'Bucket ah teen! Bucket ah rum! Drink whatever yuh like!' was Trinidadian artist Swappi's order of the night on Friday 1st June at London’s Camden Centre. It was a big night for mas band Poison UK, as they launched their 2012 UK presentation for Notting Hill Carnival with a big party and a mix of UK and Caribbean musical talent.
The evening warmed up with soca music and mingling. DJ Superman, one of Barbados' top DJs, presiding alongside some more local peers, made sure the hot rhythms kept flowing. And then came the masquerade; kings and queens in all their glory, it was feather and bead city. This year’s costumes are stunning - simply a cocktail of colours and fine accessories - and the models did them justice as they wined and wukked up on stage; outfits were coming alive.
The finale came with the man of the moment, Swappi, a newcomer to many although he's actually been around for 15 years, singing with the likes of Machel Montano. He sang a medley of songs, but the crowd was waiting for one tune, and one tune only - and he didn't let them down. Bucket nearly tore down the building, and all who stood within it. Swappi turned the lyrics to reality, and threw buckets of water over everyone - just what the revellers needed to cool them down, and with sheer hilarity.
After the show I spoke to Swappi, who hails from Sealots, Trinidad, and whose real name is Marvin Davis. I asked him about the origins of the name Swappi, and he told me, "It's the evolution to swank you everything-wise, the swapping of good and evil spirits." This year was the first time he qualified for the Soca Monarch competition final in Trinidad, about which he said, "This year has been very hard, but hard work brings success. It has been great every year, but 2012 has been the biggest."
On the subject of the inspiration behind the huge hit, Bucket, he humbly replied, "I saw my little brothers playing around with buckets, and thought I'd write a song about it" - and that's how talent can turn something so small into a big success. You’d better make sure that you recycle those buckets, don't throw them away! Bucketmania is upon us this year.