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40 years on, Pollard wins again with SVG Players

40 years on, Pollard wins again with SVG Players


by Bria King

Forty years ago, Julian “Pilling” Pollard designed the winning Band of the Year presentation for Vincy Mas.

And although he has achieved this feat on many other occasions, it is that much sweeter to lead the SVG Players International Mas Band to capture the Band of the Year title in this year’s 40th anniversary of the festival.

SVG Players scored a total of 534 points, to take first place with their 2017 presentation “Star Date 2525: The Future is now” and beat out last year’s winners, BMC Amerijet Magic 103.7 FM Blondie Bird and Friends, who scored 494 points with their presentation “It is what it is”.

Digicel Nelson Bloc and Metrocint High Voltage Mas production placed third and fourth respectively.

“We worked very hard and it paid off. It’s good to be back at the top. We won in 2013 and this is our sixth band of the year. The whole group is excited,” Pollard told SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday.

Joel John, chair of SVG Players International, said the goal is to maintain the top position now that they have been awarded with it after two years “in the wilderness”.

He attributes that band’s win to meeting their goal of finishing the presentation on time, which was a major problem that they have had in the past.

Pollard explained that the band’s presentation echoed social commentary, mixed in with fantasy to convey the general message that “if man is not careful about what he is doing now, then in the future, he will be in dire straits.”

A perfect example of this portrayal is the Ice Queen, SVG Players’ Queen of the Band, which earned second place in that competition and is an ode to climate change. First in that competition was Blondie Bird’s ‘It is what Beauty Morphs’ and third place went to Owen Ralph and the Professionals with ‘Pandora’s Box’.

Different sections of the band also provided insight to the evolution of technology, proliferation of various diseases and provided an imaginative display of what these present phenomenon will be like in the future.

According to Pollard, the dynamic of bands has changed in the last 40 years, moving from more themed and in depth presentations to what he describes as “very fluffy in a sense, very abstract.”

“I tried to put a lot of depth into this band, so it had a lot of meaning and significance rather than just being some pretty costumes and I think that came over,” he said.

Indeed, Pollard’s band placed first in the Uptown Competition, with a total of 387 points, and was followed closely by Blondie Bird and Friends, who earned 378 with their presentation “It is what it is”.

High Voltage Mas production placed third with 344 points for their presentation “This is politics”. Digicel Nelson Bloc’s “Imagine Dis” was fourth with 343 points and Melbourne Artisans came in fifth with “See one…see all”, which earned them 332 points.

The SVG Players International also won the Best Use of Colour competition with 396 points, while Blondie Bird and Friends, Digicel Nelson Bloc and Metrocint High Voltage Production placed second, third and fourth respectively with 393, 389 and 381 points.