Monday, July 05, 2010

Skullduggery: The Dance of Deceit Band Launch Review

I was most looking forward to this launch for several reasons. One, of course, it is the first official launch for the season. Two, the promotional material for the band has been most impressive and intriguing. A lesson some other newbie bands should take note of. And three, the entertainment.....you can't go wrong with 3 Canal and I looove David Rudder...for $100? Can't go wrong!!

The event was held at he new Anchorage (I presume its still called that ) which really and truly just got a bit of a facelift...its not all that different but its still a good venue for an event of this size. The turnout was quite good and upon entrance we were greeted by the first of the many ,many skulls of the night. The decor although minimal was quite effective with neon fabric strung across the ceiling. What got your attention were the numerous characters dressed in skull-wear with neon colours and skeleton leggings,chains, bustiers and the like. Some were trapped in bamboo cages while others were left to roam. At one point we had some hanging from the ceiling!

The action started with Charlie's Roots , they seem to be getting in gear to be well present for the season. Soon after 3 Canal hit the stage and give a very energetic performance. During the performance there was a side show with the fire breathing blue devils. It was during the next lull that I decided to get something to eat. Well who tell me do that ? Like half hour to get a burger...there was absolutely no system to pay and collect (or line for that matter) and the man act like he was doing me a favour by selling me a burger. Steups.

Ok so then we had the costume presentation hosted by Michael Cherrie. The stage itself was quite small but it did the job as I think the crowd was still able to get a good luck as the costumes made their way through the crowd to the stage. One of the best things was that they put a little platform on each end which elevated the costumes even more. At times it was difficult to hear the costume introductions and I missed quite a few of the monologues. Well now for my costume comments.

I was quite pleasantly surprised that there were so many sections. I really have to wonder here what band size category they are looking to compete in. Overall I liked the production, and it was every bit as interesting as I hope it would be and in that respect I was not disappointed. I do have some concerns about how practical some costumes will be on the road although I do think they will create quite a show regardless. One thing I loved about all the costumes were the recurring skeleton leggings. What a welcome change from the blah stockings we (might) wear every year!! I am sure that is going to help out a lot of people lol. See full Skullduggery pics here.

BAA-JOHN

I love that they had a graphic tee as the costume top. Although that is a tee I would buy as a souvenir , it would become a tube for on the road for sure! The caged undercarriage is quite dramatic and although it might take some getting used to in order to manoeuvre it should not cause too much discomfort. I would have liked to see a bit more working on it but I guess it would begin to get heavy. The tattoo sleeves are nice to look at and go well with the theme but I know for me personally will be a bit to hot. The male costume was simple and maybe a bit too casual for me as a 'costume' as most of them were . I suppose most men like to wear something not too complicated but those long pants are iffy.However it looks like the pants are those adjustable ones with the zip that allows you to alter the pants length. If that is the case..problem solved! From my position it was difficult to get a really good close up but it seems that many of the skulls were affixed with safety pins to add to the industrial look. It also work out well if you plan to use the pants again.

BAMBOOZLE
Out of all the costumes I think this is my least favourite. Its a great theme and I guess the mix of colours is too illustrate confusion but I really don't see what the head through the picture frame has to do with anything. It just looked very uncomfortable and the full bodysuit is not going to win any points with me either. I don't even want to ask about the orange spheres. I find it difficult to envisage a group of ppl with their head through a picture frame trying to interact with each other on the road. Hmmm..that may need some tweaking.

BLIGHT
This costume was a stark contrast to all the others as it had the least amount of colour. Not really sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Again, I like the ease and convenience of the tee but I preferred it here paired with some puffy sleeves. The leg pieces in the white fur (?) just was not in my personal taste although it would be a nice accessory if it were in tulle. The cat on the cat is not really recommended but.... ok its an unlucky symbol. I don't know how the pants on the men's costume can be helped since it seems to be made entirely of white fur (heat!!!) and i doubt men want to go down the road in a white tulle pants lol. and the headpiece on the men is a black cat......????? hmmm. Not sure how to feel about this one.

BOL-FACE

Bol-face was one that I also did not quite understand where they were going with it. I liked the use of the black sheer over the coloured base to make the skeleton pattern but maybe the contrast needed to be a bit more. I don't really understand how the Bol-Face theme comes into this as it just has a few orange skulls (which i imagine represent the band itself).I think in general, from a garment construction perspective, it looked quite ill fitting and I don't know how they can ensure that this has a flattering fits on each individual who registers. It also seemed to have less decoration than most other costumes. and is more like a bad prom dress. The headpiece is bewildering, and it was difficult to really get a good look at it as the models kept their heads tilted down most of the time. I was trying to determine how well you can see with this basket overturned on your head. I guess Bol-Face is a play on Bowl-Face??? Can't see myself wearing it and you can forget about peripheral vision. If it rains..you safe!

BACCHANAL WOMAN

I'm not really sure what makes this woman a bacchanal woman. A cosquelle woman might be a better description. (And I mean that in a good way ). It was difficult to see how the skirt was supposed to fit, I would have liked to see the model drop it at some point in time. For that reason I can't tell if i like the costume or not. As with Baa-John, if you were to take away the overlay the base would be very plain. A pair of hot pink sequin booty shorts would have been fabulous. I love the head piece on this one as well as the lunch box standard. The first thing I thought when I saw that is if it could open and close could that would be the best carnival bag ever !! Yeah so I would like to see bacchanal woman become cosquelle woman and that would jump it from I like to I love.

