A new Hart for British calypso

McKenzie Hart performing at the opening night of the 2016 London Calypso Tent

A new Hart for British calypso

By Stephen Spark
Photographer Stephen Spark

United Kingdom | Tuesday 9 August 2016: 9:09 BST

She’s 15 years old, has the voice of an angel and plays steelpan too, we’re told. McKenzie Hart won the hearts of the audience at The Tabernacle on the opening night of the ABC London Calypso Tent on Friday 5 August.

There is always an air of anticipation as the new calypso season begins, but the schoolgirl with the sophisticated, soulful voice singing ‘Thank You’ was the revelation of the night (to whet your appetite, there’s a video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcOradMi5s4).

McKenzie Hart’s singing surely uplifted the spirits of the audience and of the ABC itself, because, as ABC chairman Vincent John remarked, the Tent needs fresh blood. With that in mind, the association intends to revive the Junior Calypso competition.

The Old Guard were on good form too. Lord Cloak teased the crowd with a succession of one-liners in his familiar style, while King Socrates from St Kitts gave us a timely social commentary that pointed out ‘Our contribution is what put the ‘great’ in Great Britain’. By contrast, Sunshine and Nadiva got the audience waving to their infectious number Unstoppable.

There was plenty more to enjoy – not least the sound of the ABC Band and the wonderful voices of the Divettes - but to find out you’ll just have to get yourself to The Tabernacle, Powis Square, on Friday 12 August… and again on the 19th for the Groovy Soca Competition, plus the unmissable Calypso Monarch contest on Thursday 25 August and finally the Last Night on Friday 26th.

More details at: www.britishcalypsonians.com or for a full event listing visit London Calypso Tent dates.

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