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Monday, May 25, 2009

All Spice launch

All Spice launched Safari on Saturday (& unfortunately we were away).
I like the first three costumes the best with their jeweled & fringed bras and appealing colour mixes.
Pacific Paradise & this costume look similar.

The headpieces are strong & big, which I like. The orange & white collar/backpack has a very theatrical look to it, not sure how functional it will be on the road as it currently is, the design looks awkward to wear.
Strong first showing for All Spice, & remember a bit of history, when Carnival Nationz debuted in 2005, they were #15, second to last in the parade, but took Band of the Year.


Tall girl said...

love it love it love it!!

elsa said...

Love them all. I love te first 3 costumes, dont know which one to pick. I am so inlove with te blue costume, love the frontline headpiece. I predict this band will sell out fast.

Tiff said...

I wanted to play with CNz...
With 'Secret Garden' gone, my top 2 choices were 'Lychee' and 'Summer's Majesty'...
I saw All Spice's costumes and really liked the added jewels/feathers,etc. CNz costumes are simple/mod but I think they need more detail. The Orange/White & Turquoise All Spice costumes are my fav.
I am now torn between playing with a new band (12th position on the road?) and CNz (5th?)...
I have never played mas before and wanted to know whether road position makes a HUGE difference. Moreover, can you join other bands when the initial competition is over? Or do you only mingle with people in your own band?

Karabana said...

Well Tiff, road position makes a huge difference depending on what kind of experience you're looking for.
If you can't take a crush of obnoxious non-costumed ppl jumping in with your band & sweaty teens wining up on you, then going with a band in the top 3 is your best bet. Also getting an earlier start (after 12 noon) means when you reach the end, you can turn around & jump up with other bands incl. the steel pan bands.
If your band has hired security with a fence like Toronto Revellers, then stormers are kept out best.
Being in a later band means standing & waiting in the CNE grounds. Which works for some ppl who partied too hard the night before at J'Ouvert, & need more sleep.
Along the route, some bands are welcoming to any masquerader.
At the end of the almost 4km route & at the end of the day (6 p.m.) it's pretty much a free for all, & masqueraders can jump in with any band.

Tiff said...

Thanks for your quick reply =)

I don't mind people who aren't in costume so that's not a concern...But what you said about waiting around the CNE grounds is a major problem for me...I'm not familiar with the CNE grounds...Does that mean I would wait OUTSIDE (in full costume) for 2 hours (since parade starts at 10am) before I can walk along the parade route? And does anyone (crowd) see you at the CNE grounds?
So would I basically miss several hours of the parade? I figured all bands started down the road @ 10am and then crossed the 'stage' at later times depending on their road position...
I looked at the entertainment listed for other bands and thought I would be able to see Dr. Jay or Starting from Scratch if I wanted to (ie, I would just find the truck that they are on)...So would that mean that I would only be on the road from about 2-6pm if I played with a band that was #13 or #14? Does being in a later band give me no opportunity to play with the steel pan bands?

Sorry for all these annoying questions but I didnt realize there were all these complications with Caribana...I'm still trying to decide on a costume! lol

Tiff said...

I just read your blog on 'stormers'.
Wow, now I realize the reason for concern. It is important to be at least top 5 in road position. I guess I can't play in my #1 costume choice since that band is at a low road position.

Kay said...

wow, really nice and skimpy lol. The head pieces are to die for. I'm a Reveller but Spice made me think about next year. Hope they can keep it up. I don't quite see the theme but I love it!

Anonymous said...

Tiff as you are a first time player I would suggest that you play with one of the first three bands. Dr Jay will be bringing two sections with Saldenah the costumes are on this site already. Saldenah's band launch will be this Saturday and I would suggest that you wait to see his costumes before you decide which band you are playing with. Good luck and I hope that you have a ball.

Tiff said...

Yes, I was thinking of waiting for Saldenah until I saw All Spice's costumes...I guess I have to find a compromise and choose a costume in a top #3 band that I may not like that much (I already saw some sections of Saldenah's and I didnt like any)...
How is Saldenah's security? Do they have fences,etc?
Maybe since CP24 is covering Caribana this year, security will be affected in a positive way...

