Mas Camp Madness

The carnival road march is two days away. On Saturday afternoon starting at one, 5 junior and 6 senior carnival bands will dance from Caesar Ridge Road to the Marion Jones Stadium’s parking lot. But carnival isn’t just a day – it is a season that brings with it a fever and a fervour which the city has been under all this week. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were mas camp nights for the senior bands and our team was at all of them. Keith Swift reports on two nights of revelry and reckless abandon.

Keith Swift Reporting,

This is what mas camp nights used to be about – a behind the scenes look at carnival band members as they burn the midnight oil, working on their costumes at mas camp as they count down to carnival day. But that was then – this is now. Mas camp nights are now an opportunity for bands to show how much they have of that one intangible variable they call.

Therese Leiva, Soca Massive
“I feel hype.”

And that hype or madness – depending on how you look at it - has blanketed the city and it seems given masqueradors a license to “go on bad” – even if means doing it as high as the tops of speakers to flat on the ground.

Eddie Sanford, Mother Nature’s Creation
“I’ve been dancing for four years now and I really like it so I cannot stop dance, I enjoy it.”

Patrick Campbell, Mother Nature’s Creation
“Carnival dah enjoyment, carnival dah fun, and dah bashment.”

Soca Massive Member,
“I am feeling good, ready for Saturday. We ready to take everything away.”

Keith Swift,
“Carnival isn’t until Saturday you know.”

Therese Leiva,
“I know that sweetie…I big but I sexy.”

Shafara, Eternity Mas Band
“For the past three years I’ve been dancing in Eternity. So far I like it. I di enjoy this right here.”

Jam Jam Member,

“This is camp night and I can’t wait for carnival. Carnival is three days away. Four years now I’ve been dancing and I love it.”

Stacy Hemmans, Jam Jam

“I feel wonderful. This is my second year here in carnival.”

Keith Swift,

“How was it last year?”

Stacy Hemmans,

“It was very wonderful and now it is even better so everybody just come and just large up unu self and come out, you done know.”

There were many reasons why Romey Plunkett should have stayed home. The butane explosion killed her brother in law but for revellers - carnival conquers all.

Romey Plunkett, Mother Nature’s Creation

“Yesterday was my birthday. It was sad birthday for me yesterday. I lost my brother in law in the accident.”

Keith Swift,

“And you’re still out here dancing?”

Romey Plunkett,

“Well sometimes you have to rejoice, you can’t be sad.”

Keith Swift,

“How` long have you been dancing in carnival?”

Romey Plunkett,

“From I was 7 years old, every year, no year I miss.”

A tough week for Romey Plunkett and a tough year for the carnival bands. That’s double for Black Pearl because they have a senior and a junior band. Kendra Buller says they’ve been struggling and scrounging for funds but their show will go on.

Kendra Buller, Black Pearl

“We have 75 strong members right now. We have certain people like tonight who have come and ask if we have space so we will try and see how best we can accommodate them.”

Keith Swift,

“How hard was it organzing the senior and a junior band?”

Kendra Buller,

“It was really a challenge for us but we fought the good fight and we came out with both groups.”

Alma Gabourel, Jam Jam Mas Band

“I hope on Saturday my band is as hype as they are hype tonight. We will have 90 people. This is my third year as a bandleader but I have dancing in carnival for the past 15 years.”

Keith Swift,

“What keeps you in it?”

Alma Gabourel,

“The love of it.”

Misty Williams, Eternity Mas Band

“Everybody is out to win and we hope to win again as usual.”

Sebastian, Soca Massive

“We have been boost from the very beginning. We had enough motivation way before that. We are always motivated whenever it comes to carnival.”

Leroy Green, Mother Nature’s Creation
“You can expect energy, creativity, determination, perseverance and of course we are heading to win.”

But win or lose or draw – it is all about the revelling, that sense of wild abandon which is what makes carnival more than an event, it is a season.

The next big event is on Saturday when the carnival jouvert leaves from the San Cas Plaza at 4 am. Channel 7’s coverage of the road march starts at 1 pm with hosts Berne and Tanisha Vernon.
Live and let live