The first stop on the Trinidad Carnivals Mas Camp tour was Oasis Carnival.  Tucked away on Rosalino St in Woodbrook, Oasis is one of the newer entries to the Carnival scene. However, while only being 2 years old, the band boasts some experience as the members were part of the now defunct Elements. Its Carnival 2012 theme, Nippon, draws on the influence of pop Japanese culture. The mas camp may be a bit small, yet it feels cosy and comfortable. There were already potential masqueraders present checking out the goods on offer. Krystal, the staff member on hand, was pleasant, informative and very insightful. Upon being asked to describe the band in a single sentence, her response was concise and confident: “Oasis Carnival is about family, friends and fun.” The band intends to cater to around 900 persons which qualifies it as a medium-sized outfit.  This should not act as a deterrent to the neophyte player, however. Describing herself as a seasoned mas player, one lady who was registering herself, her daughter and her niece; listed both price and the smaller size of the band as incentives to play with them. “There is more room to move around play yourself as opposed to the bigger bands,” was her opinion. The costumes are based on a foundation of bikinis, beads and feathers. While not exactly groundbreaking, the costumes do stand out enough that Oasis members will recognise the care and love that went into the designs. The section Koi particularly stood out to me. It largely forgoes the beads and feathers motifs, for strips of white fabric on the belt and leg pieces. The only drawback is that the costume is white. There are coloured feathers interspersed among white ones on the wrist pieces, and that’s about it for colour. Among the frontline offerings, the section Cherry Blossom seems to be consensus winner among the members of the Trinidad Carnivals crew. (Caveat, while the costume itself is indeed gorgeous, I would be disingenuous not to mention that much of my liking this costume has to do with my being a male, and there being a wire bra. Nuff said.) In summary, Oasis’ Nippon is presenting itself as a very attractive option to those people who are looking for a more pocket-friendly and (dare i say it), intimate, experience on the road. The band is on the smaller size, yet offers the same perks as their more supersized brethren. And if the enthusiasm and confidence that Krystal displayed can be transported to the road, then this band can hold its head high with the honour of a Samurai. Triniyute is not an actual writer, though his love for life, literature and liquor is genuine. He sometimes maintains the blog Soul Reasoning, you know, when he’s not drinking. Click here for pictures from the visit For more information please visit: Special thanks to Triniyute and Shello for taking the time out of their busy Saturday to visit the camp for those of us who are unable to make it there ourselves.  Thanks guys!