Karabana said...

Hey Tiff, no, you don't sit outside the CNE, you're inside hanging out with your band & all the other bands, eating lunch (hopefully) & drinking. How Caribana is different than other carnivals is the bands go past the judges in an order. So If you're #1, you'll likely get going at 11:00. The bigger bands have many trucks, which take a bit of time going along the route. (That's what causes the congestion & why some of the later bands (past @13) don't even make it onto the route. The parade ends at 6:00, meaning no more bands can go.) So yeah, the last band to go would be @5:00.
Yes, there's a crowd of spectators in & outside the CNE.
Some friends who were in the last bands did just go onto the parade route & jump in with other bands, so they weren't just standing waiting. Saldenah (with Dr. Jay) is #2, so they'll be leaving @12:00. You can jump in with Saldenah. (after the judges)
The steel bands go after the mas bands, & once you turn around you can easily jump with them.
Good questions, no worries, ask away, there is a lot of important info to know about playing mas for Caribana.

Tiff said...

Once again, thanx for the detailed info! It feels like I'm doing essay research to play mas lol

So the judges are right at the beginning? How long does judging take? So you're saying that if someone plays with band #13, they could avoid waiting for hours @ the CNE and just jump in with #4 (after #4's judging)? How would they know when judging is over? Is that proper mas etiquitte?

My aim for Caribana is to see as many costumes as possible take pictures,etc. I also want to see the steel pan bands...Basically, diversity is key. AND I want to do this all in an amazing costume - All Spice's first 3 costumes are my definition of amazing so that's why I'm asking all these questions about potentially playing with a lower positioned band...
...Hopefully Saldenah will have great costumes and going that route will cover all my concerns...

Trinbajan said...

In regards to the bands position on the road, I really don't see what the big deal is. No offence to anyone, but you really can't predict what time a band is going to leave, just by the number they have on the road. When I played with CNZ the first time, we were the last band, and we still got to go down (all the way down) the road at a proper time.

If the number of the band is a really big issue for you, than just do what I'm going to do. Go half way down the road with another band, and then walk back up to the judges. By the time you get there, the band should be crossing the stage. Just remember, it's only one day, so you might as well enjoy yourself.

Karabana said...

Judging doesn't take that long, each section does their thing for a few minutes. Depending on the band, meaning if they don't have a thing about not wanting non band masqueraders in their band, you can jump in with them after the judges.
Hanging out at the CNE will give you the chance to see as many bands/costumes as possible.

I can predict what time a band will go from 9 yrs. of playing mas. (Trini-in-Toronto has more) I know the times bc I do take note of that every year, & when I head back to jump in w other bands, I remember what time other bands got going, + masqueraders on this blog & elsewhere have told me.

"Proper time" has a different definition for everyone. Like I've posted, some ppl hate many hrs. of waiting, while for others, it's no biggie.
I'm simply answering specific q's from a 1st timer.

Saldenah's launch is on Saturday, & like I've commented, if their few sneek peek costumes are any indication, they'll have more great costumes.

Trini-in-Toronto said...

Its really about a personal preference. On average, it might take about 30 minutes for a band to cross the judging point at the begining of the parade.(longer for a bigger band). So if the first band starts rolling about 11am, that means the fifth or sixth band might enter the lakeshore about 2pm if everything goes smooth. Plenty people think that is a good time to start your way down the road. It gives you time to circulate within the CNE or along the top half of the route taking pictures and liming with your partners. I personally prefer to get a early start, go down the road before it gets crowded and then head back up later. That way if the crowd gets too thick later in the day, I can duck out and I don't feel like I missed out on anything. True,if your band is leaving later, you could take a jump down the road in the meantime, no problems. I had lots of friends who played with nationz their first year when they started last. They had great costumes,a nice crowd, and they said they had plenty fun. But they also say they had some pressure even getting out of the CNE and onto the lakeshore due to the thickness of the crowd. Its all a matter of what you are looking for out of your experience.

