CA RUMBLE @ La Victoria Banquet Hall 01.28.17
If you missed CA Rumble – Road To World Clash (Saturday January 28th @ Victoria Banquet Hall), I can safely say that you missed a really exciting event. This much anticipated clash featured six top Canadian Sounds – in order of appearance; Outcast, Soul Survival, King Attarney, Twin Starr, Steppa Choice, and finally, Mystic. The winner of the 5-Round Irish & Chin + Jill event is promised the honor of joining current (2016) World Clash champions King Turbo in World Clash 2017 where between the two of them, they will have to fight off at least five other internationally ranked war sounds if they World Clash title is to return to Canadian soil.
I got to the clash about 10:00 and by 10:15 or so, the clash would officially start. The venue was perfectly sized for the occasion, and the Irish & Chin Sound System seemed ready to stand up to the task. There was a bit of snow falling outside, and the weather was just chilly enough to be tolerable – an excellent night to witness sound killing. The crowd would come out in good numbers; my guess is that by night’s end, about 700 (paid) people were in attendance. The majority were men, but the few women in the place would brighten up the atmosphere, as fans filing in generally seemed geared up to have a good time.
Outcast, featuring Jr. Don (MC) and Fresh Cut (DJ), played first and seemed a bit stiff. Nobody had called their names because they were first up to bat. Despite playing what I would describe as a conservative round, Outcast displayed confidence (they played some nice Chronixx early round), also threatening to counter act anything that comes. People were happy the clash was underway, but in fairness to Outcast, there weren’t that many people in the place to perform to at the start – which would not necessarily help come voting time. Fortunately – the 1st Round was no-elimination.
Soul Survival was up next and they played hard, considering it was only the first round. Of course, they would criticize Outcast for a ‘weak’ first round performance. MC Pablo (and selector Biggz), sporting a black leather jacket with baseball cap, seemed well poised for the Rumble. Soul Survival’s 1st Round may have been their best – they had good pacing and delivered a proper presentation that earned them some applause at the Round’s conclusion.
King Attarney was up next featuring Pang (DJ) and MC Jr. D, sporting grey shoes and track suit, who we are all familiar with from his Twin Starr-Studio Mixx and Black Mellody days. It was about 10:50 PM now and the place was starting to full up. King Attarney smoothed out the pace of CA Rumble with their slower-tempo selections. They also received some decent applause after their round which was highlighted by a customized dub dissing all of the other participating sounds.
Twin Starr played next, featuring MC Blaxz Dun Da Place sporting a big Toronto Maple Leaf jersey, alongside Peasah as DJ-Selector and. Twin Starr played steady yet conservatively in this 1st round, and was backed by some fan support.
Steppa Choice (Lumba G. and Itchy One) next and had a steady, consistent round featuring smooth mixing but maybe not enough personal attacks and name calling. Steady. There was no applause at the end of the round but importantly, no boos either.
It was now 11:20 PM and Mystic would play last. MC Tyronne (and Fabian as DJ), dressed in camouflage pants and hooded jacket, seemed ready for war. They would earn the first big forward for the night, and got some good applause at the end of the round by a liquored up crowd that had gotten larger.
Outcast played at 11:35 pm to start of the 2nd Round eliminations (1 Sound would go). They would get some forwards for a good commercial round featuring some Chronics and Mavados.
Soul Survival followed after Outcast and stated their belief that Outcast flopped. Soul Survival would not be as animated as in their 1st Round. MC Louie Rankin would not be as aggressive and spend too much time with his back to the crowd communicating with his DJ. King Attarney played a strong Round 2 and had the night’s biggest forwards yet and officially started off the war in CA Rumble.
Twin Starr kept the good vibes going in Round Two – Blaxz seemed hyped and got a few good forwards at the end of the round. Steppa Choice played next and may have received a few boos at rounds end. Mystic played next, and got some people stirred up when they declared that they had ‘won’ the 1st (no-elimination) round. They managed to keep the crowd moving during their Round.
At Round 2’s end – there was some confusion at voting time and the vote had to be re-done. Initially MC Ninja (Mighty Crown) would declare that the sound to go was Mystic, but after an outcry from fans and audience members the vote was done over, only after some proper instruction on the voting process by the MC.
The second time result would be different however, and the sound that ‘went’ by a show of hands, would be Twin Starr, much to the chagrin of MC Blaxz Dun Da Place who claimed that their Sound was eliminated even though the MC did not call their name to get a voting count. Twin Starr had earned their forwards, I was personally surprised they were eliminated first ( listen to the audio, Twin Starr’s name was called last after the MC was reminded by the crowd). Anyway, Round Three would begin with five sounds remaining to fight things out.
