Sunday, 2 May 2010

Kind Hearts and Cornets

There is regular time and there is black time…black time being the more relaxed version of any real time and which exists in a universe all of its own dimension. On an invitation to a black event, if it says 7:00 - midnight, what it actually means is really starts around 10ish and a midnight finish is just not going to happen.

I for some reason have always operated on real time and have over the years, often found myself the early diva at social events having turned up on time or very close to it. Consequently, I have learnt the hard way that I need to adjust my arrival time to my company.

Hoping to hit a compromise I turned up at half past eight, in part courtesy of my taxi driver who managed to get us lost in a maze of street in South West London and in part on purpose.

My smug joy at outwitting black time evaporated when I enter the barely full auditorium where the contest was held. My heart sank as I realised, despite all my best efforts, I had failed miserably to miss the pre-event entertainment.

First a medley of tunes (30 minutes of indifferent steel pan playing) from the only steel band I have ever known who had no soul or passion.

Just two members - a sharp suit trilby wearing boy of about eight and the lady standing beside him, who looked spookily like D’s Mum seemed to be having a good time, smiling and swaying while they played.

Next up on the Caribbean’s Got Talent stage, was a husband and wife IndoCaribbean fusion dance team. Torture. Pure torture – lots of hand movements, dodgy poses and music which would ordinarily be reserved for elevator music.

It was 9pm before the beauty contestants finally hit the stage and how welcome they were. The first contestant stunned me by looking like a drag queen, with super exaggerated poses, bambi downward facing eyes and all the grinning technique of Batman’s Joker.

Fortunately, the rest of the contestants were quite normal. LMM looked gorgeous and spoke eloquently during her opening introduction and stood out as definitely being up for a top three finish.

By the time the ladies moved into their carnival and beachwear things finally fired up. It takes a lot of courage to shake your booty in front of a crowd and I had to take my hats off to the girls, particularly three of them, who looked like the gym was a word they could just about spell, let alone walk into.

The wonder of a sarong, should never be dismissed !

LMM had no such problem and the words ‘Damned’ and ‘Smoking' came just from the row I was sitting in, my contribution being “Ka Pow!” , when she strutted out all Beyoncefied, wiping the floor with some of the less confident contestants with a swagger which had ‘Trouble with a capital T’ written all over it.

There are no more scary words to a restless audience than “We’re just going to take a little break from the competition and welcome back the steel pan players!!” Their second slot was only distinguished by the rousing of another member of the band, who decided smiling and swaying might make the time go quicker.

Watching them walk off stage, I smiled, happy that I wouldn’t have to hear another steel pan drum until Carnival, when the big guns come out and you wonder why you have to wait a year to hear them again.

Once again the steel pan troop were followed by the IndoCaribbean fusion dancers – who sadly weren’t any better than their first slot. When the host of the proceedings came back on stage, finally signally the end for their slot, after a minuscule ripple of applause, she announced that we were breaking for 15 minutes for some food.

At that point I did laugh – old school Caribbean cooking at 10pm at night and a 15 minute break which of course ended up being 30 minutes - 45 minutes to some audience members who snuck in just in time for a final burst of ‘entertainment’ before the Eveningwear / Q & A session of the contest began.

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