Shakira’s hips and all that jazz
By VASHTY MAHARAJ Monday, April 28 2008
IF YOU, man or woman, were not already in love with Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll before, then you would certainly have fallen in love on Saturday night at the Plymouth Jazz Festival.
The tiny blonde dynamo shook the crowd with her almost flawless performance as she bellydanced and pranced her way barefooted across the stage belting out a delightful blend of both her Latin and English hits.
From the moment she entered the stage the crowd went wild, climbing on their chairs to get a better look at the hip-swaying 31-year old beauty from Colombia who has charmed the world with her hits and hips.
The high-energy performance was briefly interrupted into her second song when there was a power outage on the stage and there was some panic in the audience that the show would be brought to an abrupt halt but Shakira handled the situation beautifully and reassured the crowd that “these things happen” and even if the lights had gone she was not leaving.
Her performance for the night included several costume changes, ending with a belly-dancer’s outfit in shades of blue and purple in which she performed her international hit “Hips Don’t Lie”. As usual her hip swinging movements could have brought grown men to tears. Her other major hits performed included “Don’t Bother”, “Whenever, Wherever” and “Underneath Your Clothes”.Though the night belonged to Shakira there were other sterling performances from the eternally youthful Steelpulse and the four fashion-plates of En Vogue.
Though Steelpulse has been around since the 1970s the group’s music continues to be relevant and meaningful into this century. At this stage in their lifecycle the group has their performance down to a professional ‘T’ and this was what they presented as they flowed from one international hit to the next. Diehard fans were able to hear all their favourites including “Rally Round the Red, Gold, Black and Green”, “Life Without Music”, “Bodyguard”, “Earth Crisis” and “Steppin’ Out”.
The four women of En Vogue reunited in Plymouth for the first time since the group dispersed in the late 1990s to follow solo careers or to raise families.
Speaking to the media before their performance the foursome indicated that the Plymouth Jazz Festival was the first concert on the agenda since they had been discussing reuniting and they were more than happy to start here. The women who are the four original members of the group which went through some changes in members during the 90s, looked stunning and very fit during their performance.
There were some signs of first-time jitters in the opening stages of their performance but they settled down and treated the crowd to renditions of “My Lovin’, (You’re Never Gonna Get It”, “Whatta Man”, “Giving me Something” and “Hold On”.
The opening act for the evening was local band Roy Cape and The All Stars and they did their people proud as they experimented with everything from soca to R&B to soul, pop and reggae. The three lead singers of Olatunji, Blaxx and Trini Jacob worked hard to stir the early evening crowd which was not quite revved up enough at that hour. But it was Jacob who stole the hearts of the crowd with an amazing rendition of “Tradewinds” where she showed her versatility and range to an appreciative audience.
The Woodbrook Playboyz Steel Orchestra also serenaded the crowd throughout the night and kept the local flavour alive.