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Legendary English jazz-funk band Shakatak is returning to Cape Town for one night only

Shakatak. Picture: Supplied

Shakatak. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 7, 2023


Put on your dancing shoes as Shakatak, the legendary English jazz-funk band, are returning to Cape Town for a one night only show on Saturday, September 30, as part of their 40th anniversary world tour.

Jazz lovers can expect all their classical hits such as “Night Birds”, “Down on the Street” plus the band’s 12 entries into the “Guinness Book of British Hit Singles”.

The band, comprising Jill Saward (lead vocals), Bill Sharpe (keys), Keith Winter (guitar), George Anderson (bass) and Roger Odell (drums) are looking forward to meeting fans.

Independent Media Lifestyle recently interviewed Sharpe ahead of the show.

He said: “As you get older, you look at life differently, we travelled a lot over the years, we enjoy playing outside of our home time as we don’t get to do it as often anymore.

“We live simple lives these days as we are much older now. We spend a lot of time in the garden.

“I love playing golf with my friends, it’s an easy way to pass time, I don’t play much but I enjoy that and my gardening. I still practise on piano often.”

Sharpe remembers the days they performed “Night Birds” in their younger days.

He added: “’Night Birds’ always had that extra adrenalin with the audiences and ourselves when we performed it.

“The song has always been that much of a hit and we always aim to uphold that same energy, well it’s not exactly the same anymore but the sound of music still serves its purpose with this song.”

The band members are now in their late sixties to early seventies.

The band’s last visit was at the Cape Town Jazz Festival 10 years ago.

Sharpe says their best show in their career was performed at the Three Arts Theatre in Plumstead, Cape Town, in 2003.

The keys-player said their music remained vibrant because it was recorded live.

“When you record live as a band in studio, and the sound is not sedated, the way we recorded it is a contribution to the success our music enjoys today.”

Comparing the impact of music sales of yesteryear with today, Sharpe admitted their sales have taken a dip.

“Technology has a huge impact on record sales, the internet is great for many reasons, but not so great for other reasons where it’s now seeing a drop in sales for our music.

“Streaming sites such as Spotify are good for those who want to access music, but not for the musician who needs to sell music.

Shakatak. Picture: Supplied

“When we started we could make a good living of playing music and selling records, but now it’s tougher to make money out of selling records unless you’re Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and those right at the top.

“For a lot of bands it’s difficult, the internet is wonderful, but it’s really affected old and young musicians.”

Before Shakatak serenades the audience, the audience will have the pleasure of being entertained by old-school disco diva, Vuvu Kumalo, accompanied by the Soul Select band.

Vuvu Kumalo. Picture: Supplied

Known and respected for her powerful multi-octave vocal delivery and impressive on-stage presence, Kumalo is no stranger to GrandWest, Artscape and The Baxter, having shared the stage with the likes of Sybil, Tevin Campbell, Peaches and Herb, as well as Chad Saaiman, Loukmaan Adams and James Bemgee.

The one-night only show, in partnership with “Daily Voice”, takes place on Saturday, September 30 at GrandWest Grand Arena. Doors open 7pm, show starts 8pm.

Tickets are available from R325 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.