Amongst the bands busy launching for the 2012 Notting Hill Carnival season is Burrokeets UK, started 22 years ago under the helm of Mrs Joan Sam. Today, the band has developed into something a far cry from its origins. But don’t let that fool you; Burrokeets continue to provide masqueraders with an unforgettable carnival experience.
We spoke to Pauline from Burrrokeets about the band’s past, present and future.
What is your role within Burrokeets UK?
I am part of the management team responsible for the administration of the band. My role is to attend carnival meetings and make sure that we are practising within the guidelines, and to administrate the registration of costumes from their creation to delivering to masqueraders.
How long has Burrokeets been going?
What is the idea behind this year’s theme?
Golden Portrait is a celebration of Trinidad and Tobago's 50th anniversary of independence. The names are inspired by the calypso Portrait of Trinidad. Each section will depict something great about Trinidad and Tobago, and each will have a hint of gold in it to mark the anniversary.
I know these things are normally top secret until the launch date, but can you give us a hint – perhaps one of the section names?
You are very correct, they are top secret until our launch on 12th May. BUT, I can tell you that one section is full of colour.
You have moved away from the traditional ‘stand in a fete and view costume’ type launch; why is this?
Burrokeets UK has gone through some changes in the last couple of years. Martin Jay of Choice FM is now the operational manager of the band (‘band leader’, but he doesn’t like that title). One of the changes is that we felt we needed to ‘up our game’, so to speak, and have decided this year to present our band in a classier atmosphere.
What can patrons expect to see on launch night?
The evening will start at 7.30pm, and dinner will be served at 8pm. Holiday Inn is renowned for its Caribbean events, so we know that the food will be of a great standard. Our presentation will start at 10pm. A great deal of thought and preparation is going into our presentation this year, and we think that it will be an enjoyable watch. At 10.45pm the doors will open to patrons that have purchased after-party tickets, and just after midnight we will present on stage Farmer Nappy, who will perform hits from his current album You Make Me…, which is available on iTunes. We are really happy to have Farmer here in a solo capacity, as he has contributed some amazing music whilst working alongside Machel Montano HD. We will then finish the night with a slamming party, courtesy of our DJs Dr Jay of Toronto, Martin Jay, DJ Bliss and Shakatak.
Most bands seem to have be having more than one launch; will you be doing the same?
I don’t think we will do a second launch, but we will have ongoing marketing initiatives from the launch onwards. We feel that it is very important to look for first time masqueraders, as well as our very loyal family of existing players, so that is what we will be concentrating on.
So I have my costume ready to play mas with Burrokeets; what can I expect on carnival Sunday and Monday.
We want to make sure that people realise that we’re taking this year very seriously. On Carnival Sunday we will host two independent bands: Abir – Colours of Life mas band, who specialise in bringing a vibrant, colourful paint band to the streets of Notting Hill, and T&T Mudders, who are one of the original Sunday bands and as their name suggests a traditional mud band. Our packages give you the option to play with either band, if desired.
On Carnival Monday this year we will have one big 40ft music truck with music from Dr Jay (Toronto) DJ Bliss and Stitch, Shakatak and yours truly Martin Jay. Dr Jay is one of the biggest and best soca DJs in the business, and it is an honour and a privilege to have him on our team. The Burrokeets Bar on wheels will also be returning, to make sure that you are taken care of every step of the route with drinks and snacks. We will also provide you with breakfast before we hit the road, and lunch whilst we are on the route.
How can our readers find out more about Burrokeets?
Go to www.burrokeetsuk.com - right now it just has information about our launch, but on Saturday 19th May we will launch our new look website for 2012 with online registration, costume packages and much more.
You can also like our Facebook page, BURROKEETS UK MAS
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