Steelband Clash - BBC Outlook interviews Arranger Ray Holman

Tuesday, 25th October 2016

Presenter Jo Fidgen, on the BBC program Outlook, introduces the historical cultural topic of the 'Steelband Clashes' that occurred during the early developmental stage of the steelbands in Trinidad, TT, WI.

Outlook's Nicki Paxman interviews steelband arranger Ray Holman, a past Panorama winner, who reminisces on the topic during the carnival season 2016 in Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Broadcast by the BBC World Service 98.7FM - Programme: Outlook

Some historical TT pan notes:
Invaders (named 1945, from movie The Night Invader (1943) [all copies of which are now officially deemed ‘lost!’]) were the musical descendants of the rhythmic ensemble Oval Boys (formed 1938-39). Elliott "Ellie" Mannette would have likely ‘sunk’ his first 55 gallon oil drum pan in between 1945-46; having first made steelpans from the smaller diamater caustic-soda drums beforehand. Ray Holman would join Invaders around 1957, where he would begin his arranging career at around 1961.

Starlift, started in 1956, led by Eugene Peters, would crash in 1961 and reform in 1962. Ray Holman would join a re-energising band, as player and arranger, in 1963.

The steelband clash between Desperadoes and San Juan All Stars occurred in 1959, to be remembered in Lord Blakie’s song Steelband Clash in 1972. Hallman recalls a steelband clash between Starlift and Invaders that occurred on carnival Tuesday las-lap night, 15th February in 1972.