The second stop on the Mas Camp Tour took us to Explosion Carnival, which is located in the heart of Carnival Central. The band is yet another new entry into a Carnival arena that has seen a sudden (ahem) explosion of new options materialise for potential players who are willing to look outside the more established brands. Their maiden presentation, World On Fire, is an impressive project which is being touted as the first part of a planned trilogy of themes (sic).   Sticking with the new mantra that bigger isn’t necessarily better, the band intends to cater to roughly 1100 persons, with the belief that going above this number will affect their ability to truly satisfy their members’ needs and desires.

Expanding on that point, customer service seems to be a primary source of concern for the band committee. Leah, our contact with the band, stressed this point repeatedly. While she was very reluctant to go on record (the band has a dedicated spokesperson), she did take the time to sit with Shello and I and chat about what she believed were the band’s strengths. Drawing collectively on their past experiences as masqueraders, and using their knowledge of how the bigger bands work, there is a determination and a desire to avoid the pitfalls that normally befall new bands.

The costumes, to be blunt, wowed me. There is a growing trend in mas today, where the backline of bands has suffered due to the rise of the more elaborate, and consequently more expensive, frontline. As a result, backline costumes often appear to be under-decorated. Explosion has bucked this trend. The bras for the backline are elaborately decorated, and show that a similar level of attention to detail has been spent. This is most apparent in the Seraph Backline. The professional photos do not do the intricacy of the pearl beading justice. The designers have also decided to revert to fully feathered head pieces instead of the more common tiaras, though this option is dependent on which section you are playing. Unfortunately, the frontline prototypes were not quite ready for display. Ahumare was the only one on display, but we have been invited to return and review them when they are ready.

Explosion’s World On Fire should be considered one to keep an eye on. The ambitious nature of the project (promising a trilogy in your first year is audaciously daring) is risky, but bold. However, I personally would not bet against them achieving their goal. The staff’s determined and professional attitude demands that this newcomer be taken seriously, lest you get blind-sided and caught in the blast radius.  (Sorry, but i couldn’t resist it…)

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.

For more information see:

Explosion Mas Camp visit photos

Explosion Carnival costume prices

So what do you think about Explosion’s presentation for Trinidad Carnival 2012?  Would you give them a try?