Infused with The Perfect Mix: Clean Sweep & Two-peat – Coors Light Soca Bandclash & Bandorama

Countdown to the 2018 Anguilla Summer Festival

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What is Soca Bandclash & Bandorama?

Die-hard fans of the Anguilla soca band culture would quickly “jump on ya case” and explain that this revered competition is more than band members’ ability to simply sing or play to a riddim. It is the true test of musicianship and also serves as a showcase of the various Anguillian soca bands.

The now popular soca band competition is said to have sprouted from a music competition called “Starfest” held in October 2003 which featured two young bands from the local high school.

Almost 14 years later, it is heart-warming to witness bands consisting of the young and not so young, on stage, performing and showcasing their skills and talent.

Soca Bandclash Lennick Richardson
Lennick Richardson – Betta Vibez

More Technical Than You Know

For this three-part competition, band members must display their musical competence in melodic development; re-harmonization; creativity; the ability to transmit the essence of their songs; crowd impact and their overall stage presence.

In relation to the judged segments, each band was given 15 minutes to set up onstage – failure to do so would result in a deduction of points from their overall score.

Soca Bandclash Session Band Maliek EBanks
Maliek EBanks – Session Band

Then, they were given 35 minutes to perform: rendering their own songs (Bandclash segment), a preselected test tune (Bandorama segment) and one of the participating bands’ songs (Soca Toss Up segment) – the same penalty applied.

What was different this year?

To kick-off the night, there was an addition to the previous line-up entitled the Perfect Mix – a non-judged segment implemented by this year’s event sponsor, Coors Light. This new segment comprised of the random selection of band members from the participating bands to create an impromptu band to perform a predetermined song. It was a clear illustration of the unification of people through music.

Soca Bandclash Perfect Mix All Bands
All participating bands

New Bands, Small Bands, Popular Bands

Over the past year, there was the formation of three new bands: Session Band dubbed “the youngest band with the freshest sound”; the vibrant Synergy, as well as Frontline Squad, a band which consists mainly of teenagers (however, they did not participate in the competition).

Soca Bandclash Session Band
Session Band

Bandclash Synergy

Taking the stage also were Betta Vibez Anguilla (BVA); Exodus HD, the 4-peat Road March Champions; Xtra Power Band; and Infusion XL, the defending champions for all three titles for the 2016 Soca Bandclash & Bandorama.

Jump and Wave, Misbehave!

Most artistes and bands may say that Anguilla’s audience is one of THE toughest crowds to get participation from and, that’s part of the judging criteria.

Soca Bandclash Crowd

So… if persons get up to dance or wave or sing along, moreover, run eagerly to get closer to the stage, it is only one thing you can conclude, that BAND can PERFORM!

Get Creative!

I hope you didn’t miss Exodus HD’s entrance and their inclusion of reggae… “Exodus, movement of Jah people!” Or, Session Band and their scratch band rendition. Infusion XL took us back to music class as they opened with a recorder “ensemble”. And, Synergy introduced their yellow dancing mascot!

Soca Bandclash Exodus HD
Exodus HD

The Results

First time Soca Bandclash & Bandorama contenders, Session Band placed second for the Soca Toss Up segment and Exodus HD placed second for Bandclash. And, once again, Infusion XL prevailed as Champion of all judged segments, having done so in 2016 – making this their 2-peat.

Soca Bandclash Infusion XL
Infusion XL

Question: Do you know why persons use the title “Daddy”, followed by a nickname, to refer to members of a band?

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