International brands arriving in the West End had a great respect for British workmanship.
The enemy was anyone from an 'where. Immediately' was the brother steel band from it community not that far away. The last five years of the forties were marred by inter-band rivalry.
Promoterswere organizing a number of competitions and concerts. Competitions were fiercely contested, offered little rewards and fu elled the inter-band hostility.
The similarities berween them and the kalindabands ofthe nineteenth century are striking. Steel bands were born into Both were constituted as musical and military assemblies. Their leaders were referred to as captains.
Some members of the band were designated as fighters while others were musicians, although one man could paraded through the streets in attitudes of combat.
The chantuels in the Kalinda bands had preceded the bands singing boastful and threatening songs and went into battle against the opponent to the refrain of chorus and drums.
The twentieth century Pan men made wide use of flags, fill both roles. I impossible to separate the steel bands from the bona fide criminal element. They were all part of the Black' urban zpeltanscbauung as noted earlier.
The Police stepped up their anti-criminal activities, appointing Page 17 a Commando Squad inlate 1, to make summary arrests of loiterers, a catch net that embraced many a pan man. With the writing on the wall for the steel band movement - the threat to drive the bands underground - a group ofcultural nationalists intervened in the steel band affair.
Petitioned by the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Council, Government appointed the Steel Band Committee comprising respectable members of urban Trinidad, some of them public officials and newspaper columnists, all of whomwere sympathetic to the steel band movement. The Youth Council and the Steel Band Committee negotiated peace between the berter known warring bands and secured symparhetic treatment of pan men who had been charged for offences committed during fights.
The eleven-member band was a great success and stayed on in Britain for other performances after the Festival. Rave reviews were reponed home, fuelling the nationalist sentimenr that the steel band had come to symbolize.
In the following year, a steel band class was introduced into the prestigious biennial Music Festival. By this rime, too, middle class or "college boy" bands had come into themovement. The greater social acceptance of the steel band was countered by increasing frustration and hostility within the movement.
This time, it was the fighting arms of the bands, now functioning independently on occasion, that kept up yearlong feuds. Virulent gang warfare continued to be feature of the movement until the early sixties. Any encounter between members from opposing gangs could escalate into a pitched battle.
Much of the violence was often irrational. However, it appears that keen competition for scarce financial resources lay at the heart of the matter.
The promise of the early years of the decade had not borne fruit. The popularity of steel bands in Carnival and for private engagemenrs was growing steadily.
Yet, it seemed, that the middle class bands were being offered the plum contracts and the older working class bands were left to squabble over the less lucrative night club jobs.
The new national government, the People's National Movement inrervened with its unemployment relief programmes to filter money into the steel bands.
The first of these programmes began in and, since that time, has been renamed and relative peace within the steel band movement. The Steel band Committee asserted, through their influential columnists that the steel bands were, in fact, genuine musical ensembles, against the charge of their detractors that they consriruted noise-producing ensembles.
The Committee argued that the violence within the movemenr and against official authorities had its basis in socio-economic conditions.Issuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and more online.
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i-2 () scribners nagazine published nonthly with i llustrations volume xv january - june chalrles scribners sons new york sampson low marston & co.
limited london copyright, , by charles soribners sons. irow directory printing and bookbinding company contents of scribners magazine. volume xv. Here Brodie held firm to the teachings of experience, and his little book ends by giv- ing a new turn to such speculation, in asking whether man be so perfect a crowning work that he may not, perhaps, be followed in pos- session of the earth by creatures standing higher in the system of the universe.