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First Serenade band of old
First Serenade band of old

One expects the first thing and the original thing of anything would be the same thing. Or, at least, if these two things were in existence at the same time, the first and the original of that thing would be like twins. Think again. And, by the way, sorry for the confusion.

However, when it comes to Serenade, the popular band of the Nineties of Pointe Michel, the two Serenades that now exist in the village are not the same. And, most importantly, the First and the Original Serenades are at war, not only legally, but also for the hearts, ears and minds of their fans.

"There's only one First Serenade in Dominica," says Christopher Dangleben matter-of-factly. (He is the public relations officer of the First Serenade). "The other band is a breakaway of some members who went and formed their own band and decided to call itself Original Serenade."

The original First Serenade (sorry, couldn't resist that one) has been defunct for seven years and the band, or part of it, made a come-back in August 2013. Their first big gig was at the LIME Creole in the Park in October which was quickly followed by Fete La Pwent during the recent Independence celebrations. Among members of the new band are: Carlton Winston, Stanley Winston, Lloyd JnoBaptiste, Christopher Dangleben, Adrian Mitchel and Kelvin Dobson. Lloyd Jno Baptiste and Alisha Ducreay are the new lead singers.

Obviously, the point of contention between the First and Original Serenades is the word "Serenade" and who is the rightful and legal owner of that name. "Well definitely," says Carton Winston, the co-founder of the "original" (sorry, again; we meant "first") Serenade. "I must say there is some misunderstanding because at the end of the day they were not supposed to use that name. It is causing some controversy."

And lots of confusion too, Carlton.

Since Stanley, Adrian and Carlton apparently wrote most of the music contained in the 13 albums of the First Serenade, the new First Serenade argues strongly that it has the legal right to the name "Serenade". But that's for the court to decide if the case ever gets there.

"All these guys are in First Serenade," Winston said. "They were the writers and producers."

According to Winston, there are some similarities between the "original" First Serenade and the current First Serenade but there have been some major changes.

"We have remodeled the band," he said. "Apart from the six founders, we have brought in younger guys and they have done wonders. The old and the young together- I cannot complain."

Additionally, no longer can Pointe Michel village claim to be the home of the second First Serenade.