out thanks to my friends over at http://trinidadfetetickets.blogspot.com/

Now I am usually a man of principle so after years of hearing how difficult the organizers of this event can be I strongly contemplated not giving them my money. I even considered trading them in for some Sunnyside up Tix.  After all, you don’t get any performances and “allegedly” what you receive from a food and drink standpoint was questionable.  This is merely a block party right?

Well, I sucked up my pride and went b/c lord knows if I will ever get another chance.  I’m glad I did as the Vale fete was all it was cracked up to be.  It was just different.  The crowd is relatively laid back which can be a turnoff for many fete goers but the atmosphere here was unlike any other.  I didn’t feel the stoosh factor you get at lets say…Lara Fete.  I found Vale to be a breath of fresh air from the usual fete routines.

Immediately you learn that Vale regulars are a special click. Almost a cult with groups of long time friends claiming territory.  For example..there is:

De Roof Crew.

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D’ Wall Crew

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Lamp Post Crew 

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D’Lushes Crew who seem to position themselves somewhere behind the lamp post crew.

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I have never seen anything like this in a fete and found it hysterical.  Duchess, Sprang and other top DJ’s was blazin the tunes. The women were gorgeous, sun blazing hot. People wore funny T-Shirts. 

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One of the residents took their waterhose and sprayed the crowd.  This year, they opened up the “park” right on Amythest Avenue thereby expanding the room for this event.  There was food, plenty drinks and more importantly…It was a nice “size” crowd.

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Vale definitely gets two thumbs up and will see me again when I figure out how to infiltrate this click and get tickets without getting the 3rd degree.

Canboulay on the other hand went to SunnySide Up

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I did decide from d get go dat I was going SunnySideUp and break d regular Insomnia routine.  Reach Trinidad…..collect meh tickets and ah ready to go.  So we get dey arrung 1/4 to 4 and rell people outside……but we liming on d corner and not directly by the entrance.   Arrung 4:10’ish we decide to venture to D entrance and den we realized dat all dem people outside was juss gapers who probably didnt have tickets………..but it was funny to see a wanna be bourgoise scalper.  Well we get in d place and headed straight to get something to eat.  We decided to get some saltfish and hops.  Ah see meh fren screw she face after she get d ting and ah was wondering why………..when I get mine ah realize is a table spoon ah saltfish inside a dry hops bread.  I eh even fret………after meh Salibya experience I realized wat was going on and decide to rock back.  My ting is dis……if I pay $500tt fuh ah party I expect my hops bread to get full wit saltfish until I surrender and beg allyuh to stop.  There were 2 live bands………some jokers and Roy Cape.  Sometimes Blaxx does talk too much and dat takes away from his performance…..he was talking too much bout d Soca Monarch.  The crowd was blahhhh.  And for the number of people they sold tickets there was not sufficient bathrooms.  Yuh wah have somewat of a classy even and doh wah people behave like ole nyggers……..den provided sufficient bathrooms so mankind doh have to be pissing against yuh house.  The best part of this fete was the last 45 minutes when the DJ picked up d pace and started blazing tunes in d place.  Best thing I saw in this fete was the fact that they had barrels of water available for people to drink without going by the bar.  My BOTTOMLINE is if I pay X amount of dollars for a fete………I expect to be spoilt and not given a dry hops bread wit a tablespoon of saltfish………and a screwface server.  So SSU will have the pleasure of not seeing me next year.  To all those who enjoyed themselves…..I would like you folks to be honest with yuhself………..was it the product that the promoter provided you……or was it the alcohol and the vibe you/your friends provided.  Maybe in years past this event was not as crowded and you got what yuh payed for……….but I only recouped 3/4 of my money at the bar.





I See Yellow People

13 02 2008

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 The past couple of years I played Jouvert with a small band called MudsterzBall.  Their HQ use to be in the back of Crobar and they line up over near the complex. Very nice band with mud and paint, it was all inclusive, the organizers were friendly. Their signature were these large Top Hats (I have 2 in my collection) and standards. I had no complaints.So what do I do this year?  I venture off to try something new.  I decided to go with a big popular Jouvert Band on the recommendation some friends. One of these days, Im going to learn to stick with a good thing and just ride it out.  Maybe thats my problem and explains why I’m still single.  But this article isn’t about me.

Now I would by lying if I didn’t say I had a great time with the Yellow Devils.  Like Zan said, “I out on de road, I here wit my friends, if you lookin for me, you’ll find me again” My crew was deep we had a ball. 

“Look at meh pants…look at me shoe…look at meh t-shirt”, and on that note, I hit you with my first complaint about Yellow Devils.  I don’t recall hearing one Jouvert Tune.  There was no riddem section either.  The band was very big.

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….and the liquor truck was inadequate. Drinks were difficult to get…bar buss before we even reach the mainroad in St. James. I had to resort to drinking Smirnoff Ice.  Its a bad sign when I have to drinking wine coolers.  My homegirl was complaining to one of the “bartenders”, I paid $50, I want a drink.  The fella ignored her, opened up a bottle of water took a sip, and looked down at her and said “This is Trinidad!”.  As if to say, Fukk you and your money..to bad.  Matter of fact, here is the skinny bastard right here.

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 I had to snap a picture b/c I knew I would be putting this up on the blog.

Anyway, there were pretty girls were pelting yellow paint from the back of a truck.  Talk about a hazard…I’m sure plenty people get paint in their eye.  Personally, I ducked and asked them to just pour in on me. I’d rather they not fling it from across the road when I wasn’t looking.

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These were the paint girls after they ran out of paint.

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 As were were coming thru St. James, we get cut off by another band.  Its Section 8. They had Mud.  I think I like Mud better.. They had a riddem section.

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 .. and Tassa 

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and it appeared to be a nice size. people still had drinks as they were passing through St. James and not sucking down some damn Smirnoff Ice because their bar buss. The masqueraders with Section 8 were definitely having a good time. 

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Yellow Devils did have water truck though. I don’t recall seeing that with to many other Jouvert Bands.

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Maybe thats their niche….(along with yellow paint).  All in all, I had a good time.  Why wouldn’t I, there were braless women in wet shirts.

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And Bamcee fuh days 

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Carnival is definitely what you make of it. So, will Yellow Devils see me again?…..ummm..NO!  They aren’t for me, but they are for alot of other people.  Will I recommend them??? it depends on who you are and what you are looking for.

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-Robber