Inmates entertain crowd at annual Prison concert
Local Vibes
December 27, 2013
Inmates entertain crowd at annual Prison concert

Last Sunday’s intermittent showers were not enough to deter the people who turned up in their numbers to witness yet another “Talent Behind the Prison Walls” concert in Kingstown.{{more}}

People of all ages crammed the grounds of the High Court building to be again entertained by the inmates of Her Majesty’s Prisons.

There were a few familiar faces – the 2012 star, Otricia Smart, did not disappoint, performing a few numbers, including Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”. She also did a collaboration with Shannet Cumberbatch, another star from last year’s concert. They did two songs – Chevelle Franklyn and Lady G’s “Thank You” and Wayne Wonder’s “Never dis di man.”

Other notable performances came from Bernard “Copper Shot” Shallow, who did Jah Cure’s “Jah Bless Me”, Tyson Spencer, again doing Jah Cure’s “Behind these Prison Walls” and Bobby Joseph with Vybz Kartel’s “School.”

One of the organizers of the event, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, said that he was overall pleased with this year’s presentation.

Coordinator of the event, chief prison officer Grafton Cordice said that the 2013 edition of the “Talent behind the Prison Walls” is considered a major success and an overall improvement from last year’s.

He said that he was pleased with this year’s show and is looking forward to better things next year.

In fact, Cordice said that he is pleased with the week of activities which preceded the concert last Sunday, saying that although the events throughout the week had not been publicized, the overall support from the inmates and general public alike was good.

But he said that he intends to start preparing for next year’s presentation a bit earlier than usual, which should allow for more time to plan. He noted that this year, planning did not begin until September.

This year’s presentation was however far better organized than the previous year as well, Cordice said.

He explained that there was a problem getting inmates at the Belle Isle facility to perform in 2012, and they were forced to select some from the facility in Kingstown.

“And last year, we had to provide the songs on CD to the police band, but this year there were three practice sessions,” Cordice said.

But while this year’s production is being hailed a success, Cordice admitted that a lot of work was involved in putting the event together, particularly with the current staff shortage issues.

“The short staff does not provide for the type of personnel to assist in planning the event,” Cordice, who has been coordinating the event for some 10 years, he said.

“It’s not at the level that I would like to work with,” he continued.

There were times, he said, when he was forced to stay back to ensure that the final touches were added.

“Sometimes I had to stay back and put in the extra effort, so in all I would say I put in 120 percent.”

According to Cordice, he is proud that everything “went down” alright. (DD)