@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
8 May 2009
23 July 2011- Amy Winehouse was
found dead at her home in London by emergency services this afternoon.
She was just 27 years of age. The police have so far described her
death as ‘unexplained.’
here to read her full biography…
Click an image to enlarge.
“I saved my pocket money
to see Amy!”
(Tearful comment from one of many disappointed local teenagers)
“High as a kite!”
(A music loving Trinidadian)
(Some of the more polite comments from the irate audience).
“… It was like watching
a train crash in slow motion!”
(Comment from an established local journalist)
Tonight’s performance by Amy Winehouse and
Zouk extraordinares Kassav was highly anticipated, even more so
due to the fact that the previous nights performance had been cancelled
due to many days of unseasonal tropical downpours. As tickets from
the previous cancelled show were valid for tonight’s performance,
a large crowd was expected despite the fact that the humid air was
a sign that the rain may return.
Winehouse arrived one hour late, leaving show comperes
to pacify patrons. Her eventual entrance filled me with dread as
she stumbled to her microphone, mumbled to herself and appeared
to forget the words to her own songs. I was front stage and could
see her glassy-eyed, distorted face through her precision-layered
make-up. Her attempt at trying to adjust her wig as it wavered from
side to side just added to her painful presence.
Initially, Winehouse’s loyal fans called
out ‘Amy, Amy’ and sang along to “Valerie”,
(although Winehouse herself slurred her words and grimaced her way
through). As predicted, the tropical rains returned, however, patrons
were prepared to see this through and smiled peering through carefully
erected umbrellas and light rain attire. At this point it seemed
as though nothing would dampen patrons spirits, however, patrons
did begin to laugh nervously when Winehouse unceremoniously unwrapped
a stick of gum, chewed it for a few seconds, then launched it into
the audience! She had also begun to strike strange poses, which
caused her already short dress to ride up her bumper free back.
Zalon’s (backing singer) courageous attempts to hide the Winehouse
‘crown jewels’ (which by this point were on constant
display) with his towel proved fruitless as Winehouse angrily removed
the towel AND seemed to purposely exaggerate the issue by raising
her dress even further. Patrons peered sympathetically at this ongoing
circus and even gestured to Winehouse to adjust her clothing.
The final straw came when Winehouse slumped onto
a front stage monitor and fell asleep. Patrons just fell silent
in shock! Though Winehouse attempted to compose herself and continued
her set, the constant supply of rum (mixed with cola) that was brought
on stage in pint sized glasses had taken its toll, her stumbling
and mumbling just got worse - Out went the stage lights and off
went Amy to shouts of “We want Amy, we want Amy, Rehab,
Rehab” from patrons. However, these encouraging calls
quickly changed to boos and further insults from the normally forgiving
Pigeon island patrons.
Winehouse did return to the stage, but had completely
lost her way. Her band courageously continued playing in an attempt
to salvage her beleaguered set, but by now patrons had turned. Unsavoury
comments from Winehouse such as “I’m bored!” certainly
didn’t help her case. Like a scolded child, Winehouse resorted
to running behind her backing singer sucking her thumb.
Amy Winehouse’s performance was supposed
to be a ‘thank you’ performance to her ‘adopted’
Caribbean island. She had allegedly offered her services for free.
Winehouse has already been banned from many local
bars for either stealing drinks from patrons, or general inappropriate
behaviour. She has been banned from two hotels for wrecking the
furniture in her rooms. She has literally broken down in tears in
front of local journalists and photographers who have kindly advised
her that they would not interview, or take photographs of her until
she ‘cleaned up her act’.
A local doctor who had treated Amy Winehouse confirmed:
“…She has a lot of problems, needs
help and shouldn’t be on the stage yet as she is not ready.
She is a child in the body of a 26 year old!”
The fact that Amy Winehouse’s performance was described as
‘a train crash’ realistically has very little ‘negative’
impact on the St. Lucia Jazz Festival. If her performance had been
a success, then St. Lucia and the St. Lucia jazz Festival would
have taken the accolade for ‘turning Amy Winehouse around’.
The fact that her performance was an embarrassment (for her) still
guaranteed worldwide headline attention AND more publicity for St.
Lucia and the St. Lucia Jazz Festival. It is just unfortunate that
paying patrons (especially young children) had to witness such self-inflicted
Robin Francis & Carole Clemesha
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.