Shirlaine Hendrickson, performing at the tent in 2016

Kaiso Calling!

By Stephen Spark
Photographer Stephen Spark

United Kingdom | Tuesday 1 August 2017: 9:09 BST

Calypso in London takes on a silvery sheen this year. The Association of British Calypsonians (ABC) is celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the iconic and irreplaceable London Calypso Tent.

It seems almost unthinkable that we will have to enjoy this classic and competitive kaiso season without the Mighty Tiger. Ashton Moore, who passed away on 25 January, was the Tent’s founder and President for Life of the ABC. For many of us he was the Godfather of Calypso in England, the guiding spirit who kept the flame of Caribbean kaiso burning bright on these shores.

Tiger moved to Luton some years ago, but despite failing health he kept a sharp eye on ABC’s activities. The best proof of his legacy is the solid line-up of talent who’ll be keeping the enthusiastic Tabernacle crowd entertained from stalwarts such as Lord Cloak, De Admiral and Alexander D Great to younger performers like Sheldon Skeete, G String and Santiago.

Joining them will be the special guests. Look out for Sunshine and Nadiva, DeeVine, Soca Kidd, Soca Johnny, Triniboi Joocie, Carlene ‘Sweetwrists’ Etienne, Mckenzie Hart (the revelation of 2016) and Ms Desire at the Groovy Soca Competition on 18 August. Once again we’ll be treated to sauciness from Shirlane Hendrickson, Lady Wonder and All Rounder – if you’re the shy and retiring kind, don’t sit in the front row!

Among all the picong there’ll be tributes to our past calypso pioneers. The Mighty Tiger will be with us in spirit, of course, and also Golden Cockerel, Mighty Astronaut, Rev Sweetfoot and Peace & Love.

The Tent, at The Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY, runs from 8pm every Friday in August up to Carnival, plus the Calypso Monarch Final on Thursday 24 August. Tickets are £12, concs £10, u16 £5 and can be bought in advance via www.eventbrite.com.

Soca News will keep you up to date with news and reviews, and check ABC’s website, www.britishcalypsonians.com, for more details.

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Soca News
November 2017

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