The presents under the tree have been unwrapped and enjoyed, but there’s one more treat awaiting you this Yuletide season, and it’s a Visage 601 reunion with former Visage bandmates Novie, Colyn and Erica coming together to take the stage at a year and decade-ending Boogie Nights for the ages.
It’s a reunion that means a lot to Visage band leader Obi Pindling – if only for good ole time’s sake with them gearing up to perform the exact same music patrons that graced 601 heard back in the day, mixed in with many of today’s contemporary soca hits.
“Those days were some of the most memorable in the history of Visage because of the immense fun we had with our audiences, so to have the opportunity to relive those days means a helluva lot,” said Pindling.
It’s going to go down, according to Sonovia “Novie” Pierre, a former Visage vocalist.
“It’s going to feel good,” she said of the Friday, December 27 reunion performance at Fusion Superplex. “I can’t run and up and down like I used to, but it’s going to be a great time. We’re going to keep it as old school as possible, so I’m excited.”
She said the former bandmates have slotted in quite nicely.
“Rehearsals were just like old times,” said Pierre, who last performed with Visage in 2014 when she sat in with them on a gig for a Lyford Cay performance. She officially left the band in August 2012.
And Pindling promises that Novie, Colyn and Erica will be heard just as much as current band members.
“Between us, we were going over songs that they sang back then and we came up with over 25. All of the favorites from Square One like ‘The Plumber’, ‘Somebody Pussy Cat’, ‘DJ Ride’, ‘Aye Aye Aye’…other tunes like ‘Big Truck’ by Machel Montano, ‘Move It To The Left’ by Nigel Lewis, early Destra like ‘Tremble It’ and ‘Ride De Choo Choo’ and of course the ever-popular ‘Take Ya Clothes Off’ – who can forget Erica’s ultra-crazy rendition of this song. And this is just a few!”
Of coming together with her former band family and its new members, Pierre said Visage is family and always will be.
“We were just sitting around the table and it was just like old times,” she said.
Novie, Colyn and Erica will join current Visage cohorts which include Pindling, Nehemiah Hield, Patrice Murrell, Benjamin Alexander, Shawn Ferguson, Dyson Knight, Wendy Lewis-Knight, Ian Young, Carlos Dean, Keiran Roker, Sammy Lightbourn and Angelo Swann.
Boogie Nights is the most looked-forward-to end-of-month soca wind down party; and a fusion of Star 106 Hits, Visage and Fusion Superplex.
Pindling said the Boogie Nights reunion show can be considered a Christmas gift of sorts as traditionally Visage hasn’t done their monthly Friday event in December.
“Because the response to our events at Fusion has been so overwhelming, we wanted to do something special as a first December event. Those of us who were in our 20s and 30s in the 601 days are now in our 40s and 50s – we are now parents and grandparents. After Christmas, people this age are always looking for a fun night out to de-stress after all the Christmas preparations for kids and the rest of the family. That’s when I came up with the idea [to do] something for our 601 regulars who partied with us every Friday – and viola – here we are,” said Pindling.
Based on the feedback they’ve received since the announcement of the reunion Boogie Nights show, Pindling said they are excited.
“Many of the younger people may think that soca has just recently become big in The Bahamas, but oh no… Visage started the soca movement over 30 years ago, but it became huge just over 20 years ago,” he said.
“Visage was the band to introduce live soca performances to The Bahamas on a regular basis. Byron Lee came here every Christmas for three days which Bahamians truly enjoyed. Our soca performances started to gain traction in or about 1994 while we were doing a Friday Happy Hour at the Culture Club; we performed early and Baha Men did the late-night sets. This resulted in huge crowds flocking to the club every Friday to hear us perform the top soca hit tunes. In 1996, Culture Club closed and Baha Men moved to Club 601 and Isaiah invited us to move with them. While there we entered into a relationship with 100 Jamz. From our happy hour events, Eric D and Ed Fields did live drops and created even more hype, giving birth to a new cultural phenomenon on the island. Happy Hour at 601 became legendary, so our fans can expect much of the same vibes, same hype and same excitement as they enjoyed back in the day.”
Boogie Nights is a spin-off from the Star Hits and Visage Fantastic Fridays, which held court for four years as the much-anticipated night out. But since its introduction in July, Boogie Nights has become the top end-of-month affair.
The more encompassing Boogie Nights showcases music from the ‘60s through to the ‘90s – from funk (which evolved from blues, jazz, R&B and soul); to boogie and disco music that dominated the ‘60s and ‘70s; to ‘80s pop and hip-hop; and ‘90s alternative and bubblegum pop, contemporary R&B and new jack swing.
Boogie Nights also allows for Visage to showcase their repertoire beyond soca, which Pindling has said 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 in an earlier interview. “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.
“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.
“Boogie Nights: A Visage Family 601 Reunion” kicks off at 8 p.m. Admission is $30 with a complimentary drink; tables can be reserved at $35 per person (a minimum of four persons to reserve a table, which can be reserved by telephoning 302-2304).
“Boogie Nights: A Visage
Family 601 Reunion”
When: Friday, December 27
Where: The Courtyard, Fusion Superplex
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $30 with complimentary drink; reserved tables $35 per person (a minimum of four people to reserve a table, telephone 302-2304).