Trinbajan said...

Karabana, no disrespect to you, but once again, you cannot predict when a band is going to leave. And I'm basing that off of 22 years of playing Caribana. I've been playing when we used to actually get judged in the exhibition stadium and when it used to be on the streets of downtown Toronto. I remember back in the days when if your band wasn't ready to go on stage, they would skip your ass and go to the next band, just to keep all of the bands moving.

I do agree with you when you say that it all depends on your personal preference. If "time" is a big factor for you, then you do have to be in the top 7 (this is through my experience) to get a good experience down the road. If you just care about the costume, then by all means play with whatever band.

Tiff said...

THANKS Karibana! I will take all of your great info. in high consideration. I am glad I came across this blog.
I'll be making my decision by this wk. I may end up just following earlier bands lol Still stuck on that gorgeous orange/white frontline costume by All Spice.

Have a GREAT Caribana everyone!

TriniRose said...

I must say, CARIBANA never start on time, except the Sponsers are alright on the road from 10am. They tell you to be there @ 9:00, but my ass dont leave home until 10or 10:30.

There are alot of bands in this. Whatever number your band is, it don't matter. It WHO in front of WHO hold up on the Lakeshore, and how they are moving the band on the road.

When being on stage each section have a time limit and the whole band have a time limit being jugdes.

But good job AllSpice, maybe next year for me!

Karabana said...

Trinbajan, what I know is when I'm in a #2 band, they get to the judges @noon, every time. I don't know if you just don't pay attention to what time it is when you start, but I do. So, that's why I can say I can predict it.
& yes TriniRose, ppl shouldn't expect the parade to start on time. Even though it's in TO, it's run on WI time.
You'll have a great time Tiff, knowing some important things ahead of time. :-)

Trinbajan said...

And by the way, I had a little sneak peak a couple of weeks ago on Saldenah's costumes, and they look really good. I personally think that we've already seen the best of the bunch, but you be the judge when you see the remaining costumes at the launch.

Tiff said...

Well there seems to be some negativity going on here (dealing with my questions) lol

Kara is speaking in GENERAL TERMS because there are always TRENDS in a re-occurring event (i.e., Caribana)...I was pleased when I didn't get the run-of-the-mill, generic answer to my "band position" question of "Oh well you never know what's going to happen!"

Of course there are always going to be deviations to ANY situation, BUT Kara is pointing out the TRENDS that SHE AND OTHER REVELLERS experienced when they played mas. Thus, she felt that she could give information to a newbie like myself. I've been calling mas camp leaders, and with all honesty, have found her blog to be the most informative and OBJECTIVE.

However, there are always differences and TriniBajan, I understand (and kept your info in mind) that many people take different routes and just jump in with other bands...However, I like that I now have a GENERAL VIEW to now base my final decision on. Since I have never played mas, I need to ask MANY people about their experiences and Kara's COLLECTIVE experiences are a great platform for me! =)

Trinbajan said...

Tiff and Kara,

I know that I might sound a little negative, but the matter of the fact is that we all have different opinions and experiences when it comes to Caribana, regardless of how many years you have participated in the festival.

Bottom line, it's Kara's blog and it's based off of her experiences, but I feel that I shouldn't be scrutinized for having a different opinion.

All I'm saying is that you can collect all of the information (off of other peoples experiences) to be prepared for Caribana and still be wrong. At the end of the day, you still don't know what to expect until you experience it yourself!

Anyways, all I know is that I'm going to be playing with All Spice and I will be at the mas camp tomorrow to register for my section.

Tiff said...

So TriniBajan, you've seen Saldenah's costumes...Do you remember if any costume looked like the Turquoise or Orange/White All Spice costumes? You said that the Saldenah costumes already released are the best of the bunch...Wow...I didnt like any of them...
So since you're playing with All Spice, how do you plan on "going down 1/2 the road"? Do you actually jump in with another band (after judging) or just walk on the sidelines?

mass#1fan said...

Hey Kara: Good job on the blog and I understand where u comming from where time is concerned...

