Newspaper: Guardian
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2006
Page#: G-Life 33
News Reporter: Errol Renaud

The Mighty Sparrow answers an encore at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney, Australia.

The Mighty Sparrow charmed a large crowd at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia on Saturday night, liberally extracting hit after hit from his vast and inexhaustible repertoire.

Presenting his gems in medley segments, the undisputed Calypso King of the World had the audience spellbound, causing patrons to dance and sing to all his hits and favourites. And, when it ended, they stomped and clapped for more.

Backed by the powerful New York-based T&T Troubadours, Sparrow’s performance was surely a night to remember.

Errol Renaud and Caribbean Soul played the opening guest spot and warmed the audience for the star of the show. It was the first time a big-name calypso or soca personality had performed in Australia, said promoters of the event.

Jaslyn Hall who promoted The Mighty Sparrow’s tour to three of Australia’s largest cities —Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane—believed it would succeed despite the fact that calypso and soca was not a major music Down Under.

Not much of the music is played on mainstream radio, and the only soca and calypso that most of Australia ever hear have come from the live performances of Renaud and his band, who have been the foremost pioneer of T&T music in the region.

But, the venture did succeed and this could be judged because the crowd at Enmore for Sparrow was the same in size as that for celebrated reggae star Damien Junior Gong Marley when he played at the same venue earlier this year.

The audience streamed out the Enmore Theatre into a rainy Sydney night, buzzing and satisfied they got their encore and more. As he made his way to the foyer of the venue, The Mighty Sparrow was blocked by newfound fans and made to sign his CDs.

Sparrow’s new fans had waited long and patiently on this man they’d heard so many good things about and now, after over 50 years of travelling the world, he was finally in their neck of the woods. They revelled in being able to finally feel his wit, great performance and charm and enjoy his wonderful lyrics in the twilight of his career.

Who will Hall present next? Could it be Machel Montano, or David Rudder? Bring them all in; the people of Australia are hungry and waiting for more sweet calypso and soca music.