Home / View Point / Martin Daly / Daly Bread: ‘Sweet type of love!’; groovy bards and Panorama shuffle offers hope amidst calypso gloom

Daly Bread: ‘Sweet type of love!’; groovy bards and Panorama shuffle offers hope amidst calypso gloom

What a great result from the Panorama semi-finals last Sunday. The two groovy “young boy” songs Year for Love and Hello—subject only to a tie for fourth place with Lightning Flash—ran first, second, third and fourth as played by Renegades, Despers, Phase II and Skiffle respectively.

These songs create a feeling of peace and some optimism that we will survive the killing and heavy tension currently enveloping us. They have replaced the defiance of We Jammin Still.

Photo: Soca star Kees Dieffenthaller, who heads Kes The Band, has earned rave reviews with his 2018 song, ‘Hello’.

The choice of these songs by seasoned pan arrangers is confirmation that the succession plan for our unique performing arts is evolving on the ground with a sweet type of love—thank you, Kees, for that great line in Hello.

The “authorities” have been quick to claim that they have contributed to this evolution. I contend that the evolution has come despite backward, self-interested management and funding of Carnival arts in and out of season.

They only now see the extent of the involvement of the youth? Can they now see the societal turn-around potential of the arts to which so many of us have tried to draw attention, largely in vain?

The success of those carrying forward the performing arts has not been fuelled by the easy money of the dependency syndrome, which is now under scrutiny as the dependency funds dry up. These successful artistes understand that “to make a money” they have to please a market.

I acknowledge Machel Montano for the phrase “make a money”—which I was fortunate to hear him use at close quarters recently. Those who talk about diversification of the economy might consider whether the label Soca Kingdom has rebranding possibilities for our richly artistic island.

Photo: Soca icons Machel Montano (left) and Austin “Super Blue” Lyons have combined for 2018 Carnival hit ‘Soca Kingdom’.

Pan Trinbago, at least, appears to have finally understood the dynamics of the entertainment market after its stubbornness has done considerable harm to the Panorama product. For years, in diminishing numbers, we have given sweet and enduring type of love to Panorama but our need for prime bands in prime time has been spurned.

Last Sunday’s Panorama semifinals ran well and finished just before 11:30pm with results announced a short while later. Yes, the organisation did well and I said so to the President but I did ask: Will it get the same result with 20 bands starting at 7pm?

Is Pan Trinbago truly committed to reforming the Panorama product to meet market demands?

In the context of the ongoing debate over the collapse of the calypso tents, I would like to adopt the comment of one of the best-grounded practitioners and learned teachers in the field of creative arts. He stated firmly, in a widely distributed email exchange, that sub-standard entertainment offered in the calypso tent as an enterprise, is not sustainable.

“Given the industry that Carnival is purported to be, tents and other shows need to be weaned off government support and become, as they once were, market-competitive.”

Photo: Calypsonian Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osouna, who runs the Calypso Revue Tent.

As I have repeatedly advocated in these columns over the years, provided the Panorama product is reformed, there is a case for limited Government support because of the unique nature of the indigenous musical instrument. However, Government financial support without checks and balances, and—most importantly—quality control only serves to undermine the advancement of the more innovative and proficient pan practitioners.

Far too much time has been lost in creating policy initiatives to assist steel orchestras to reap the potentially rich foreign exchange earnings for quality performances here and abroad, including the vast Indian sub-continent, where the renown of Brian Lara is an immediate drawing card.

Awakening the interest of even a minute percentage of that vast population will bring reward, particularly bearing in mind that our steel orchestras can execute some Bollywood music.

Meanwhile, ah doh business with the latest perversion of the Constitution surrounding the appointment of the Commissioner of Police, beyond my statements published in last Wednesday’s edition of the Trinidad Express newspaper.

Photo: Acting deputy Police Commissioner Deodat Dulalchan.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

This new crisis highlights the importance of the advice I presumed respectfully to give the President-elect, in a recent column, to make appointments without yielding to the traditional pressures of class and contact and family and batch membership.

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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  1. Well, who don’t know, don’t want to know. For years now there are many die hard Patriots living here and abroad who do know.. While the rest of the Caribbean focuses on Hospitality, we spend billions on educating our young people for jobs they don’t like and can’t get.

  2. There is already the hashtag #socakingdomcalling. It is being used by tourist arrivals for 2018 Carnival as they fly out from their various departure lounges and are headed to Trinidad.

  3. A little more: For yrs, when in a lime, n the old talk shift to T&T tourism, I always would say we should Position T&T as the Land of Fete. But here Mr. Daly, given the Power of the tune Soca Kingdom, has suggested that, marketing people in charge of our tourism, use the term, in our branding. I don’t know if Mr. Daly understands that he has struck gold, in marketing terms. Now it is for the marketing bosses of the Tourism Products to take it n run with it. The Soca Kingdom says it all. What a story to tell the “world of tourists”. Some where I saw recently the slogan: T&T, the land of steel band n calypso n limbo. That was a good slogan for its time. But Trinidad and Tobago more refective of the times. The Soca Kingdom, captures it all in only three words. N by all I mean, calypso, steelpan, limbo, Tambu Bamboo, Chutney Soca, the Tobago Gig n Parang n Sokah and now Soca so many more – Stories to tell ever more.

    • Yeah. I agree with you both there. Of course the slogan is just step one to us making ourselves a good tourism destination. But I’d take it that is a given.

    • Now we have the slogan, we can now do the required work to fill in the Marketing Mix – towards a Tourism Marketing Plan for T&T.

    • We take nothing for granted with our leaders here…

    • Yes, yes our leaders. I have been close enough to politicians all my life, so I think I have a little idea how they operate. I view marketing similar to how economists view economics – micro n macro. Macro Marketing involves things like the Tourism Marketing Plan n the marketing of carnival n others. Micro Marketing involves things like marketing of ur own business n projects, say, like, marketing a historical site, that the Gov’t over looked. Here I have more control n could continue to use my marketing experience on a daily basis. At the Marco level, though, I often confined to posting comments like I am posting now.

    • I’d say it couldn’t hurt for the Govt to share those plans with the public. Because the best plans would come to nought if locals are rude and unwelcoming to tourists.

    • I agree. Especially as Gov’ts r not known to be marketing oriented.

    • To be very honest…re branding with the theme soca kingdom is a fantastic idea….but since i’ve known myself …there is always too much politics in tourism and never the required amount of passion needed to bring forth Trinidad and Tobago as a Caribbean tourism giant….too often i’ve heard visitors comment on how different T&T is compared to the glamour and glitz that is our neighbours….and they appreciate the difference…according to an old German man -” I’ve been to the Caribbean many times…St Lucia…Barbados…and they all sell you the same thing…over and over….but when I come to Trinidad…there is always something new to discover and learn here.” I have never forgotten his words…

    • I am wondering if there is already a Pressure Group called Friends of Tourism? Must check it out.

  4. Kees is mih boy! And Voice is just pure love!

  5. A Lawyer gives us a lesson in Marketing. Who listening?