Trinibajan:U are correct as well the exact time can not be always predicited...

Tiff:based on both experiences they are right Kara's timing is correct and like her I have been able to indetify the time myself Tbajan is also right because a few times I was wrong with the time but a few mins here or there doesnt really make a difference but they are both giving u good info. I think because it is ur first time you should consider both costume,number on the rd and where u will be comfortable playing wit in terms of the comrodary of the band so that you can have a good time. I remember playing with CNZ when they first came out the people in the band were so nice and the costumes were so sick...yes the went down 13...I did not mind spending hours on CNE grounds because I was having fun and it was a great time.
If you are planning on going down with another band before ur band crosses the stage remember you need to keep your costume in tip top shape. It makes no sense going down with another band and then comming back to ur band looking a hot mess and then cant represent it for of the judges. Not that one person can make that much of a difference but when u register with a band you basically saying u are gona showcase thier presensation of thier theme to the best of your ability and you not going to be able to do that with ur costume that has now been through hours or heavy..wuking up and wining.especially if you dance like me :) That is just my opnion..

BTW:Kara I love ur blog, I have a request do you think you can do a "Who U Playing wit" Post I just want to see what the mass fanactics like you and me are saying!!!

Karabana said...

Trinbajan, I've explained it several times, (& even Tiff reiterated it) but the fact that you choose to not accept/believe or agree with my experiences are your issue. You say no offence or disrespect, but then you are disrespectful & offensive and it's me you scrutinize.
Like I commented in another post, I do appreciate all comments, however, I certainly won't allow rudeness on my blog, & especially towards me.

This is meant to be a place of positivity, & I'll now have to ensure negative comments aren't permitted.

Anonymous said...

come on people can't we all just agree to disagree and move on everyone knows that everyone who comments has a prefrence to one band or another so these are never fair to everyone in my humbly opionion!!

Sasha said...

First off, Karabana, GREAT blog! I, like Tiff, am a newbie but just got my Frontline costume with All Spice - "Kalahari Sands." I am LOVING it even more. It basically looks the same in person as in the pix I saw on Toronto-Lime, so no surprises. Regarding the extravagant bakcpack: I know some may think that it might be awkward to wear/too heavy, etc. but fear not! It's quite light and lives up to its majestic glory. Even if it were heavy, I'd still rock it!
For anyone interested in playing in this section, just know it's the hottest Frontline because it is truly what Frontline represents. I, like Tiff, contemplated playing with a higher band (road pos.) but I'd rather be in a HOTT costume and chip down de road later than rep a sub-par costume with a Top 5 band.
Basically, I am SO happy with this costume and my experience with the band leaders thus far, that I know my first Caribana will be great.

Karabana said...

Many thanks Mass#1fan & Sasha! Sure I can do a "Who U Playing wit" post Mass#1fan, once all the bands launch/begin registration.
That's great about your costume Sasha, I can feel the excitement in your post, & I agree, your 1st time playing should be spectacUlar, & you've picked an outstanding costume. I'm excited for many of the ppl here who've chosen their costumes.
Did you try on the backpack? The way it's photographed & worn, with the strap across the arms & in the back, I wonder how can it be worn comfortably like that? Can you move properly? Glad to hear it's good though.

Sasha said...

To answer your backpack Q Karabana: Did not try it on BUT one of the costume fitters did for me. She placed it over her back, showed the many ways of strapping it (it curves around your neck also) and showed how the arm straps can be adjusted to suit. The backpack is bendable and VERY light.
However, if you're someone that gets on bad from the start, I would suggest you take it off as the extravagance of it will deviate from dancing ruff and rowdy. I am more into the pageantry of mas so this costume makes sense.
But the headpiece, along with the beautiful, stonework of the rest of the costume, without the backpack is still pretty enough to wear alone.
Cost is $185 (great price for Frontline) & All Spice has an all-inclusive package for that cost as well (food/drinks).
Also, I asked the band leaders about security and there will be security with ropes being used to prevent stormers from entering.
Overall, I love Mass#1fan's idea...can't wait to see that blog Kara!

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