The show, much anticipated based on the historic talent of the three groups, was somewhat of a letdown on Saturday. Even getting a programme, unlike last year, was less satisfactory.
However, the opening performance of Machel Montano/David Rudder’s “Oil and Music” was quite appropriate to alert the audience to what was to come in drumming, dancing and singing.
The tiny tots from Malick gave much encouragement. It showed that catching ‘em young they would blossom in later years to be outstanding performers, once they are kept engaged.
It was a Christmas show, and to get one into the Christmas groove there was a fare of Scrunter, and Daisy Voison style holiday tunes.
Exodus was their usual self. The drumming by the senior drummers of Malick was entertaining, while Signal Hill did not sound as the Signal Hill we knew up to a few years ago.
The dance interpretations to music by Chris Tambu Herbert, Bob Marley, and Rudder’s Calypso Music were good; but they, as well as the time-weary Christmas carols, are the tunes audiences are accustomed to; nothing new there.
Signal Hill reminded the audience that Tobago was in the house, but good intonation, music with verve and vitality – the polish – was missing.
There was some attempt to weave a story throughout the presentation. However in the final part of the programme, “Christmas is Coming,” a middle class family sought to bring happiness to an old aged poor couple, in a presentation that looked too much like a school concert. Signal Hill’s choral choreography, which is usually standout, was just not there, but at least, one could have discerned that they were trying to get across to the audience, something new.
During “Christmas Goodwill” they handed the audience a string of carols, sprinkled with some old classics, coupled with Relator’s “Bottle and Spoon”, Scrunter’s medley, and the Hallelujah Chorus.
Let’s hope they come up to scratch next year; there’s too much talent in those three groups that they cannot deliver a much better show next year.