Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Elements Launch

The launch of the new band Elements (thats plural) was scheduled for this 8pm Tuesday night @51 Degrees. I arrived for macco duty at about 8:30pm very concerned that I might have missed something. People were lined up downstairs but it was moving quickly. One could not help but notice that TRIBE had updated the billboard that they have rented (in Jenny's Carpark aacross the street from 51Degrees) with their 2K9 presentation teaser. I really have to give a pat on the back to the person who had the quick thinking to do that. Quite a marketing move I must say.Somebody there is thinking on their feet.

Anyhow I had been informed by certain TRIBE insiders that a 'blacklist' had been issued by the Elements group which barred the band leaders and certain individuals having strong ties to TRIBE from the launch.Now I cannot understand how big people could be so juvenile and petty to take things to that extent this early in the game.To me that is a poor PR move and one that certainly did not earn any points with me personally.

We were greeted at the front door with a small water fountain and made our way upstairs. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that the place did not have one shred of added decor for the occasion. I was soon appeased by the hors d'oeuvres that were sharing. I was hoping for a little free drinks but no such luck.At this time the club was only about quarter full. I was introduced to Douglas John (band leader) who when we asked about the band status indicated that all the sections had been designed but they were open to seeing something different. I was not sure how to take that. I was not sure if to take that at face value or if he was giving me a well orchestrated response. Cause I am sure he would not be able to say they don't have anything ready.The show itself did not start till about 10:30pm.

The host for the night was JW of RED 96.7 Fame which was kind of odd since RED 96.7 has always been associated with TRIBE. JW read verbatim from a script that he was provided and he was a good 10 minutes into it before the crowd settled down and paid attention. His speech contained very little info aside from the band name and that the band would be 'different'. He made mention of a few of the front runners of the band namely, Charlene Lum Wai and Jodi Ann Heard as the production managers. After butchering poor Jodi's name he went into a little background of their experience. Charlene being one of the original Tribe section leaders and also Posion Alum. I am not quite sure what accreditation he gave to Jodi. It was odd that he chose to introduce them before the actual band leader was presented.

So after much anticipation we were asked to turn our attention to the screen. And I for one, was most excited cause it started off with a bang. Big graphics and then the Elements boomed over the loudspeaker......"EARTH EARTH EARTH.......FIRE FIRE FIRE....WIND WIND WIND....WATER WATER WATER...." I swear to God I was just waiting for Captain Planet to jump out at us.(Ironically today is Earth Day..coincedence???hmmmm). Each element was accompanied with its relevant symbol which looks very much like it came from the movie 'The 5th Element'. I believe the symbols are actually of aboriginal origin. Correct me if I am wrong but did they not have a concert called Elements some time ago where the theme was also based on the same? I actually thoughtthat this presentation was going to have such a 'Wow' factor that it would prove that TRIBE was in trouble but then the movie ended abrubtly. Suddenly Machel's 'Rollin' started to play ...and then it stopped. Although I always appreciate an excuse for me to wine, most people were like OOOOOKKKK.Thats it? The presentation showed no sketches, no photos or any other teasers as to what the band actually comprised of or where they were going with the theme. By the way, What is the theme??? I was under the impression that they would have been soft launching the band as well as their theme for 2k9. So if the band is ELEMENTS then what is the theme? Cause I can't imagine it being the same thing cause what will you do next year? Rumour has it , it will be a Vegas theme but you would have never known that if I did not just put that idea in your head. But I say small thing because it now start, plenty more to go.

JW then introduced the band leader as Douglas John of former TRIBE headpiece Fame.I guess some people were also expecting to see Colin Mitchell up in front but he was very low key all night in the audience. I was very suprised that the only people put forward as representation of the band was Charlene, Jodi and Douglas. The leadership body seems to be a bit thin at the top but I guess its better than being top heavy. However this could be cause for concern if the weight of the band is on these few people especially considering Douglas' recent health issues. Douglas then gave his two cents. And to be quite honest I know no more now than I did before the show. He spoke of a band with less than 3000 people where you would have an all inclusive option or a costume only option. You would also be able to bring drink carts (like Harts). He then gave mention of some of the groups that would be producing sections.

It seems apparent that ELEMENT is almost entirely comprised of close knit crews of people who came together to produce a band. He mentioned sections by Red Hoes,Eyes Wide Shut and Jamboree.Other section leaders included Jodi and Lara Littlepage, Corinne Camacho and Natalie Ali among Others. A little Birdie told me Black Velvet would be up in there as well.We were also given the promise of cheaper costumes. I can't wait to see how that affects their competitors' pricing. It was also hard not to ignore the fact that the section leaders were of a predominantly lighter complexion and that many had a base from Harts. The crowd present was however very mixed. I am still wondering how the management of the band will function with such a broad base of contributors.I have never heard of one section being led by 5 people. And exactly how many of these people have any experience in section making is unclear.

