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Tracks, the Stortford band that spawned 1980s chart act Shakatak, re-form for Rhodes gig




Tracks, the Bishop's Stortford jazz rock band from which 1980s chart act Shakatak emerged, are re-forming for a homecoming gig at Rhodes Arts Complex.

Formed in 1980, jazz funksters Shakatak had top 10 hits in the UK singles charts with Night Birds (1982) and Down on the Street (1984), both of which reached No 9. They also had top 20 hits with Easier Said Than Done (No 12 in 1981) and Dark is the Night (No 15 in 1983).

Their second LP, Night Birds, gave Shakatak their first gold album, entering at No 4 and remaining in the charts for 28 weeks. By now a major international act, its success brought them the No 1 jazz album slot in Japan, and attracted interest across Europe and South America.

Shakatak in their 1980s heyday - from left, bass player George Anderson, guitarist Keith Winter, singer Jill Saward, drummer Roger Odell and keyboard player Bill Sharpe (14965991)
Shakatak in their 1980s heyday - from left, bass player George Anderson, guitarist Keith Winter, singer Jill Saward, drummer Roger Odell and keyboard player Bill Sharpe (14965991)

The four-piece is still active all over the world and has an especially strong fanbase in Japan and the Far East. But two of its founding members – keyboard player Bill Sharpe and drummer Roger Odell – have now returned to their Stortford roots and re-formed Tracks, their original band.

In the early 1970s, Tracks – consisting of Sharpe, Odell, guitarist and fellow former Stortford resident Keith Winter, and bass guitarist Martin Elliott from Harlow, formerly of the Michael Nyman Band – started to play regular Sunday sessions in what was the Triad Centre, just a few yards over the road from Rhodes.

In the Maltings Bar at Rhodes next Wednesday (August 14), as part of the venue's free Live Midweek Music series, Tracks will play mainly original jazz-rock fusion influenced by Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and John McLaughlin.

Tracks – from left, Bill Sharpe, Martin Elliott, Keith Winter and Roger Odell – are coming to Rhodes on Wednesday August 14 (14955157)
Tracks – from left, Bill Sharpe, Martin Elliott, Keith Winter and Roger Odell – are coming to Rhodes on Wednesday August 14 (14955157)

The music starts at 7.30pm. Admission is free, but early arrival to secure a seat is advised.

Visit www.rhodesartscomplex.co.uk for further details.


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