After four great years of Fantastic Friday, the most looked-forward-to end-of-month soca wind down party, the principles of that much-loved event felt it was time for a change. They put their heads together and a fusion of Star 106 Hits, Visage and Fusion Superplex has produced another exciting end-of-month affair – Boogie Nights – which from edition one was widely successful, so much so that a larger venue had to be sought to accommodate patrons.
The more encompassing Boogie Nights showcases music from the ‘60s through to the ‘90s – from the funk (which evolved from blues, jazz, R&B and soul), to boogie and disco music that dominated the ‘60s and ‘70s; to the ‘80s pop and hip-hop; and the ‘90s alternative and bubblegum pop, contemporary R&B and new jack swing.
“We’ve morphed from Fantastic Fridays which was mostly soca to a little more old-school kind of music,” said Greg Lampkin, Star 106 Hits operations manager. “That’s not to say that there isn’t old-school soca in there – because there is. It’s more encompassing. We had four good years of Fantastic Friday. It’s just time to move on; time to change,” he said.
“At Boogie Nights we deliver music from the ‘70s and we also throw in some ‘60s because some people want to do the cha-cha and the Hully Gully,” said Tony Williams, Star 106 Hits programming director. “We don’t just focus on the ‘60s but there are people that want to hear that music, so they put in their request, but we go all the way into the ‘90s.”
Boogie Nights, the third edition, is on tonight at The Courtyard at Fusion Superplex, Gladstone Road. Doors open at 7 p.m.
“The first two [Boogie Nights] have been great,” said Lampkin. He chalked up the popularity of the event to the fact that people simply need an avenue to release, and are able to do so at Boogie Nights.
It was so well-received with people turning out in droves that, during the first edition held at Edge, overlooking Lake Cunningham at Fusion Superplex, they realized they needed a larger venue to accommodate people.
“What we learned from the first one was that the venue was too small. We outgrew that quickly. We’re now road level and can get 500 people in there easily,” he said.
Boogie Nights also allows for Visage to showcase their repertoire beyond soca, which band leader Obi Pindling says would not be a surprise to Visage fans as the band has always had old-school ‘70s and ‘80s music – especially R&B and funk tunes – in their repertoire.
“I grew up on ‘70s music, so it’s an integral part of my existence,” said Pindling. “It’s my musical foundation and what I compare everything musically to. It’s just that we reserve this genre of music for the respective audience we perform for.”
Williams described Visage’s repertoire as awesome.
“They play all genres of music – jazz, old school, soca…I even think they play gospel if you want them to,” he said.
Pindling described Visage as a versatile band capable of performing multiple genres of music.
“Over the past 25 years or so we have become very popular and widely known primarily for our soca. Because of this, I can understand the perception of us ‘branching out’. People would probably be shocked that we also have a wide repertoire of contemporary Top 40…Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, which we perform mainly at tourist wedding gigs. We tailor our repertoire to suit the audiences we play for,” he said.
Ironically, Pindling said they have found the Boogie Nights crowds requesting and expecting some contemporary soca in addition to the old school stuff, and as such, the band has added a few of the most popular soca tunes into their Boogie Nights repertoire.
Comprising Visage with Pindling for Boogie Nights are Nehemiah Hield, Patrice Murrell, Benjamin Alexander, Shawn Ferguson, Dyson Knight, Wendy Lewis-Knight, Ian Young, Carlos Dean, Keiran Roker, Sammy Lightbourn and Angelo Swann.
And when Visage takes a breather, DJ A.I. keeps the crowd hyped, spinning the same genres on the turntables to the patrons’ delight.
As they host the third edition of Boogie Nights, Lampkin said they’re continuing to work through the kinks, while Williams said he can see the event continuing to increase in popularity.
“The first was awesome. We didn’t have the space to accommodate the people that came out, which is why we moved to The Courtyard. The second one, because we had more space it looked like there wasn’t as much people but there was, we just had more space. We’ve been quite happy,” he said.
With the move to The Courtyard, Williams said service has been upped with two bars and more tables that patrons can reserve at $35 per person for tables for two, four or eight, inclusive of entry fee and a drink of their choice. Boogie Nights admission is $25 per person with a special Boogie Nights drink. To reserve a table at Boogie Nights, telephone 302-2304; advance reservations only.
Boogie Nights featuring Visage
Where: The Courtyard, Fusion Superplex
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m.
Admission: $25 with complimentary drink; $35 (sold in advance only); to reserve telephone 302-2304