1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Move Up – Mango Groove

Move Up - Mango Groove

Move Up – Mango Groove

Way back in 1987 a group called Mango Groove decided to move up the Radio 5 and Capital 604 charts. They peaked at 6 on the former and topped the latter with a catchy tune called, erm, ‘Move Up’.  Not quite as fast paced as some of their other tracks but no less danceable to. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that you could sway rhythmically to the tune on the dance floor than actually show off your more frenetic moves as the song has a gentle lilt to it which takes pleasant to new heights.

And for those of you who have spent time studying the dance moves in the TV and film productions of Jane Austin novels, there is a neat little string quartet interlude to bow and curtsy to your partner to. But on the whole it’s a lekker piece of finger-clicking, foot tapping, laid-back, groovy music. Muted brass gives a warm bed for Claire Johnson to roll her vocals around on and a pennywhistle reminds us where the band is from. There is, also a slightly calypso sound to the song (a little like some of the Goombay Dance Band stuff, but less cheesy).

The video for the song firstly placed the band in a trendy bar with classily dressed Claire Johnson drinking cocktails, then moves on to Zoo Lake in Johanesburg where they go out on a rowing boat, dressed to the nines. Personally, I would have stuck Claire in a grass skirt and had her doing a hula dance under the palm trees on a beach down the South Coast of Natal as the song seems to fit that image. But then that may have been too raunchy for us way back in the 80’s.

Where to find it:
Mango Groove – The Essential Mango Groove (2008), Gallo, CDREDD 694 (AN)


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