RASPO - Our Story

RASPO open the One World Stage at 2003 WOMAD in Reading UK

With the nation in lockdown to minimise the spread of Covid-19, this archive is a showcase of RASPO’s past highlights.

Each week during the 2020 lockdown I will be posting videos on this page and to our social network. The selection will capture the historic journey made by RASPO from its creation in 1997 to becoming one of the UK’s top award winning steel bands.

The first video is a throwback from WOMAD Festival in 2003 which took place in Reading. I ran one of the seven stages, The One World Stage showcased a mixture of talks, local artists and international world artists.

2003 – WOMAD Festival Rivermead Reading UK

A very young RASPO opens the stage with a medley of music, me on drums and on cowbell my bearded Trini friend Allan who sadly passed away at the end of 2019.

The second video is a news clip from the 2000 BBC Children in Need Appeal broadcast live to 18 million people across the country. RASPO was invited to represent the South at Reading Concert Hall for a nationwide show compered by Terry Wogan.

2000 BBC – Children in Need Appeal

In this clip RASPO plays Sugar and later joins the nine other regions for the Abba Medley with Dancing Queen.

Next is an ITV news clip from 2006 featuring RASPO’s first collaboration performance with Slough All Stars, their youth band Panachea, and RASPO’s senior ensemble The HummingBirds.

2006 ITV – RASPO Pantastic at The Oracle Reading

In this clip the thirty piece orchestra play The Jacksons’ Can You Feel It.

Then it is back to WOMAD now in Wiltshire where RASPO performs a stage show in the magnificent Siam Tent in 2009.

The 22 piece orchestra features dancers, costumes and this beautiful arrangement of Blue Moon.

2009 – WOMAD Festival Wiltshire UK

At the end of week three of the lockdown (Easter 2020) I’m sharing this uplifting video of RASPO as a fitting reminder that one day we will all be able to celebrate together again.

In 2010 the 18 piece orchestra travel to the Dublin coastal town of Dún Laoghaire for a weekend of Gaelic culture, workshops and performances. RASPO play ‘Movin’ for the energetic carnival finale parade.

2010 – DLR Festival of World Cultures, Dún Laoghaire Dublin Ireland

By Mary Genis