Though he has apologissed, the Speaker’s error continues to haunt him and served as great material for monologues in the Talk Tent — perhaps a canny commentary on his refusal to step down — while the former Attorney General can now count himself among public figures constantly on the receiving end of the classic Talk Tent treatment.
But the laughs and tickles aside, Talk Tent also served up a series of thought-provoking commentary on a number of issues — from crime and politics to the importance of preserving culture as explored by Keens-Douglas in his presentation.
Keens-Douglas revived older material to drive home the message of appreciating life in the Caribbean and choosing to remain here rather than settling in foreign lands. His monologue explored the issue of identity and what shapes one’s relationship with country — his message relevant more than a decade after he first delivered it. It was expected that Short Pants would appear on stage and thrill with his usual take on popular soca songs, and that he did.
But this was not the focus of his presentation this year. He chose to honour Black Stalin (Leroy Calliste) by performing timeless songs from the calypso great’s extensive catalogue.
Of his offerings, Short Pants’ performance of Stalin’s “In Times” was reflective and moving.
He also performed Stalin’s “Message to Martin Luther”, another powerful calypso. One of the night’s more memorable performances came from Digicel’s rising star Neisha Guy — a newcomer to the Tent — who impressed during her presentation.
Guy’s powerful vocals and incredible range was on full display and she even served up a few light jokes. In a surprise twist, she belted out a number in Spanish; possibly her strongest vocals for the night.