By Gary Darmanie Monday, February 23 2009
Partygoers attending the Trini Posse annual cooler fete, Bowen Marine, Chaguaramas expressed their disappointment with the performance of soca star Machel Montano with a series of “boos” and calls for him to leave the stage early yesterday morning.
After being treated to an energetic performance by soca diva Destra Garcia, who heated up the fete with her Road March contender “Bacchanal”, the crowd remained pumped up, hoping for a climax from Montano.
However, Montano failed to deliver. Instead, taking the stage at about 2.30 am, he began to sing his 2009 Road March contender “Red Antz”.
Midway into the performance, Montano drew the crowd’s attention to police officers who were frisking patrons.
Expressing his annoyance, Montano told the police officers, “this is a fete and not a police station.” Montano then walked off the stage, threatening not to return.
At this point patrons started asking, “How can he do that? We paid our money to see him and this is how he treats us?”
When Montano returned to the stage about ten minutes after his “walk off,” it was the patrons turn to show their disappointment in him.
It was shortly after 3.10 am, when Montano returned and resumed singing “Red Antz” but irate patrons greeted him with a barrage of “boos” and chants for him to “get off the stage.”
Although Montano attempted to win back the crowd, opting to perform hits such as “Big Truck” and “Congo Man,” many patrons did not respond, choosing to take a drink from their coolers and turning their backs on his HD performance. After about 40 minutes, some in the crowd warmed a bit to Montano’s techno/rave music performance but many patrons seemed to share the same complaint. “We did not come to a soca fete on Carnival Saturday to hear Machel Montano sing or perform techno,” said one patron.
Hours before the fete, Montano was on stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah as a flag-waver for Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove in the Panorama final.
The band performed “Magic Drum”, sung by Montano and written by arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and Kernel Roberts, who is also the musical director for Montano. Montano’s season has been tarnished by reports that he had an argument with two-time Road March champion Shurwayne Winchester backstage at the Alternative Concept concert at the National Stadium, Port-of-Spain on February 14.
The reports were circulated by e-mails, prompting Montano to give a television interview two days later where he explained he used “passionate words” to express his disapproval with Winchester’s use of a techno/rave rhythm during his performance.
But his actions have ticked off other artistes, including former Soca and Road March winner Iwer George, who called on Montano to apologise to Winchester during his performance at the International Power Soca Monarch competition at the National Stadium last Friday.