It was a gathering of Carnival royalty at the Alberto Street Mas camp of Kinetic Mas on last evening, to celebrate the latest triumph of legendary mas designer Peter Minshall.
In his return to the parade of the bands after a lengthy absence, ‘Mas Pieta’ was adjudged as the National Carnival Commission’s Large Band of the Year with 1347 points and in the process also named overall Band of the Year.
The overall title is chosen from the winners of the mini, small, medium and large band categories.
Machel Montano, Dr Pelham Goddard, and Tony “Chinese Laundry” Chow Lin On were among the long list of people awaiting the famed mas maker.
“I feeling like Machel Montano. I feeling like Machel and I come to get married,” said Minshall, as he noticed the massive crowd awaiting his arrival, prompting Montano to chant ‘Here Comes The Bride’ to the amusement of the mas man.
This was the first time since 1997 that Minshall has won the big stage prize. He had won the Medium Band category in 2006 with ‘Sacred Heart’ under The Callaloo Company.
It is also his sixth large title overall, having won in 1979 with Carnival of the Sea, 1987 with Carnival Is Color, 1995 with Hallelujah, 1996 with Song of the Earth and 1997 with Tapestry.
Ronnie & Caro’s “The Serengeti” placed second with 1311 points while last year’s Large Band winner The Lost Tribe, finished third in the category with 1289 garnered by their presentation “Anansi.”
K2K Alliance won the medium category with 1340 points, the second-highest score given for a senior band, and were denied a repeat win of the Overall category by Minshall’s return.
Minshall led last evening’s celebrations, after a brief segment of storytelling concerning the presentation, with a drink of coconut water as others around him sipped champagne.
Bandleader for Kinetic Mas, Peter Samuel, explained that the process was made a little more complicated than usual as the Mas Camp also produced Etienne and Friends as well as the presentation for Machel Monday which was placed on their shoulders in the middle of the Carnival season.
Samuel said as soon as he heard that Lost Tribe had finished third, he was confident that they had secured the top prize.
Montano and Chow Lin On heaped praise on the team for their work on both projects and Montano also took time to express his joy at being able to take the Savannah stage as part of Minshall band.
“It was fairytale ending to my Carnival to jump in a Minshall band with the wife after having the Minshall blessed wedding, Mas Pieta Machel Monday,” said Montano who explained he had almost opted to go home after having dinner but was spurred to join the band as he learnt they were approaching the stage.
“We don’t get to play mas like that in Trinidad anymore. You don’t get to see that level of revelry on the stage.”
Minshall too explained that he was heartened to see Montano on stage with his band, as it was one of the first things he got to see as he finally got his TV operational on Carnival Tuesday.
Montano returned the adulation by presenting a picture of himself on the Savannah stage in Mas Pieta, to Minshall.
“This is who we are, that was a moment and I commend the judges for understanding and seeing it. Because they love to blame the judges’ decisions,” said Montano.
“Peter Minshall is probably one of the greatest Trinbagonians who ever live. Who could capture what we are, what our stories are and then straight back to us and make us have fun with it. This wasn’t a tragedy, this was a triumphant story,” he added.
A celebration was also held at the camp for Dil-E-Nadan, which played on the road for the band.
They were named best playing band on the road.