Douglas's speech was very short and JW took back the stage and reintroduced Charlene to give the vote of thanks in which we were blessed with 2 for 1 specials courtesy Elements. JW then asked us to again turn our attention to the screens for 'what to expect'. So i got excited again and guess what,they replayed the first movie. (Huh?) And then it was over. The after party was not much different than the vibe before which was quite dead. I guess its just too early in the week for some people to party, I did not stick around too long after.Tribe's crew was noticeably absent from the affair.The only other band leaders I saw were from Island People. I was very disappointed that the content of the production was not more informative. I did not expect to see a costume but I was still hoping for at least one.

I think Elements has good intentions of developing a better band than Tribe but it still remains to be seen if they can get things in place to pull it off. Douglas indicated that their band launch will also be in July and this is after he has just come off of TRIBE's production not more than two months ago. I don't entirely believe that ELEMENTS has their camp in order and that the key selling points of the band have been properly developed. I also don't believe that their designs are confirmed and at an advanced stage of development or production that Tribe certainly is. The soiree this evening did very little to contradict that. The event seemed to be very 'thrown together' with the sole purpose of beating TRIBE to the punch.It served very little purpose but to say "This band name is Elements". In effect I think this event may hurt them more than help them because in their haste to be first out the gate , they did not present themselves as well as I believe they could have if they had spent a bit more time.

Point in fact....who is the communication manager?If I was working for a daily paper (and not my out a timin self) I would have no clue who to contact for more information. Better yet who is the marketing manager? At the very least a flier could have been distributed with promises of what is to come. A email address maybe? I still would have liked to see some sort of decor, a fire man , a water man, a earth man and a wind man in the dance. Rule number one in business management have,a vision and mission statement. I am still unclear as to what ELEMENTS really stands for as compared to what they 'looking to do'. I can only presume that their motto is "ALL AS ONE" since I read that on a T-shirt but we can't know for sure what it was supposed to be cause no one really explained it. I myself had a million and one questions to ask. Like how they working out that inclusive and non inclusive thing? Will it each section be designated as either completely all inclusive or non inclusive or will each section have an all inclusive or non inclusive option? How they regulating that ? In some ways they seem to be taking a step back to Poison Originale. I really hope that ELEMENTS will be able to tighten up their act a bit and produce a fantastic band launch. I am still anxiously waiting to see what they coming with.


afro chic said...

Elements err...'launch' sounds like they really had no plan other than 'beating' their competition.

They should have shown more than just a video, a lil teaser of what they bringing woulda been nice.

No idea of the THEME self? Come nah man.

Carnival Jumbie said...

Well to say it was a 'video' is being generous yes. It was like a promo of the graphic, more of a clip really.When the logo graphic was complete, so was the presentation.

saucydiva said...

I heard they were to show a costume last night, I wonder why that didn't happen. I glad you spell out how PALE the commitee looking.. reall All as One? Where the people who look like me ? steups

pepper said...

Pepper in de pot again. It was clearly stated on the Elents invitation it was an "introduction night" to introduce their logo and their bandleader. They never said that they were presenting costumes. That usually happens at Band launches and this was not a band launch but just a logo introduction event. I don't believe that their was a black list because it's either you were invited or not invited. Common sense would tell you that there was no need for a black list. I noticed at the entrance was a 51 bouncer and he had no list on hand to brace anyone. The bouncer didn't even look at the name on my invite proving that there was no black list.

pepper said...

Pepper again. Ah heard that Tribe came 2 am on Tueday morning to put up billboard outside 51 in time for Elements party. They getting me a bit concerned now. Why they so worried for a new band like elements. Ah never see Tribe launching their theme so early in April. They never did this for Island People, Pulse 8 or Evolution. Like they know something that we don't know. Jumbie, can you check into it. Why all de panick.

Carnival Jumbie said...

Pepper, for one, when I went in there was indeed a guest list downstairs. As you indicated,there would be no need to check a list if you had an invite in your hand. So that in itself does not PROVE whether or not it ever existed.But maybe I did use the term blacklist a bit too generally.I personally cannot say whether or not there was a physical list at the door with a note at the top saying "BLACKLIST" or" Doh let these ppl in". However,without getting into too much details, I know that there was some 'screening' of who were getting invites.More so when people started requesting 'open invis'.i.e Names had to be first provided and 'approved'in order to get invites. From what I was told,they went through a great deal of trouble to insure that invites were not leaked to 'unwanted' guests.To my knowledge no invis were sent for the members of Tribe management as is the norm in the industry.

