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Digicel Nelson Block, the 2005 Band of the Year champion is recovering from the rigours of its production this year entitled ‘You Ask For It.’ There were 11 dazzling sections embracing close to 900 masqueraders. {{more}}Those were Glow, Passion, Colour Fest, Bacchanal, Unity, Carnival Fever, Fame and Fortune, Soca Safari, Vengeance, Warlord and Peace.

With neat finishes, intricate colour schemes, amidst creative designs, the band romped to their ninth band of the Year title in their 22nd year of establishment.

Tent Leader Alfred ‘Freddie’ Finch expressed thanks to God first of all for this year’s triumphant return to the top.

He admitted that the production came amidst some strain.

“Normally we don’t launch before Easter Monday,” Finch told the Searchlight.

“Most of the members are Anglican,” he went on and acknowledged that there is a link with the Bishop’s College.

Once the band was on the road, there was no stoppage of the production line.

Nelson Bloc, from the area of Paul’s Avenue in Central Kingstown has been the band to beat whenever carnival comes around. Most other outfits would be satisfied once they place above Nelson Bloc, and in many cases, if they succeed, they could consider themselves as Band of the Year.

This year, Digicel Nelson Bloc was not taking any chances and having “relinquished” the title in their effort to take the beaver trick last year, they were determined to return to what they know best. And that is taking the Band of the Year title.

With a committed workforce, including a crop of enthusiastic new Mas makers, Nelson Bloc pulled out all the stops and the eventual result was a matter of course.

Finch traced the Band’s history from a collection of 178 masqueraders in 1983, to its present size. Their 1983 production was entitled ‘Extract from a Chinese movie, and Finch recalled they copped the Junior King that year with a portrayal by Dammy Hector called Shaolin sword.

He noted a metamorphosis of the band membership over the years, and he anticipated that even with persons moving to other outfits, the number increases each year.

Nelson Bloc began their Band of the Year successes in 1991, and cruised to a hattrick of wins until 1993.

They returned to the pinnacle 1995, and again 1997.

In 2001, Nelson Bloc swept all other contenders away, and produced their second hattrick.

With that pattern, Finch is confident that another series of wins is on the card.

“When you give Nelson Bloc Band of the Year, is like one two, three,” Finch said.

“We are going to take Mas to a higher height in SVG,” the bandleader added.

He paid tribute to the designer Ossie Constance and asserted: “Nelson Bloc and Ossie have a winning combination. We just sit down and say what we are doing and Ossie puts the props to it,’ Finch declared.

Finch, an original member, outlined that the Band had come a long way. He paid tribute to former leader Adonis ‘Goat’ Hector and stalwart Bernard ‘Yank’ Browne both of whom have migrated. But they have not abandoned their creative genius and have combined to spread their ingenuity to the North American Mas circuit.

Finch alluded to plans to build a Mas Tent at Mala Village, just outside capital City Kingstown. But he foresees some difficulties with that arrangement as convenient as it may seem.

He predicts that with the size of the band, it will be cumbersome for the band to gather in one spot outside of Town.

“We rather be in Town,” Finch pointed out.

He paid tribute to traditional supporters Caribbean Reference Laboratory and Irie Travel, and singled out Searchlight which he acknowledged “came on board this year. We (are) glad to have them,” Finch said. And his prediction was “Look out for big things in 2006.”