West Indies Round Up: I said, don´t worry about a thing... - Tour Review - Web Blog - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

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West Indies Round Up: I said, don´t worry about a thing... - Tour Review

I said, don´t worry, about a thing...

... cause every little thing is gonna be alright, ba ba da da daa da.

Ahhh, the catch cry of the Caribbean. Along with a few other songs that the DJs in the stands play until the CD is completely worn out (this is long after the brain has been battered from hearing the song over and over and over again).

Anyway, here´s my top ten of the West Indies cricket tour (some of these, you just had to be there). This top ten does exclude a few things, such as:

- meeting the prime minister of Antigua, even though his cook had given us the slip,
- tampering with the scoreboard,
- meeting various cricket celebs,
- the fire ant infestation at Lashings bar,
- climbing over the stands in the gimp mask,
- the Bajan party tent,
- Snowcone,
- and others.

Anyway, if you have a few minutes spare, read on...

10. "Surge": I have an unsettling feeling that there will be an over supply of a drink called "Surge" in Barbados. In the Bajan party tent, they were serving a drink called "Surge", a mixture of rum and lemonade(?) - basically like a Lemon Ruski, but with rum instead of vodka. Very easy to drink.

Well, we set up "Surge Corner" next to the bar, and anyone who walked in the vacinity was required to drink Surge. We lived, breathed, ate, and drank, Surge.

We started the Surge chants, from the basic "Surge, Surge, Surge, Surge..", to a VBish "Surge in the morning when you wake up, Surge when you´ve been to the post office, Surge because you haven´t had one for two minutes, Surge while watching the cricket, etc (basically anything stupid that could be thought up). I think we had enough for the entire population of Barbados, hence my concern for the local economy when the fridges are full of Surge, but no-one´s drinking them, because the Aussies are no longer in town.

9. "BBQ chicken": I don´t know where they came from, because I never saw any crossing the road, nor did I see any farms, but the Carribean folk subsist entirely on chickens. Every where you go there would be a BBQ stand set up, slowly cooking the tender, delicious, local sauce basted, tasty chicken. I had some sort of magnetic attraction to this chicken. In fact, I think I almost turned into a chook. "I gave my love a chicken, it had no bone. Hmmm, chicken".

8. "We´re on, we´re on": One thing some of you may have noticed at home (if you wree up watching the cricket at 1am on Fox Sports), was some of our ugly mugs popping up on TV.

This wasn´t entirely due to luck - we basically became camera sluts, and did whatever we thought would go on TV. It also helped having the boom operator (if you remember the song "Smooth Operator", then you can pretty much guess what we sang at him all day) right in front of us. We also had the advantage of having a TV screen right above us, so we knew when we were on TV and therefore should play up a bit more.

Anyway, one day in Antigua, a local lass had the unfortunate pleasure (from her point of view, I´m sure), of walking into our little web. She was promptly surrounded, and for the next hour or so, we kept on telling her "we´re on, we´re on... oh, we´re off now... no, no, we´re back on, we´re on" etc, this was usually regardless of whether we were on or not - the majority of the time we weren´t, but she enjoyed all the dancing and frivolity that was, on the whole, never on TV.

7. "Songs for the players": There´s pretty much a different song that is sung for every player. So, you must feel somewhat sorry for those that miss out. Anyway, one of the spare players on the tour was running drinks to McGrath on the boundary in front of us. I leaned over the railing had a look, leant back, and asked somewhat loudly "who´s that guy?", to which Woz (tour leader) reply "you can´t say that!" I guess you really should know the players.

Anyway, Bazza then leaned forward a bit a half whispered/shouted (an interesting combination), "hey mate, tell us your name, and we´ll make up a song about you!". He didn´t reply, but we think he was Noffke or something or rather. We never did make up that song.

6. "Parties in the stands": One of things I really loved about the cricket in the West Indies, is that the people are really friendly, relaxed and love to party. This was never made more evident than in Antigua when after a day´s play, the DJ kept going, and the stands turned into one big dance party - the whole Oil stand was shaking from people jumping up and down to the rhythm of the beat, and the sweet smell of spinach.

