June 28th 2014, a warm sunny Saturday, saw the choir up nice and early and making its way to Birstall Methodist Church to lay down the tracks of its first professionally recorded album. At 8a.m. a few eager members arrived to help set up mikes, run cables, do sound checks, set levels and the most important job on a day such as this, make sure the tea urn was full !
By 9a.m. everyone had arrived in various degrees of alertness. We were in place and ready to start. After a warm up we were off, starting with Famba Naye, to lift our spirits and get us in the mood for a full day of song and hard work. It certainly did the trick.
There was no holding us back now, we were on a roll with most tracks only needing one take despite the occasional interruption from lorry, plane or eager passerby who tried to be a part of our album.
It was 3 p.m. We had laid down all the tracks, including the beautiful thought provoking Sinomhlobo and Shenandoah; the toe tapping, uplifting gospel number I’ll fly away; the always popular Kwabonakala andFamba Naye and the haunting Ya baha ul Abha.
The end of the day saw the whole choir on the front steps of the church for a photograph which in typical Amika style turned into an impromptu performance as we all burst into song, startling the passersby on their way to the Birstall fete.