The average young fete connoisseur would know little of the heyday of The Burning Flames, more significantly the period when young and old alike flocked to the vicinity of Country Pond for their regular dose of the bands pulsating, intoxicating music.
The late-night jam sessions, better known as Jam Pond, were opportunities for music lovers and party enthusiasts to dance the night away with reckless abandon as the glint of the moonlight hitting the still waters of the manmade pond became their disco ball.
The pulsating music that would echo through the air was a major draw for many who would eventually become the parents of Antigua & Barbuda’s millennials.
Now these same people tell stories of how they would sneak out their parents’ homes just to get a glimpse of the main players: four young men from the village of Potters who were the frontmen of The Burning Flames band.
The group comprised of brothers Clarence “Oungku” Edwards, Toriano “Onyan” Edwards, David “Krokuss” Edwards and their cousin Rone “Fox” Watkins who would present onstage – from head to toe — in eccentric costumes as they performed their compositions in vibrant form.
OBSERVER media sought to get a pulse of vendors and others gathered at Country Pond despite intermittent showers. People trickled in to the area as the bandsmen continued to get ready for the show and businessmen and women started up their grills. One vendor who said she used to “love everything” about the event, smiled as she recounted the jamming and how exciting it was to see
As the delayed start of the event approached four hours past its scheduled 5 pm launch, the woman said she hoped the event would start early next time so people would be able to have “good, clean fun”.
Another vendor, who identified herself as Keish, said she was excited for the return of Jam Pond since her children would now be able to experience what she enjoyed as a youth. She was hoping that the event would attract the same crowds that sprawled across Independence Drive and down Nevis Street in sweet revelry as in years gone by.
“It was very exciting, I would love to see what the young people were doing because whatever Burning Flames said, they did,” she added. Keish said the event, however, needed a “boost” in promotion since many people, in her opinion, did not know about its return.
One self-proclaimed party enthusiast, who already had a drink in hand, proclaimed “now Jam Pond start, Carnival start”. He said the late start of the night would not dampen his spirits because for him, the only thing that signals the start of a Burning Flames jam “ah de riddim”.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)