So Bacchanalia has drawn first blood for Notting hill carnival 2011 with their band launch at the Imbibe bar Saturday night.
It’s been a long time in London since I’ve been to a band launch I have enjoyed, if I had to be precise the last band launch I enjoyed was south connections about 4 years ago (and that’s because I found a nice woman to wine on...the mas was cool too).
So on Saturday, I (or we depending on who reading this lol) decided to attend the band launch of Bacchanalia to witness the revealing of their Notting hill Carnival 2011 presentations of ‘Wotless’ for Sunday and ‘Alter Ego Through the looking glass’ for bank holiday Monday.
The crowd was a good one; convert this crowd and the energy it possessed into a strong 4 section band and the folks at Bacchanalia will surely be a force to reckon with in the Notting Hill Carnival.
Bacchanalia’s theme of choice, ‘Alter ego-Through the looking glass’ is a simple but effective one, in short the alter ego is that spirit of carnival that takes over when you hit the road on carnival day in costume, and become someone your mother does not know, and while at the launch I could not guess what costume was Bold and Beautiful or Mirror Mirror by looking at them, under the lights of the venue the costumes, (or was it the ladies in them?) did have me Spellbound for the 20 minutes it took to present them. Good show Bacchanalia, I enjoyed it!
However, looking critically at the presentation Alter ego looks like some of the new bands in Trinidad , i.e. a head piece band, it seems that now the emphasis is on the larger (almost individual sized ) headpiece that with luck , will draw away from the fact that design wise the mas says absolutely nothing.
As a mas man I saw Alter Ego as one of those dream themes that you could take in one thousand directions and produce some sexy and meaningful portrayals with. Unfortunately it seems that those that came up with the vision did not (or could not?) connect this inspiring concept to the imaginations of the design team of Bacchanalia...
Maybe the designer/s could not find a medium or motif to assist in the depiction of the theme, or it might be that they simply did not do the research, but if team Rajpaulsing with 18 years experience in carnival are truly dedicated to not only keeping the carnival culture in the UK alive but also improving it, they have to understand there is so much more to mas than sparkly things and pretty plumes.
Much much more.
As a medium band looking for a minimum of 160 and a maximum of 200 masqueraders, Bacchanalia may be shooting themselves in the foot with section prices of £225.00 for their premium female sections and £195.00 for the males. Boldly challenging their punters not only to release their courageous Alter-ego’s but also release their common sense and part with so much money for sparkly bikinis in this present unstable economic climate.
Overall the Bacchanalia vibe is a good vibe, the energy at the launch was positive and the presentation professional. As they now cross the bridge from T-shirt, to full costumed band I can only hope that they can in time evolve from the generic fun band approach to mas without meaning, to one that visually and philosophically demands the world not to simply look at us, but sit up and pay serious attention, for this too is a fundamental aspect of what mas is about.
Don’t just shout say something
Please note: Massassination must say a special thank you to band leaders Kelly and Andrew Rajpaulsingh for inviting Massassination to their band launch (a first) and the warm welcome on introduction. This was done with the full knowledge of the blogs nature and in my opinion showed a supreme confidence, in their product, a desire to progress, and a mature understanding that the opinions expressed in my posts are constructive (most times) in intention, and done with an undying love for the art form that is MAS.
here's a 5 min clip...
a video clip of the bacchanalia band launch. held on the 16/04/11