Poorsah stirs pot at Iguana
April 30, 2004

Poorsah stirs pot at Iguana

His name is Cornelius Williams, known in the entertainment circles as Poorsah.
Poorsah is this country’s reigning Road March champion when his “Sling Shot” earned him his third successive title last year. That was a follow-up to “Chook It Up” in 2002 and “Hairy Bank” when the slimly built Troumaca-born singer made his reentry into the cultural arena in 2001.{{more}}
Poorsah was the main item when the Kalypso Kollege, pioneered by lawyer Stephen Huggins, staged another of its event. The show was dubbed “Tribute to Poorsah”. A number of artistes paid respect to Poorsah by doing some of his compositions. Those included this country’s only cultural ambassador Alston “Becket” Cyrus also known as “The ABC”, who joined in the homage to Poorsah with a rendition of Poorsah’s “Jumbie Leh Go”.
And to underline the high esteem in which Poorsah is held, Barbadian cultural ambassador, Gabby, also paid tribute. Gabby’s choice was “Bull Pestle”, and he was joined on stage by Poorsah himself.
Lennox Bowman rendered “Soca Boat”, and in his own way improvised a verse to point out Poorsah’s versatility.
Other artistes who performed Poorsah’s pieces were reigning Soca Monarch Raeon “Madzart” Primus who teamed up with his bandmate Singing Shaunnelle to do “Virgin Isle”.
Aloma “Fatty Dan” Cadogan started the evening’s proceedings with “Neighbour Business”.
Defending Calypso Monarch “Princess Monique” Hector gave her interpretation of “Lock The Door”, and Alexis “Lexi” Joseph’s version of “Cherries” was perhaps overshadowed by “Alla G’s” dynamic performance of “Ship Sail”.
Alla G’s rendition was an energetic one, and he superbly did justice with it. That song, composed nearly 15 years ago, revealed Poorsah’s creative and prophetic faculties. It is about conditions in Haiti and it sounded as relevant today as it was when first sung.
The show, dubbed “Many Moods Of Poorsah”, lived up to its billing, especially with Cecile “Little Bit’s” rendition of “Sometimes”.
Joffre Venner, one of the nation’s most dedicated musicians, gave his musical version of Poorsah’s “Roxanne”. Venner played the guitar while the rest of the Kalypso College band – Willis Williams, Adrian Bailey and Brian Alexander on keyboards, Ashley Marksman and Maxwell Bennett interchanging duties on drums, and Arbie James on bass – maintained the musical backstopping. Zan George returned to the guitar when Joffre put in down.
But the evening belonged to the man to whom the tribute was given. And Poorsah seemed to be in his element.
A citation read by this country’s representative to Canada, Evans Bernard John, gave the show some degree of authenticity. For EB has been one of the country’s top calypso Master of Ceremonies.
Poorsah blasted ten songs including his five Road March numbers. His “Go Right Up In Dey”, which gave him the 1983 Road March crown, sounded as fresh as it was when it took the roads by storm. “Mouth In Me Moma”, which gave him the double (Road March and Calypso crowns in 1988), stands out as one of Poorsah’s most patriotic numbers.
Seasoned radio announcer Randy Dopwell was on stage when Poorsah belted out “We Want Randy D”, but some persons must have shed a tear or two when Poorsah echoed his “Eye Water Done”.
He may not be the complete linguist, but Poorsah showed the depth of his creativity with a number called “Diana”, which underlined his appreciation of the Spanish language.
Poorsah’s “On The Road”, the number which signaled his return to the cultural arena, was greeted with nostalgia. So too was “Aunty Monica”.
One might have thought that it was just a tribute to Poorsah by the Kalypso Kollege. But the function was tinged with a sense of officialdom. Tourism and Culture Minister Rene Baptiste was on stage to hand over a plaque to Poorsah in honour of his contribution to the nation’s culture.
And the Culture and Tourism Minister similarly rewarded Stephen Huggins, the architect and driving force behind the Kalypso Kollege.
A fair sized crowd turned out for the function staged at Iguana, and with back vocals supplied by a section of the unit El Grupo Amistad, there was every reason that the package would have been well