Fourteen-time parang winner, Anderson “Leftist “ Matheson is of the view that the best catalyst to encourage more bands in competition is for the committee to ensure that the spirit of serenading is returned to the communities.
Matheson who secured twelve of his titles as a member of the Ghetto Boys and the other two with the Bishop’s College (BC) All Stars says that serenading is pivotal to the reemergence of bands from communities, which have for years not delivered a band in competition.
The senior musician and writer added that there are too many talented young people across the island for there not to be at least ten bands from various villages facing the judges. He added that Parang is a culture, which sinks to the main root of the musical exploits of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Pointing to communities such as L’Esterre, Windward, Prospect-Hall, Belair, Mt Pleasant, Beausejour where he says there are no longer bands in competition, Mr. Matheson says that this is sad. He further pointed out that it was the spirit of serenading which first attracted him to bands and competition.
“When you hear bands like the Struggles back in those days it makes you want to sing and to play an instrument”, said Leftist who is currently one of the leaders of the reigning champions, BC All Stars.
He says that while it may not be possible to have a significant increase in the number of bands facing the judges this year, Mr. Matheson is suggesting that the committee starts from early for the 2017 competition. The schools he says will also be a good avenue to start to attract players, as was the case with Bishop’s College back in the early 2000s.
Speaking about their level of readiness for the upcoming defense of their title on Sunday December 18th, he says that they are progressing purposefully and he is pleased with the pace at which the material of melee has been coming into their camp. The test piece “ Mary’s Boy Child”, Mr. Matheson says, they are currently working on to give it a clean, refreshing sound.
“We will be coming different and extremely unique this year”, said Mr. Matheson.