by John Sealy
The Super Gladiators are suiting up for an exciting calypso season this year.
Roy Byer, main spokesman for the Waterford-based calypso tent, says things are pointing to an opening in about two weeks’ time.
This announcement follows on the heels of launchings by De Big Show and Stray Cats over the last two days.
“Super Gladiators looking forward to working with youth,” said Byer, whose association with calypso is legendary.
“Our band Power Extreme is under the direction of former Festival Band leader Andy Williams. He would conduct the rehearsals and interpret the music for the band. He has always been involved with the tent in one way or the other.”
Byer, whose tent will be celebrating its silver anniversary next year, was not fazed by reports that some of his calypsonians will be moving on.
“It is not a matter of not being able to keep calypsonians. I do not stop them from going, but they are usually influenced by people who say that they will not be able to get on if they stay.
“We are a facilitator organization. We invite them and mould them and then others come and take them. We are an academy in a way. Our graduands are all over the place and I closed my entries since May 10,” said a confident Byer.
Super Gladiators’ cast this year includes Apollo, Jah Stone, Malika, Imara, Jael, Akola, Mike Thompson, Colleen, Ayna, Adrenalin, Iteebah, Jacko and Gallon.
The Party People, another entity under the Super Gladiators umbrella, will feature the likes of Amanda, Scribbs, Dr Wok, Panta, Shane Hoppa, Neesha, Truck and Cutloose.
“Whenever the bell rings and I get in, there will be no false start.
“We have enough that we can start anytime. I am not worried about the opponents,” Byer said. He said there were plans to bring out a publication about the rise of the Gladiators for its silver anniversary year. So far the tent has produced seven publications dealing with the history and development of calypso.