Pantonic Steel Orchestra were pan celebrities this summer, making it onto the television twice. The late Mr Ezekiel ‘Biggs’ Yearwood formed the orchestra in 1988, and 10 years of Biggs’ life was celebrated this month across Steel Pan Trust’s social media. How proud he would be to see his offspring taking steelpan into the music mainstream – it’s opportunities like this that will legitimise the instrument and bring new innovations.
The day these guys were performing at the V Festival – with Rudimental and James Arthur – there was a buzz amongst onlookers waiting to witness what they’d been working on. Rehearsals had to be kept secret until after the performance, and it was great to watch them live at the V festival on MTV, killing it with the song Sun Comes Up. Manager Lynette Yearwood said, “Rudimental were really great, they made the band feel so comfortable and gave the whole steelpan sound a great push”. Just a few weeks later the band were recording CBeebies show, Apple Tree House, as part of their carnival-themed programme. Pantonic Steel Orchestra, we salute you!