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.
“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.”
Issy Ariefdien, the blues king. What I’d give to hear him play again. Keep up the good work Warren.
Issy Ariefdien top class guitarist….