Legendary calypsonian, Crazy, recently performed in Sweden – fully dressed in colours and letters of his beloved Trinidad & Tobago. Together with Rapso Rebel - Everard Romany - Crazy gave the party, held as a 20th anniversary celebration of the Swedish band Soca Rebels, a whole lot of extra energy, feelings of T&T’s strong tradition, and delightful tastes of the fêtes on the Caribbean islands.
The anniversary party was held in Gothenburg, in a music hall with strong ties to traditional music. Soca Rebels began the evening on their own, showcasing soca music of a high standard with great dynamics and feeling for the rhythm. Their performance also contained songs on steel pan, not forgetting a great slow jazz calypso written and sung by Lars Hansson’s daughter, Sarah Hansson.
A host of Crazy’s songs were played, and those familiar with his music could not be surprised by the audience’s reaction to probably his greatest hit: Nani Wine. By the time it was played, the audience had been warmed up by the Soca Rebels and Rapso Rebel, and the song got everyone up onto their feet. Not the only Trinidadian legend on stage, Crazy was joined by one of the pioneers of the ’70s rapso movement in Trinidad and Tobago, who now lives in Sweden; on stage, Rapso Rebel, aka Brother Shortman, moved the audience with his back-to-roots offerings.
Before the concert, Edwin Ayoung (Crazy) said to local radio stations and newspapers that Sweden is his first home country. Whether he was flirting with the local audience or telling the truth is not for us to say! “The reason is simple,” he said, “Women in Sweden are the most beautiful in the world.” He also has a second family here: the family of, and around, the Soca Rebels – the only soca band in Sweden – who he was visiting for the fourth time.
Over the years, Soca Rebels have had songs on T&T’s billboard list and several collaborations with Caribbean artists and producers, and have contributed to the production of Crazy’s albums. They first came together in 1992, when the band backed Crazy´s first tour in Sweden. The band’s founder, panman and front artist, Lars Hansson, was very pleased about this year’s reunion with his Trinidadian friend, saying, “It´s always great to perform together with such a professional and dynamic person as Edwin. We have cooperated both on stage and in studios over the years, and his song Nani Wine is in fact the reason why I started Soca Rebels.”
After a three hour concert, the audience happily walked home with songs like Paul, Cold Sweat, De Party Now Start and Dis Is How, Cat First and this year’s carnival song, He Madd, ringing in their ears.