GREASE-HAN
This was another of my favourites. I was a bit intimidated by the thought of a full on cocktail dress on the road but I think anyone can totally rock this one. The interpretation was very well executed in both male and female versions. Love the headpiece and the umbrella. Don't know how that man is going to feel in the full on suit all day...a waistcoat would probably be just as effective. One of the best showings of the night!

HORN-CHILE AND HORN
Ok so I guess a horn begets a horn chile..fair enough.... but for the record..woman does horn too. I would have like to see a horner woman too. Nonetheless I think the horn chile was very whimsical and the model definitely sold the costume with her antics. I loved the knee highs but the full skeletons on the dress is a bit reminiscent of the "dead baby" ala the infamous "Baby Doll" costume that was ultimately condemned from Tribe's line up in 2007. I probably would not have thought nothing of it if i had not witnessed 'dead baby' for myself but its kinda hard to get that image out your head once you have seen it. Stick to the skulls. I loved the model's enthusiasm in portraying the horn. That full suit might need to be sleeveless but I was glad to see the waistcoat underneath. The fact that it was a man-halter...not so much. The male head piece was also fantastic and overall another great portrayal.

JAGABAT
Loved it. I need to give the model a round of applause too cause she got very much into character. Love the wings ,love the makeup, love the costume. This was an excellent way to do a Jagabat lol. One of my top 3!Would not change a thing.

MACCO
I really liked the use of the newspapers in this costume. This was another one that did not look like the fir was quite right. Liked but did not love, I think it could do without that longer part of the skirt or rather if the bustle was constructed better. It looked a bit of a mess. Loved the newspaper leggings though. I think the headpiece needs some work as well. The model kept her head down most of the time on my side so I had a hard time figuring out how it looked upright and to me it looked a bit too floppy for someone who supposed to be maccoing.I would have liked it more if it fit similar to the Grease-Han headpiece. The same could be said for the male who hid behind his umbrella. I loved the umbrella but the male costume was difficult to see.

MAL-YEUX
So this costume appears to be a very literal translation of evil eye. I must say I was a bit confused at first because I have a few Arabic friends and they always told me the blue eye was a symbol to ward off evil(and I checked,it is) .So I guess the costume is meant to repel the bad eye and not represent bad eye itself.I dunno. I liked how they used the chains to make the skeleton frame on the body and I like the colour combination. Overall its a very literal interpretation made with very basic materials so I would be interested to see how much this one is going for.

MAMAGUY
I liked this costume, if for nothing else its sense of humour.The tongue in cheek take on bikini mas as mamaguy is very well thought. The waistband itself does not seem to be of the best quality but I am not sure if that's intentional or not..but I guess it works either way. The bones on the collar and the mesh skelleton bodysuit is a nice touch as well. Even the male costume is a full out pretty mas compilation. The male headpiece is a bit lacking in the feathers department, again..intentional or not ?

RATCHIFEE
I know Sauce like this one but for me its one of my least favourite. Maybe its cause I don't understand it.Plaid for Carnival ? hmmmm. The backpack..why? Maybe that's the point? It just ratchifee? Oook moving on.

SKETTLETON
LOVE EEETT!! Love the skeleton bustier with the hot pink piping.Love the rainbow skirt. Love the poofy sleeves. I would probably rock it without the long undercarriage but its still great regardless. Even the play on words is great.

TWO-FACE
Another over literal interpretation.I dunno, I am not liking the smiley faces and I don't particularly like how the costume was put together. The men's version was also not very attractive. The method to the madness escapes me. A bit disappointed with this one as I think it has a very strong theme.

VIE-KI-VIE
Now I really liked the bustle, the sleeves and the headpiece on this one. The T-shirt dress on this one left something to be desired. As I said to Sauce, it looks like I could make it home. Given the tee had a great graphic on it but the dress looked poorly constructed.

WARAHOON
This section was ok . Nice colour combination and the male and female were tied together well.

SKULLZMAN
This male costume was simple but I really liked the skull and chain overlay on the black tee. I have a feeling the guys are going to love the skull walking stick.

SOUCOYANT
This costume was definitely a crowd pleaser. As AC said, there is some irony in the fact that the finale costume was the one that was a bikini especially after the tongue in cheek "Mamaguy". I really liked it nonetheless. When Tribe was doing "Ole time something' I was begging for a Soucoyant or a La Diablesse. Glad to see someone came up with one!! It's a winner! The model was fantastic in this also. Absolutely loved the bustle. Personally I am not a fan of red costumes in general and I may have like dto see some orange or yellow tones in there since soucoyants are supposed to be made of fire. The collar was also very interesting, I would love to see it close up. The one thing I probably would change is the poonky skull, a bit unnecessary.

So overall I would give Skullduggery a thumbs up on their presentation as there is a whole lot of creativity involved here. I really like the fact that they seem to have found a middle ground between 'sexy' mas and traditional mas. I think many younger masqueraders would consider them although judging from the crowd in attendance their audience was more mature. I still want to see a La Diablessse in there somewhere...what more deceitful than that?

So my top picks (no order) : Sketteleton, Soucoyant,Jagabat,Grease-Han
Least Favs(no order) : Ratchifee, Two-Face, Bol-Face

The night could not have ended better than with a jam session by David Rudder and Charlie's Roots. Rudder never fails to disappoint and gave an energetic performance that was on par with his full concert showings.

PICS AND VIDS NOW UPLOADED

2 comments:

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Glad to see you back!

TheNicoles said...

Oh, how I've missed you!