If you missed World Clash “The Rise of the New Champions” 2017, you missed a truly spectacular event. In part due to a rare 10 PM start time, the Empire Banquet Hall was packed early from back to front with a crowd of over 1,000 sound clash enthusiasts in attendance not only from Canada, but from various territories across the world, literally. The crowd was ready for any drama that would come with seven champion Sounds fighting it out for the title of 2017 World Clash champion, and all the goodies, publicity and opportunities that would come with it.
There was high anticipation leading up to this year’s World Clash. For weeks, people had been speculating as to who would win, but it could be anybody’s clash, that was the general consensus. The odds were technically higher for a Canadian Sound to win, because according the Irish and Chin rules, the World Clash champion territory not only is the World Clash event location the year after, but a second Sound from that same territory who win’s their “Rumble” preliminaries, would be added to World Clash line up sitting aside, yet in competition with, the other local Sound. Despite this, the word on the streets was that there would be no biasness and no mercy from Canadian fans for all Sounds, including the Canadian ones. People were there to support their favourite Sounds, yes – but on this night, the best performing Sounds would be voted winner of World Clash.
Welcome to World Clash 2017 – featuring 2016 defending champions from Canada, King Turbo, and six other champion Sounds there to do only one thing only – win the clash and dethrone King Turbo on their own Canadian Soil. As history had it, no Sound had ever been a repeat-winner of World Clash since its inception back in the 90’s. Contenders included European “Rumble” champions, Northern Lights, U.K. “Rumble” champions, Platinum Cartel, U.K. “Rumble” champions, Platinum Kids, Japan “Rumble” champions Fujiyama, Antigua’s “wildcard” entrant, Poison Dart, and out of Hamilton, Canada’s own “Rumble” champions, King Attarney. MC’s for the event Ricky Trooper, Zykes (Journey Sound-Canada) and Johnny (Bodyguard Sound). Seven Sounds would clash over several elimination Rounds followed by a best-of-10 tune-fi-tune featuring the final two Sounds standing after all elimination Rounds were complete.
Things rolled smoothly in this clash from start to finish, and when there were glitches, they were resolved withing a reasonable amount of clash-time. Compliments to the production at World Clash, the stage was assembled professionally and the lighting was on point as well as the Irish and Chin Sound System. The bar was running smooth, and the people who packed up the venue put out a positive energy that made the event sweeter, but also made Canada look good.
As expected, the World Clash in Toronto featured big tunes and anthems throughout the event. Seeing Sounds from other foreign territories having to adapt to mastering the English language is interesting, but big up Northern Lights and Fujiyama for their efforts, they were true warriors. Actually, every Sound deserves to be congratulated for their performance, winning Winning World Clash is one thing, but it’s a compliment for any Sound just to get there. In terms of the playing order of the Sounds (determined by a draw of numbers), first up would be Platinum Kids (1), followed by Poison Dart (2), then Platinum Cartel(3), then Northern Lights(4), Fujiyama(5), King Turbo(6) and finally, King Attarney(7).
As I write this article near 5 PM on the Monday following World Clash, I just got a call saying the Audio is out, which spares me having to go through this clash step by step. In terms of the clash structure, each clash Round was 10-minutes each, and the first Round of World Clash was a non-elimination Round. In Round 2, one Sound had to go, and that Sound was Platinum Cartel (USA). In the 3rd Round, two Sounds had to go, and those Sounds were King Attarney (Canada) and Poison Dart (Antigua). This was the sticky point of the clash, because when it came to a show of hands to eliminate two Sounds, the vote was too close for MC Ricky Trooper to call, so he called for Chin (promoter).
Chin saw the same roadblock when he saw a repeat of the same too-close-to-call show of hands, so his decision to remedy the situation was for the three Sounds to play one song each in order to quickly settle the eliminations, something never before seen in World Clash history. These three Sounds were Platinum Kids (played a Chronixx), Northern Lights (played the Blessed – biggest forward for the night!) , and Poison Dart (what they played was now insignificant). The Sound to be eliminated would be Poison Dart, who had played steady throughout the night.
In Round 4, Platinum Kids (focused too much on dissing MC Ricky Trooper vs. focusing on the crowd – his tune selection dropped down after 3-Sound showdown) and Fujiyama (gwaaning wicked, big tunes down to the very end – came close to making it to tune-fi-tune but too much talking near end, people lost interested in part due to language barrier!) were the two Sounds to be eliminated. They had also played steady throughout the night.
In the Round 5 best of 10 “Tune Fi Tune”, things started out in King Turbo’s hands, as they went up 5-2, before playing a dub featuring Andrew Tosh (Burial “Dem Want I – Dem Want I” – original Peter Tosh tune) which made it 6-2, final score. A big congratulations to King Turbo, making history not only in the T-Dot but worldwide by emerging as World Clash champions two years straight. It was a victory well deserved, and now the King Turbo critics turn into King Turbo crickets. Hopefully, the next 12 months of being World Clash champion will be sweet and opportune! Good job King Turbo.
Pics by Ron Nelson and Lisa West | Listen to World Clash 2017 Audio
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