@ 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
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)
“Crap”, “Lousy” and
(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
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.