The sixties came alive
by Mahes Perera
The opening chords of the Shadow's hit 'Shazam' by the original Jetliners switched on an evening of music of the 60s at the BMICH on Sunday December 19 that will long be remembered and treasured.
The Jetliner Reunion Concert was truly amazing, in that the members after such a long time came together to perform to their fans with the same professional verve and vitality they were associated with, in their halcyon days.
The rhythm section with Indra Raj on guitar, Felix Fernando - bass, Anton Gunewijeya - rhythm guitar and Harris Jurangpathy drums, re-created with ease the fascination of the Shadows repertoire performing selections like Shadoogie, Quartermasters Stores, Foot Tapper, Wooly Bully and more including the catchy Midrun.
It was a pleasure to hear and see Indra Raj still slick and casual with his fretwork that breathed the Shadows fire, and Harris Jurangpathy sounding strong on the skins.
Not forgetting the throbbing bass of Felix Fernando and Anton Gunewijeya's supportive rhythm guitar.
The first set of vocals, was performed by Ishan Bahar who sang 'Young Ones', 'Summer Holiday,' 'On The Beach' and later on in the show 'Funny Feeling I'm Falling in Love With You' and more with the Ishan aplomb.
Mignonne's vocal entry was the appropriate 'Those Were The Days' - sung with a great deal of enthusiasm that immediately drew her fans to her.
There were other songs too 'My Boy Lollipop', 'Mangala Mohotha' which she dedicated to her late husband and Manager of Jetliners Tony Fernando, a vibrant Pata Pata which included audience participation and a rousing Bombay Meri Hai. Her keyboard artistry and arrangements played an important part in the presentation. She was assisted on a second keyboards by Cumar Pieris.
Sohan Pieris back on the Sri Lankan stage swung into the ballads 'Man Without Love', 'Ten Guitars', 'Release Me', 'Green Green Grass of Home' 'Mohair Sam', 'Black is Black', 'Delilah' and 'I Got No Satisfaction' that were lapped up by the audience.
The Original Jetliners Re-Union Concert proved that age was no barrier for showmanship in the music industry which is missing in today's scene.
Their dedication and commitment to their music came through with strength in their performance on stage. The programme was packed with delightful hits of the 60s too numerous to mention due to space.
What a selection they pulled out from the musical chest! Congratulations!
Sunday Observer jan 2 2005
Jetliners shake up Down Under
From a Special Correspondent reporting from Australia
When the curtain went up on January 30 1999 at the Blacktown Civic Centre in Sydney the original Jetliner put to rest doubts and questions in the minds of the Sri Lankan community here whether these six guys, getting together after 35 years, some having quit the music scene completely, could deliver the goods.
The very first note, the very first drum beat after the breathtaking introduction (creatively produced by Sohan and Ishan with the help of Tomie of Sound Shaft Studios, Sydney) had the Sydneyites stunned. As a guest commented, "I didn't know whether to cry or scream in joy. Finally, I did both."
The guitar mastery of Indra Raj (Switzerland) the booming bass of Felix Fernando (Melbourne) and rip-roaring rhythm of Anton Gunavijaya (London) and the dynamic drumming of Harris Jurangpathy (Denmark) zoomed us back to the 1960's and the Coconut Grove of Galle Face Hotel.
Then entered Ishan Bahar (Sri Lanka) beat boy extra-ordinary of the 60s (looking like a page from the swinging sixties) to the strains of the theme song from the Cliff Richard movie the "Young Ones" making everyone feel 35 years younger. And finally to complete the picture came Sohan Pieris (Hawaii) with his smooth rendition of "Man Without Love" which had the couples on the dance floor remembering the good old carefree days. The Jetliners ended the introduction bracket (set) with their version of the Shadows hit "Apache" with footwork, movements and the works.
From then on there was no stopping the Jetliners giving the 525 guests at the Civic Centre the time of their lives with their characteristic renditions of hits of the Shadows, Cliff Richard, Elvis, Englebert to name a few. Saying adieu, with their farewell rendition of the old time classic "May The Good Lord Bless & Keep You" brought tears, flooding us with fond memories of Sri Lanka.
It was no different at the Moorabin Town Hall in Melbourne, the following Saturday, 6th February. The 880 guests were given the full treatment. It was so electrifying that not only did the teeny boppers of the 60's let their hair down, the younger generation, most of them, I'm certain had been dragged by their parents for the show, stood stunned with mouths agape listening to the beautiful, refreshing sounds of the Jetliners, Ishan and Sohan ably supported by the Keyboard wizardry of Raddy Ferreira (Sydney). It was such a "turn-on" some of the teenage girls joined the Jetliners on stage for their final bracket to bump and grind with the boys.
Once again their farewell song was a touching and emotional one.
A special bouquet to Randy Pieris (Sydney) for the great effort to make this "Reunion" a reality. As the "boys" commented in unision, "NO RANDY NO RE-UNION".
Sunday Times Feb 28 1999
The boys reminisced that the going was tough. Gunawijeya used to borrow a bicycle and carrying his guitar cycled daily for practices which took place at Harris Jurampathy's home, Harris remembered the time when they lost their side-drum which had fallen out of the taxi on their way to Beach Road. They spent the wee small hours of the morning looking far it and were successful. It was in a 'thoose boutique' surrounded by people who were trying to figure out how it got there. It was a let - down for me as the drum was punctured and we could not do anything about it" said Harris.