Pacific Express blows ’em away at reunion gig

I couldn’t make it to the Pacific Express reunion  on Saturday night but I have it on good authority that it was  a blast for all who were there.

And whose authority is that, you ask?

None  other than the group’s master-blaster guitarist Issy Ariefdien who teamed  up with  his old sidekicks Ebrahim Khalil Shihab, on piano, Jack Momple on drums and  singer Zayn Adams for the  first time in more than 30 years.

So what did Issy think of the get-together?

“It was mind-blowing,” he told me  on Sunday afternoon.  “I woke up so invigorated this morning, it was the best I’ve felt in a long time.

Veteran guitarist Issy Ariefdien doing what he does best this week.

Veteran guitarist Issy Ariefdien doing what he does best this week.

“We had limited rehearsals during the week and Jack was only able to attend one, but it was as if we had not stopped playing those songs. We just clicked. The two guys we brought in (saxophonist Didier Richards and bassist Greg Higgins for Robbie Jansen and Paul Abrahams respectively) we had a to nurse a little, but that was to be expected.

“The moment we started up, the crowd came forward to the stage. It was phenomenal, it was such a buzz. There was a lot of hugging, and backslapping afterwards. At 71, I was the oldest of the original band, the others are not far behind me. To get that reception made us all feel pretty good.”

Issy was confident that there would be more gigs in the future.

“At a personal level, it was very fulfilling for me. Since I’ve come back from playing in the Middle East three years ago, I’ve only played one gig. This may just have kickstarted my drive again.”



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