I am quite amused that your logic dismissed the existance of a blacklist but made reason of Tribe putting up a banner at 2am on Tues. I for one don't know when it actually went up, you could very well be right. But why they would but it up at 2am and not 5am or 6am is beyond me. Maybe thats when it finished and they just said 'lewwe go organise dis one time nah.'But in answer to your question about Tribe seeming 'nervous'. I think the banner was more of Tribe giving Elements a big fat meggie not an indication of panic. The two issues are more related than you think because there has been some bad blood brewing between the camps recently and accusations of coporate espionage and slander. I think Tribe only put out that email to set the record straight about rumours flying about town e.g Tribe breaking up etc. If nothing else it proved that they a ready to go for 2k9.

It should also be noted that we all here in the blog community knew of Tribe's theme less than a week after Carnival 2K8.Although on the down low to the public, it certainly was not a secret around here because these things are decided long in advance. I even heard that Elements' theme was one that had already been pitched to Tribe last year and as you can see from my post I guessed it right.

I still think that Elements' event was just non-functional.Why have a whole event to present a band and logo when you have so little press info available?I did not get confused and think it was a 'band launch' with costumes but it is not undreasonable to think that in the process, for the purpose that we were all there, that they could have shown a teaser design whether conceptual or otherwise. So the present the band and don't announce a theme? That is just basic, come on guys. Again, your logic amuses me, you ask why is Tribe panicking yet you did not question why Elements rushed an 'introduction' event after Tribe's pre-emptive press release?
I think the answer to both bands actions is simple, first out the gate has an advantage.If Tribe launches before them there is a possibility they can sell out before anyone else is even opened.Elements is inherently at bit of a disadvantage because the management are former Tribe members who just finish up Tribe business.If they was doing Tribe business then they have not been doing Elements business for very long.Undoubtedly their extensive experience can counteract the disadvantage that any delay created.

pepper said...

Jumbie, yuh say elements reacted to Tribe's press release. But it was Tribe who reacted to elements intro party. To prove my point, I got my invitation last week Thurday so elements would have printed their invites by latest last week Tuesday. Tribe release was last week Friday so I rest my case. But seriously, my band is Island People. They are to only creative people out there. You say that elemenst copy their theme from 5th element movie but if you investigate you would find that 'Tribe' was a theme used in october 2003 by miami's generation X for miami carnival. Do a search on generation X from miami. In 2004tribe used that name for their last year in poison. You would also know that "What lies beneath" and "Red October" were movies as well and "Outback" is an American steak house restaurant. Island People is the only real creative concepts out there. Ah right?

Carnival Jumbie said...

Pepper, Pardon my ignorance but I really am not getting your point. I never said that Elements had a party because Tribe sent an email. Although the two events happened in that chronological order if you would read further I offered what I thought was my take on the reasons behind both independant occurances. Again, Tribe sent an email to dispel rumours about the band and to reassure their ppls. Elements had a launch to get their name outthere because they are new, behind schedule and in competition with other established bands. I said the event was rushed based on what I saw and heard at the event which in my opinion could have been much better presented for the purposes of an official press function.Maybe it was not rushed and they are just bad speech writers, who knows.The Tribe banner was clearly spitefully installed to coincide with the launch and I believe that is because of the bad blood circulating and it was just Tribe's way of giving a big meggie or giving them a middle finger if you like.
I never say the people 'copy' anything. If i wanted to say copy I would have said copy.I merely pointed out the similarities behind the concept and was not bashing them for it cause I happen to like it very much.Did you make the same comment on Saucy's blog cause she went through the trouble to find the images when she made the same observation?And Elements is not the theme of the band, its the name.The elemental symbols are their official logo.
I can only presume the reason you chose to pointed the similarities to other names is because you thought I was being critical.However I was not crticising. But really, who cares where the band got its name? It was only called Tribe in Poison because it was Indian Costumes Section!!They stuck with the name because the costume was so widly popular that it became an identifying symbol of the band and they went so far as to repeat the costume in their first 2005 presentation. I care even less for how they got the names of the parties. But if you really want to be picky I shall entertain you...Red October was originally a novel based on real events. The Outback DOES NOT originate from the restaurant but refers to the remote areas of Australia so please don't repeat that. And yeah ,What lies beneath was a movie.
There is a reason Saucy and I don't get into 'who band better' argument. Cause its dumb and pointless. Your band will always be the better band. This is why in my blog i clearly state my comments are my opinions.As creative as some IP may be, don't for a second fool yourself and think they are ORIGINAL.Their name is their party promotion group.I am really astonished that you say with such conviction that they are the only creative ones especially when you also read Saucy's blog.You don't have to go far for her post "Our Beautiful feathered friends" .Kingfisher IP 2008 is a revamped version of Golden cock fight of Posion 2004!!And if I really had the patience I could point out more similarities. The same way Tribes' Mystique '08 is almost identical to Shanghai Poison long time.Is only so much new costume it could have yuh know. I don't care either way. But IP Taureg backpack is the same as Pleasures in Poison presentation in Jump up and Kiss me. Then the Tribe Black Magic Headpiece was kinda like IP Sahara Jumbie. Big deal but they sure as ain't original all by theyself, they have help from mass producers Chinalike teh rest of 'em.