It was now after 1am, and Soul Survival played first followed by King Attarney. The place was smokier now and the competition had gotten stickier as the night had reached a higher level of difficulty. Soul Survival got some applause and a few boos at rounds end, but overall a decent round.
It was in the 3rd Round that King Attarney took the the ‘lead’ at CA Rumble. They weren’t concerned so much with Sounds working against them, but instead with ‘time’ working against them – King Attarney had grown in confidence after having a chance to survey and diss their competition.
Steppa Choice good some good forwards in their 3rd Round and were trudging through CA Rumbe with a good pace earning them decent applause during their performance.
Mystic would big up Jane & Finch and Scarborough, but their “somebody say Mystic” chant wasn’t winning over anybody. They had to work hard to keep the crowd on their side, and despite earning a big mavado forward, the crowd support did not seem to be what it had been like in past Mystic performances.
At the conclusion of Round 3 it was voting time and the crowd, by a show of hands, would give Outcast the exit in the eyes of the MC. So gone now were Twin Starr and Outcast – leaving four sounds to battle it out in the clash; Soul Survival, King Attarney, Steppa Choice and Mystic. Two sounds would go at the end of the Round, leaving only two sounds to fight it out in chune-fi-chune for the title.
Soul Survival lost their confidence in round 4 (it was about 1:45 am now) – perhaps there was not enough left in the tank and they knew it. This was a no-impact round for Soul Survival, and a few boos would greet them at their round’s conclusion. A personal big up for the Tasha Rozez-Lindo P combination though.
King Attarney played with poise during this round. MC Jr. D seemed excited about the future where he forecasted going one-on-one with Steppa or Mystic in the conclusion of CA Rumble. This was a steady and solid vocal round for King Attarney.
Steppa Choice also played well in Round 4 but were appeared to be guilty in the eyes of the crowd of playing back one or two chunes (2:12 am clash time). They had gotten off to a good start, but it was ‘belly’ time now, and 10 minutes seemed like a long time for a sound to keep making impact.
Mystic played hard but their ‘somebody say new chune’ call and response wasn’t moving the crowd. They got booed a bit and nothing they pulled out of the box would earn them a lead which was up for the taking. And just like with Steppa Choice, Mystic was now accused of playing back chunes. When it came to voting time at the end of Round 4, the two Sounds (vs the ‘one’ sound that was advertised – this was a time saver) that were eliminated were Mystic and Soul Survival.
What followed was a 10-song chune-fi-chune showdown between Steppa Choice and King Attarney. The Round Five scheduled had been eliminated as a time saver, but this combined with the fact that two sounds were eliminated in the round prior with the blessings of the crowd, actually made the clash better. Steppa Choice was leading 5-2 at one point before King Attarney came back and tied it 5-5 before playing the 6th song to win CA Rumble 2017 (see our Video). Their winning tune was Simple Simon’s “Hang Down Your Head” vs. Steppa Choice who played Icho Kandy’s “Captain Salassie”
Congratulations to King Attarney (established in 1983) – Jr. D (MC), (Pang), Phantom, Garfield – it’s been long overdue and well deserved. Congratulations to the organizers, promoters, security, staff, VIP’s, and paying patrons who make this clash the success it was. I enjoyed CA Rumble, and the fact that it started and ended early compared to many clashes in the GTA. This clash was entertaining, well executed and fast moving, not as long and drawn out as its predecessor.
Now we wait as the next Irish & Chin World Clash offers Canada a slight advantage as the only territory allowed to feature two sounds representing in the championships! In this case, we have two ‘Kings’, and they both have almost 60 years of experience behind them. At World Clash 2017 there will be sounds representing who have won Rumble’s in Japan, the UK, the USA (event scheduled for April), and Jamaica.
I talked to Jr. D the day after the clash, and this is what he had to say;
“Nobody had us pegged for the win, everybody was saying every other sound name other than King Attarney, so now, nobody can stand up and say ‘I told you so’. But it’s been a long time coming, and it was overdue – sweet vindication! I’m happy it worked out; everybody wants to win on a big stage. I had a good idea of what everybody was bringing to the table before hand. A lot of people lost faith in me in the last few years, but I’m glad I was able to get back on it and be successful.”
I asked Jr. D about his World Clash strategy in dealing with King Turbo;
Jr. D: “A lot of people don’t realize, me and Outcast are bonified friends outside of the dancehall. At CA Rumble, we never even glanced at each other, but inside we were saying ‘may the best man win’ – we didn’t go after each other. Me and King Turbo are almost the same way. We’ll probably throw a little jab at each other for entertainment purposes, but if they (King Turbo) get in my way, I’ll have to do what I have to do – if I have to chop them, I’ll chop them. On a different note, I think it would be historic and ideal to see two Canadian Sounds in dub-fi-dub at World Clash.”
Pics by Lisa West and Ron Nelson