Bass On Fire

Composed by Mark Loquan & Seion Gomez
Lyrics by Gregory "GB" Ballantyne
Sung by Kernal Roberts for Panorama 2016
Produced by Junior "Ibo" Joseph
Copyright © COTT All Rights Reserved


“Bass on Fire” is the 2nd collaboration between Mark Loquan and Seion Gomez as composers, and Gregory “GB” Ballantyne as lyricist, after their popular piece in 2015, “Outta De Box”, which was performed in the National and International Panorama in Trinidad, and other pan events in Toronto and New York. For 2016, the vocals have been performed by the son of the late Lord Kitchener, and soca producer, singer and songwriter in his own right, Kernal Roberts. 

It was while Harmonites was performing “Outta De Box” in preparation for the National Panorama semifinals in 2015 when Mark observed 12-bass player, Dennis, whose fluid motion inspired the genesis of the song. Seion worked out interesting bass lines for the song, giving the song a whole new vibes. 

“The melodic structure of the song was therefore made deliberately simple with the bass lines featuring infectiously between the chord patterns” says Mark. 

The wonderful lyrics, written by Gregory “GB” Ballantyne expanded further to pay tribute to not only the bass players but the bass tuners, including masters Bertrand “Birch” Kelman, Lloyd Gay and several others who are sometimes not mentioned. 

The song has taken several months to complete, but it is rewarding to hear the final product from knowing when the idea behind the song was born. Another exciting collaboration which continues to be go outside the box, but this time to set the bass on fire. To all bass tuners and players, this one is for you. 

Left to Right: Mark Loquan, Junior "Ibo" Joseph, Seion Gomez in the studio

Left to Right: Mark Loquan, Junior "Ibo" Joseph, Seion Gomez in the studio


Dey have a way dey like to boast
‘Bout tenors and all their front line
But leh meh say, put first things first
Respect dem barrels behind
Cause anything yuh trying to build
Foundation must be in place
And in ah steelband, dat is de bass
Whether a 4, or 6 or 9, 
Or a 12 spread out like a flower
Tenors and mid go be naked
With no boom Bass Tower

When de Bass Pan grumble, then de crowd does rumble
If your Bass Pan stifle, you can’t move de people
Bass-Man…..send dem crazy on yuh Bass-Pan
Chord and solo like a Champion
Spin yuh stick and show yuh motion

Is only since Scrunter’s “Woman on de bass”
Dem woman get fresh and want to take we place
Ah come back to spread de word in Port of Spain
To tell dem de Bass Pan is a man’s domain
Panorama, ah telling yuh
It go be amazing
Bassman have dey drums blazing

Ah know indeed, tenors lively
A spider-web full of small notes
And dey lead de melody
And look nice in Powder-coat
But at de end of any day
To tune Bass Pan is an art
Dey doh need no chrome to look de part
We have a lot of tuners who
Specialise in front and middle
But some of dem doh understand
Dey just guessing like a riddle


Bassman have dey drums blazing
Bassman have dem grumbling
Bassman have de ground shaking
Bassman have dey drums blazing

Ah want to play a “Harragin”
A “Coker” or “Bertrand Kellman”
A “Lloyd Gay”, “Wallace Austin”
Or a “Zuzie” bass pan
If “Guppy Brown” or “Lincoln Noel”
Or “Emily Lemmerman”
“Billy Sheeder”, “Glenn Rowsey” blend yuh pan
And “Gunga Din” from Despers jam
Or Harmonites 12-Bass “Dennis”
Ask “Merlin Gill”, yuh blood go chill
To hear all dem Bass Specialists