Letters & Opinion

The Most Miserable Jazz Opening Ever

By Dale Elliott


PATRIOTISM is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one’s own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It is rare to find someone who bleeds “blue and yellow, black and white”, offloading his ink cartridge with un-patriotistic revelations, but the truth remains the same whether draped in national colours, political colours or good old common sense.

As the National anthem belted through the speakers at the opening of the 25th Jazz Festival, I stood in awe – proud that I was there from the very first festival and 25 years later, the organisers had worked hard in making this year a silver, sweet and unforgettable journey. As the early jugglers gave us their song and dance, I was proud that the lineup featured a cadre of Saint Lucian talent.

The well-oiled stage was only disturbed by the announcers who seemed to have run out of constructive discourse about the artistes, their backgrounds or musical careers. Their battering of the English language could have been ignored, had it not been for its repeated use and time stalling antics which made the show drag on. In an effort to escape the MCs and stretch my feet for a few minutes, I wandered outside of the Mindoo Phillip Park and OMG! My retinas were assaulted by thousands of Saint Lucians all decked out in Access, Hobie and Basic Blue Shiny objects chocked most females and a heavy police presence brought a sense of peace outside the people’s auditorium.

Noticeably, the organisers were as clueless and ill prepared this year as they were last. The lines stretched for what seemed like 1320 feet. The mixture of all brands of perfume was over powered by a cloud of perspiration which hovered mercilessly over Marchand – but thanks to my ‘all access pass’ I was spared from this malodorous drama. One would have thought after 25 years, Louis and his board would have gotten at least the entry right. They didn’t.

My nostrils took refuge back inside the park – the time was now 1 a.m. A tired menopausal Jamaican who has not had a new album since the early 90’s graced the stage, and again my nostrils were greeted with the nearly legal scent of cannabis sativa. Almost collectively, Lovindeer’s performance meant it was all right to blaze up the high grade. This of course was done by the few elders in the crowd who actually knew the ancient musician. The 80% teeny bopper crowd relished the moment to exchange notes for the spirits of Saint Lucia. Me? Well, between being high by association and bored with Lovindeer’s performance, I repeatedly glanced at my watch which seemed to have gone to sleep as well.

And then it happened! He finally left the stage and the Queen’s English slaughterers were unleashed on the mics again! As they stalled for another 25 minutes taking turns at butchering a language which has been around since the 5th Century, two men in their 20’s set up turn tables (or whatever they use for this electronic wizardry). Then as if instinctively, they played 6 seconds of a song, and the crowd went wild. The music stopped and the MC’s screamed into the mic for another 2 minutes, played 8 seconds of a song, and the crowd swallowed every note. Me? I wanted to pelt my shoe at the stage so they could play at least a full chorus.

Now well past 2 a.m., like a boxer making an appearance in Las Vegas, Mavado, a scrawny man in his early thirties accompanied by an entourage of about 15 people, converged on the stage. Instinctively, the crowd went wild. I thought “wow” – the Saint Lucia Tourist Board really nailed it this year. They catered for the young and the greyed. The Gully God, David Constantine Brooks – a man who has produced albums like Gangsta for Life and A Better Tomorrow, was paid thousands of US dollars to bring the curtains down on what was until then, the most miserable jazz opening in 25 years.

How did he do? Well he didn’t let the Tourist Board down. He was uncoordinated for the first 8 minutes. Muffled inaudible noises came through the speakers and his stage antics were all retarded and tired. But that seemed not to bother the thousands who had forked out $60 a pop to the Tourist Board for this mayhem. Again, I wanted to remove my size 9 Jordans and deposit them on the stage but alas I endured another 12 minutes of this musical misery. As I looked around, I noticed the once thick crowds were parting. Mavado had successfully sickened older patrons into submission. Imagine having several albums under your belt from 2007, countless singles of smut, weed, gangsterism and violence – you are paid to come to small island Saint Lucia and you can’t sing one verse! Not a single full chorus of a song to a crowd who waited hours to hear you.

I say it serves us Saint Lucians right! The Tourist Board milked us, the artistes milked them and the cycle will continue until May 10. We will complain in silence because most of us who beg for a free pass, lack the moral and journalistic fortitude to say that after 25 years, this rubbish needs to stop. As for me, I am going to beg for another pass to another show and I will keep you updated as I am sure it can’t possibly get worse.


