Antigua and Barbuda Page 8

“…the crowd of arrivals already on a pre-Carnival high, the Burning Flames soca music blaring through the public address system, the elaborate gold and green and peacock-feathered Carnival costume at the entrance beneath the signs bidding visitors ‘bienvenu, bienvenido, willkommen, welcome!'”

The Burning Flames referred to in this excerpt from Oh Gad! is a musical fire not a literal one. The awesome foursome – whom I hope to see reunited while I’m still young enough to jump to them – are pioneers of Caribbean soca. I had only just transitioned to secondary school when they first hit and they became the soundtrack of the Carnival summers of my teens…and my 20s…and ongoing. From 1985 onward, this band ruled the road racking up hit after hit and a rabid following before breaking apart to go on as two separate entities not quite as magical as the original…buuuut still making good music and inspiring the generations of soca artistes (and not just in Antigua) who’ve followed in their wake, and always-always calling to something instinctive in us, always-always-always moving us to dance.

Ah Rudeness Mek Me

Dance Narsy

Iron Band

Swinging Engine

I command You

Fire Under Me Foot



Pong and Chant


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