Will Taylor be “tailored” for Guyana leg of CWC?
—popular entertainer seeking accreditation
January 7, 2007
Local cricket enthusiast, Joseph Taylor, well known for his comedy routines at cricket matches, is gearing to perform at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence during the staging of Super Eight matches of Cricket World Cup (CWC).
But, like many other local entertainers, he has to await a decision by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) on whether he will be accredited or take his place beyond the boundary as a normal spectator.
One LOC source stressed that the stadium will not shun entertainment as is the perceived notion stirred by the several new rules about security for CWC and the stringent restrictions laid down in the Sunset Legislation, at the request of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Taylor told Kaieteur News that he has made submissions to the LOC seeking accreditation, but when contacted yesterday, a senior LOC source said that no entertainer has been accredited. The source added that there are plans to accommodate local entertainers and these were still under consideration.
Derek Jones, senior legal counsel of the CWC, had suggested that cricket entertainers should be accredited in order to keep the West Indian cricket spirit alive.
Taylor, who said he found his calling after popular Antiguan cricket entertainer ‘Gravy' announced his retirement, promises to add the Caribbean culture, character and feel to matches.
“You could expect fun because I personally am going there to keep the crowd going. You go to watch cricket but you must have a side attraction. If you take aside the side attraction, what will you be left with?” Taylor questioned.
In each territory there are various characters-- there is Mac Fingall, who along with his band has rocked Kensington Oval in Barbados for over a decade, and ‘Gravy' who has entertained fans with his antics and contortions at the Antigua Recreation Ground.
Then there is also Chickie's HiFi which also keeps fans alive at the Antigua Recreation Ground. Not to be forgotten in Bunny the nutseller at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad .
Closer to home, Taylor has picked up bat and ball and, is eager to display his wares at CWC.
Popularly known as ‘Pepsi man” or “horn man”, Taylor said that he has plans to perform skits during the various breaks and will be whipping-up the crowd in a frenzy with his air horn between the overs.
“For CWC 2007 I am putting together some skits depicting Guyana's culture and other aspects of it because people need to know about what Guyana has to offer and what we are about…During the overs you can count on me to get the crowd going…Cricket in the West Indies is fun not a drag. It is almost impossible to keep us in our seats for an entire match without jumping and gyrating,” Taylor stressed.
His career as a cricket entertainer started at Bourda during South Africa 's tour of West Indies in 2004.
He subsequently performed in Trinidad and Tobago , Antigua and Barbados during the tour, with his entire body painted in Carib colours.
Taylor alluded that as a youth, he marveled when now deceased cricket entertainer “Bolo” would woo fans with his witty performances during the lunch and tea breaks.
According to the now seasoned entertainer, the death of “Bolo” left a void which he just had to fill.
“From going to cricket at Bourda sometimes people does be so bored that they need somebody to pump up the crowd and I just decide to start doing it and the crowd started going behind me and I start getting sponsorship to perform,” Taylor recalled.
Over the years, Taylor , now 41, has become a beloved character who breaks the otherwise dead silence around cricket venues with his air horn which is fitted with a bicycle pump to create the influential sounds.
“The way this horn is configured, you can hear it from a distance…I blow it with a rhythm and the crowd responds to it. If I toot the horn one time, the entire crowd will clap, hit bottles or whatever they have one time. If I toot the horn two times, they respond with two hits and it keeps going…,” Taylor stated
He said that he has become accustomed to people staring at him along the road.
Taylor noted that while most people greet him and say job well done, others just stare at him in amazement.
He has been pointed out to children by their parents as “the Pepsi man who does blow the horn at cricket”.
“At first people wanted to know who was this fella because even down to female wedding gown I would put on. People would say this fella crazy, but it is all a part of entertainment. No vulgarity; clean fun,” Taylor stated.
He has also sported Indian dresses like the sari and the dhoti, but most of his performances have seen him wearing mostly paint.
The Sunset Legislation which was passed in Parliament, November last, seeks to control everything from alcohol to the type of food and clothes fans will be allowed to wear at an ICC designated venue.
This is something really new to Guyana , a country that is known for enjoying cricket in a festive atmosphere.
According to an LOC source it might be tailored, but it has to be done.