  1. The show was wack, “Ma vado” was horrible, Lovindeer tried and our locals held it together doing their thing, boy I’ve never seen so many angry lucians in one place at the same time, wanting their money back.. But that ain’t my problem I came in on a free ticket and got my drinks V. I. P., the whole damn thing worked out in my favor.

  2. Please refrain from accusing others of “slaughtering the Queen’s English” when you yourself are just as guilty.

    Delving into the thesaurus is a dangerous mission without sufficient knowledge of both the denotation and connotation of words. Referring to a male artist as “menopausal” is laughable in the extreme, unless Lovindeer took to the stage complaining of hot flashes. Is “middle-aged” just too basic for you?

  3. Your arrogance and snobbish manner of describing the hosts, patrons and the location of the show just masked some otherwise good points. The way you belittled pretty much everyone was distasteful and off putting. There I was thinking you were a people person. It would seem that the successes of Untold Stories have you believing that you are somehow better than the people you just slammed in this piece. Let it not go Untold that your shit stinks just like everyone else’s…just in case you didn’t know

    1. Dale Eliott maybe has forgotten where he came from. That’s the sad bit; get and keep the public in your corner by appealing to both sides of the fence, remembering the paths that you’ve walked, keeping your credibility in the process. Ponder this: he stands on one side of the fence looking onto the opposite side with arrogance, while he relies on the stories from that same side he detests in order to look from where he has perched himself, in this self acclaimed position. Why do we even allow such mediocre writing in our papers anyway?

  4. I have learnt that when a person writes an article whether it be for academic purposes or for a newspaper, in general, anything that one wants taken seriously , it is best that the personal voice be kept out not it. While I understand that you want to present comments on the overall presentation of the show, the attack on the general public is tasteless. Not everyone in society van walk your in your shoes. You may not like them or want to be among them, but understand their walk. Practice empathy. That bit could have been left out or written in a more tactful manner if you were trying to give the person who missed the show mental and sensory imagery of what the atmosphere was like. Poorly written, really.

  5. YOU LIE! I’m all for honesty but this is just an over exaggeration. This guy needs to get off the high horse he’s riding. Bashing the Lucian public in this manner is utterly disrespectful. The same public you look to for support of your untold stories. Left to me alone they would remain untold.
    Which event is without its glitches? That description of Lovindeer is distasteful. You could never accomplish such crowd response by talking nonsense. People should really take time to think about what they write. Then again, it’s your opinion.
    If Lucian crowds are too low class for you consider leaving the people freshness alone next time. Nastiest, most negative and untruthful review I’ve read. Who asked you?

  6. I think maybe you, Mr Dale Elliot, should come off of that little pedestal you climbed up on . If you were trying to be witty you failed miserably. This article was done in extremely poor taste. Snobs always hit the ground face first on their way back down in the end. A bit of advice, humble yourself.

  7. Tasteless article. Some good points, but the degrading of the public!! The same public that you thanked so profusely for their support of your untold stories. A little humility goes a long way.

  8. Man go to HELL nothing in this country good for you all go and F@@King live elsewhere then macoumere!!

  9. That’s the thing with Lucian’s. We criticize behind closed doors but when someone dares to openly speak the truth openly…(albeit saying the same things we said behind the closed doors) we turn on the person. He did not lie and you hypocrites know that damn it. Attacking him does not change the truth. It was the most miserable. We have yet to get our act together if we have to make any sense internationally. Stop making excuses for mediocrity.

  10. A wise man once said that “The arrogant, judgemental and egotistical appear to think that they are better than us.” You, Dale Elliot are trying to convince yourself that you are better. Shameful…when did wearing clothes from Hobbies become a crime? Does it make anyone any less of a person?
    I am in my early 20s and I enjoyed lovindeer’s performace regardless of his age. I’m glad that you expressed your view as I was taught to respect the opinion of others. I hope that you take the responses (both positive and negative) as an opportunity to evaluate yourself as a person and sooner rather than later to acknowledge that you have NO right to make such judgement. You are no more of an man than any of us!

  11. Mickey Abessi ( i don’t care about the spelling ) aka Dale Elliot is an ass……i live for the man is Choiseul to buss your midget ass for his wife

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend