Saturday, December 09, 2006


I knew Shakatak since long time ago when I was still in university back in 1980. They were quite easily remembered for two reasons, the sweet but dynamic music and the unique name. In bahasa Indonesia, katak means frog.

However, I knew nothing about the personnel and where they came from, until I was in Senayan hall watching their live performance. When I wrote this blog, I got more knowledge about them...

SHAKATAK grew from two disparate bands, the TRACKS and NORTHERN LIGHTS. The first
single was pressed and sold through a record shop in London by mail order. The shop was called the RECORD SHACK.
Polydor Records got to hear this "white label" and offered the band (as yet un-named) a recording contract.

The name SHAKATAK was decided upon by way of a "thank you" to the RECORD SHACK for their distribution, and the word ATTACK was added simply because it sounded good! By dropping the C's and a T the logo SHAKATAK was born.

The first "official" line up was BILL SHARPE (keys) KEITH WINTER (gtr) ROGER ODELL (drs) with GEORGE ANDERSON (bs gtr) later replacing Steve Underwood after the first album.

It was "Night Birds" that made the group famous in both England and the rest of the world, including in Bandung, the city where I studied.
It's pretty cool to see the old video!

Their albums, "Invitations" and "Out Of This World", were recorded in 1982 and 1983.
Jill Saward came forward as lead vocalist on their fifth album "Down On The Street".

In JakJazz, other than Jill Saward (lead vocs), there were Bill Sharpe (keyboards), Keith Winter (guitar), Roger Odell (drums), and Jacqui Hicks (backing vocals, sax & flute). It seemed that George Anderson (bass guitar) and and Alan Wormald (guitar & b.vocs) didn't show up. Anybody knows who played the bass guitar?