5. "A thousand thanks from Venkat": Well, the umpires need attention too, and to Venkat we started chanting: "Venkat, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah, Venkat, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah, Venkat..." (this to the tune of Thunderstruck for those having difficulty following what I mean). We persisted, and Venkat eventually turned around, hands clasped tog ether in the prayer form, and gave us a slight bow. It felt really monumental at the time.

4. "Tugger has a trundle": Steve Waugh, whether by deliberate act, or by coincidence, placed himslef in the field outside the much vaunted Bajan Party tent where we had taken residence for most of the Barbados test. Not content with Tugger having scored a century, we wanted him to have a bowl as well.

So the chant went up: (to the tune of "Oaah Ahh Glenn McGrath") "Steve Waugh have a bowl, I said Steve Waugh have a bowl".

This went on for a while, until Tugger eventually turned around, and gestured slightly for us to quieten down. He then proceeded to go through his stretches. The roar was deafening, and only eclipsed by the roar, when at the end of the over, he took off his beloved baggy green and approached the crease for a couple of overs. Who says the crowd doesn´t effect proceedings!

3. "Beach cricket with Boof and Binga": Richie Richardson´s bar in Antigua, "Lashings", was the site of many large nights, and it had the advant age of being right on the beach (another advantage for Richie was that his band played there - lucky he owned the bar). So, many games of beach cricket ensued. The last night being particularly special when Aussie cricket team came along following the conclusion of the test.

We managed to get Boof and Brett Lee to join in, they played around for a bit, and they had some fun, until Bazza got into the attack. Electing to go ´round the
wicket´to Boof, the stringy right armed Tasmanian ran in with confidence, used the bounce of the pitch to perfection and had Boof ´plum´LBW. The crowd roared, and Bazza celebrated in style - halfway down the pitch doing the ´chainsaw´. Boof´s eyes glinted dangerously and Bazza tore in again with crowd behind him.

A second later, a thick edge from Boof´s bat flew towards slip. Bazza gave a few words as Boof ran menacingly passed him.

Binga proved to be an easier adversary, mainly because he had difficulty holding the bat. Bazza bowled one off a good length, Binga swung heroically, but instead of the ball flying into the sea, the bat did, and the ball continued its merry way into the stumps. Again the roar, again the ´chainsaw´.

2. "Carribean Karaoke": As most know most young Aussies are nott exactly shy of the stage when it comes to singing, especially karaoke.

On one balmy night in Antigua, a few of us journeyed from our hotel, the Royal Antiguan, to the hotel where the boys from London were staying, the Jolly Harbour.

Much to my, and Bird´s, delight, they had a karaoke night there. There was nothing else to do but grab the ´menu´. Ah yes, my favourite: "Twist and Shout", and a few minutes later, a rousing rendition was performed by myself and Bird. Splendid.

We watched a group of people (from another tour I will not mention here, but those present know exactly who we are talking about) taking themselves oh so seriously again & singing some really sh!t songs, and were really getting into it (eg. two guys did an exteremly romantic version of "Islands in the Sea").

I couldn´t help but notice the yawns in the crowd, something needed to be done. Menu in hand, I flicked through and found one of the ultimates in crowd interaction and involvement - an upbeat tune known as "YMCA". This should get them going.

After waiting an eternity to be called up, I took matters in my own hands and told the DJ that as we were about to leave to go catch a plane, we would really like our song to be played. He accepted the predicament, and we were called up. As Bird and I took the microphone, the boys filed up on stage behind us: Bazza, Marko, Roger, Scotty, Yatesy. The song started, and Bird and I were in fine voice, and the crowd were going wild - screaming with delight, and doing the whole Y M C A actions thing.

It wasn´t until halfway thru the song that I turned around to see what the boys were up to that I realised that perhaps it wasn´t our singing that was making everyone so excited: the guys were down to their boxers - pants around ankles, shuffling around the stage, some waving their shirts around their heads a la Kevin Sheedy, some holding their shirts above their heads swaying from side to side with arms apart, and some with shirts extended between their legs doing a bucking bronco style action.

