The Fiji TimesBacktracks: Golden Dragon sixtieth anniversary present – Nathu wanting to carry out with legends


WHEN Jimmy Nathu was nonetheless in highschool within the ’60s, he used to lie in mattress at his Carnarvon St house in Suva, and soak within the sounds of Ken Janson singing on the Golden Dragon nightclub on Victoria Pde.

Already a budding singer and entertainer, Nathu had his sights on getting on stage on the iconic music venue. “And all of it got here true once I not solely scored a gig there within the mid ’80s, but additionally managed to barter a residency with the then supervisor Victor Janson Ho,” Nathu shared.

“I can let you know it was surreal to hold our gear up the well-known stairs that the majority of Fiji’s greats had walked up and to arrange on the identical stage that they did. “It was like getting a stamp of approval – that I had lastly made it – as a result of again then the Golden Dragon was the place.

“In the event you went on stage there, you had earned your home and it was actually humbling to know that I had achieved one thing I had envisioned as a youngster whereas dwelling on Carnarvon St.

“So when Ken invited me to be a part of the Golden Dragon sixtieth anniversary present, there was no means I may say ‘no’.”

Nathu mentioned he was wanting ahead to the joy of performing with a few of Fiji’s legendary musicians, together with jazz guitarist Tom Mawi, rock fusion guitarist Maxie Columbus, keyboard wizard Henry Foon, drummer John Shankaran and Fiji’s godfather of music Ken Janson.

Nonetheless, he mentioned getting on stage on the present on Saturday, March 18 at Membership Central will likely be a bittersweet reunion of kinds. Lots of the musicians the previous shoemaker-turned-musician rubbed shoulders with have handed on.

And lots of who carried out alongside him on the Golden Dragon nightclub on Victoria Pde in 1986 and 1987 won’t be able to journey to Sydney, Australia, for the present. “I had a extremely nice band on the Dragon with the Kamoe brothers – John, Victor and Mesu, certainly one of Fiji’s best bassists and musicians in Luke Uluiburotu who was later changed by Paul Vaurasi.

“We did numerous rock and summary songs that different bands wouldn’t contact – and it was thrilling stuff.”

Nathu mentioned he hoped to deliver a few of that pleasure on stage on the Diamond Jubilee gig. However to be taught extra about his entry into the native music scene, we’ve to wind the clock again about 50 years.

Nathu emerged on the music scene within the late ’60s after being coaxed by then photojournalist Bharat Jamnadas. “I used to be in Fifth Type at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Excessive and after faculty, I’d catch the bus into city and go to our household shoe store, Meangers, on Victoria Pde in Suva. “After I walked to our house in Carnavon St, I used to go previous the Outdated City Corridor and I simply couldn’t assist however be drawn to the music that was belted out of there.”

The Outdated City Corridor (now house to the Winery and different eating places) was one of many Capital Metropolis’s many dance halls on the time. Males doled out 30 pence and ladies 20 pence to bounce to the music of stay bands reminiscent of The Trimilords, Quin Tikis, Bandpower and Maroc 5.

It was there that he bought his first expertise on stage after Jamnadas actually pushed him to carry out with Saimone Vuatalevu’s band, the Quin Tikis. The remaining, as they are saying, was historical past.

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