saucydiva said...

I thought TRIBE sent out that release because of all the rumours swirling around about who was leaving and that Element was affiliated with TRIBE because of the composition of the committee?

The first year Island People AND Pluse 8 came out as a mas band, at their "Introduction Party", they showed a preview of a few costumes, BEFORE the band launch.Consequently it would be safe to expect, from Carnival followers like myself, that Element may have done the same especially when I heard that they were indeed to show the All Girls Section. I remember actually going to TRIBE's Band Launch for "What Lies Beneath" and getting an Island People flyer with the Butterfly Costume displayed on it stuck on my car windshield.. LMAO.. so are we to assume then that Island People at that point was panicked by TRIBE to ambush their band launch with their flyers?

And I also had my invitation checked against a list at the door, not by the bouncer, but by a young lady at the entrance.

And as Jumbie correctly pointed out the 2009 theme was hinted at on my blog, from the earlies and last year we also knew the theme from way in advance, again, I published it on the blog on March 9th a facebook group called "Myths and Magic" was created almost immediately,there was no need for TRIBE to send out an email when everybody and their mother knew their theme before it was officially announced! So this year's revelation of the theme is LATE!

Pepper, do not make me laugh when you say IP is the only creative band out there!! Not even Mc Farlane holds that title as an ex Minshall Masquerader was said to have identified each of Minshall's past costumes in every one of Mc Farlane's costumes this year!! Now if you had breathed "Minshall" and "creative mas" in the same sentence, we would not be even having a discussion!

I was banned from a forum for showing how TWO of Island People's costumes, RAIN and PRIDE could be made by buying pieces on the internet,you could have bought every single item for Rain frontline online, they eventually scrapped that costume !! Surely you do not think that they were the first to do a butterfly costume, Peter Minshall did a whole band called "Papillion" with butterfly costumes LOL. Goddess and Defenders was straight off a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and Frontline for Blue Nile looked curiously like Nylon Pool Frontline! I am so glad Jumbie picked up that King Fisher and Golden Cock Fight has striking similarities.. anyone could have gotten Black Widow Spider's legs and the Individual costume's body suit online last year.. I am sure they still on sale at Halloween shops!!

I will say that Island People does think out the box when it comes to some of their designs and that they have gotten some new materials and tapped into the China resource of having very well decorated costumes made overseas, something that honestly cannot be done in Trinidad at this time! But a truly unique, never done before in Brazil or Las Vegas costume I am yet to see coming out of their camp.

And we cannot argue about themes from movies being used in Carnival because every single band does it!! You do know that heaven & Earth , IP's 2k9 theme is a movie?? My point in POINTING out The 5th Element concept is that the LOGO for the band Element is the same as the stones used in the movie.. I mean, come on, we talking about the LOGO not the theme.

It has been ages since I have had this band vs band debate, curious, Pepper,that you play with IP but are so in support of a new band like Element that has put nothing on the table for consideration as yet except a few people's names! I think maybe people are hoping Element might sink TRIBE.. LMAO.. good luck with THAT one;wasn't Evolution and Island People before them rumored to be the new IT bands that would do the same thing?

If the proof is in the pudding, let it be kown that the "Birds of a Feather" facebook group has amassed
2580 members in ONE week !!!!!!!! Thanks for the chuckle this Saturday morning! As long as I am in my Super Mo Mo frontline costume come 2009 I am really not bothered by what other bands have to offer :D

Carnival Jumbie said...

Thanks for your two cents Saucy. I had forget some of them points myself. I glad yuh show is not just me alone know them things.
Yeah boy,my parents played in Papillion, that was the last time they move with a backpack lolol.It was over the top!