The night degenerated from there - from then on, in every song, regardless of whether we knew the people or not, we were up on stage, taking off shirts, loosening the belt buckles, parading in front of the crowd, and dancing infront of the singers (usually from the afore mentioned unnamed group). We came, we saw, we rocked, we stripped, we gyrated...

1. "The Michael Bolton Affair": This could have been a Darwin award nomination, but the guy lived.

It´s always fun to have a bit of to-ing and fro-ing amongst the crowd, particularly when the opposition are Poms who have resorted to barracking for the Windies because the English are crap.

Anyway, included in this group was a Newman lookalike (many "hello Jerry" followed by "hello Newman" were called out in his direction), and another was a Michael Bolton lookalike ("we´ve got Michael Bolton in our stand, we´ve got Michael Bolton in our stand"... to the tune of 'He's got the whole world...').

Anyway, Michael was trying to tell us how soft we were in the drinking department and kept on raising a very large rum bottle (maybe 1.5 litres) with about a quarter left - it was quite evident that he´d had quite a lot. Well, we wanted him to have the rest, and in a hurry - the cry of "scull, scull, scull..." reverberated around the Oil stand at Recreation Park in Antigua. Good ol´ Michael accepted the challenge, and for fifteen seconds he did a solid scull, and polished off the bottle. Imagine the look of a person about to spew after doing such a feat (ie eyes in different directions, mouth moving around as if it had just sucked on a sour lollie thing), but as Michael was attempting to display his drinking prowess, he kept it all in like a trooper, and had a sip of coke.

We all turned to each other to discuss our amazement at his accomplishment, and turned back to see what he was up to. We couldn´t see him. After his sip of coke, Michael promptly collapse across the seats - I hesitate to say he had passed out, because he looked like he was in some sort of coma.

Well, didn´t we have a field day then. An announcement over the speaker throughout the stand requested "could Michael Bolton please see Dr Eckleston at the DJ booth", and the chants started: "I´m on the rum, I´m
on the rum, I´m on the rum that killed Michael Bolton", and of course, the Michael Bolton classic "How am I supposed to live without you" was sung with great fervour.

An almighty roar was sent up as the medical staff came in carrying a stretcher. Scotty Marshall was duly sent in with video camera to tape the affair, and seeing Michael on the video stretched out face down over three rows of benches rates amongst the funniest sh!t I have ever seen.

But our amusement did not end there. In recognition of his efforts, everyone stood on two rows of benches, hands in the air, and created an avenue of honour about 50 metres long for Michael to be carried through. The medical staff duly complied, and a raggedy Michael bounced unconsciously on the stretcher as we cheered him home.

Oh how we laughed, and wondered whether he would turn up the next day. Much to our surprise, he did, and not only that, he had another bottle of rum in his paws to drink for the day. He was rather quiet that day.
Wed 13/04/2005 Lucas Welsh 156 views

5 Comments about this article

  • Great top ten JukeBox. I thought song of the tour had to be "cheer up Brian Lara". The guy who helped the ground staff during the rain interruption deserves an honourable mention. And don't forget - yep yep yep

    Posted by Brendon Crown Thu May 22, 2003 03:07pm AEST
  • To the tune of Daydream Believer: "Cheer Up Brian Lara, how bad could it be, was it really chicken pox or have, you got VD?"

    Posted by Warren Livingstone Fri May 23, 2003 08:34am AEST
  • Absolutely, Bird - I can´t believe I forgot those, especially the Fanatics ground staff member... he was extremely industrious out there!

    Posted by Lucas Welsh Fri May 23, 2003 11:11am AEST
  • Boys, very humbled by your honourable mention...some great memories there Jukebox - song of the tour for mine, for sheer weight of volume and intensity, was, "VENKAT! NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA! VENKAT!" Binger's LBW decision soon after was priceless!

    Posted by Michael Steengaard Wed May 28, 2003 05:55pm AEST
  • Recurring fancy dress theme of nudity also helped, including 3 guys & a chick skinny dipping at Antigua, the guys scaling plush beach side restraunt deck frame work to ask fo a table for 4. Pretty funny til we realised it was hard to get down (B nude stra

    Posted by Michael Freddy day Fri May 30, 2003 11:50am AEST

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