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Twenty years ago the rock world may have had U2, Queen and R.E.M., but we had our very own Mashina. In the 10 years of its first incarnation, Mashina was the Israeli supergroup; there had been nothing like it since Kaveret of the late Sixties and early Seventies. Lead singer Yuval Banai, keyboardist Avner Hodorov, British-born bass guitarist Michael Benson, drummer Iggi Dayan and guitarist Shlomi Braha filled soccer stadiums and auditoriums at will and reeled off hit after hit - starting with "Night Train To Cairo" - for an amazing decade-long rule of the Israeli rock-pop roost.
When Banai et al announced in 1995 that the group was disbanding, a pall fell over teenagers and twentysomethings across the country. Eight long years elapsed after that "final" concert in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park before Mashina was resurrected, to commensurate success with gigs and recordings. Two years after the initial reunion, Mashina will play at Tel Aviv's Zappa Club this Saturday evening - a mix of old and new material.
Like the Rolling Stones, Mashina may not be filling stadiums any more (Zappa can hold only about 400 people), but show producer Shuki Weiss is unfazed by the downscaling.
"Over the years the group received dozens of tempting financial offers that would have convinced any other artists to get back on stage. But Mashina turned them all down," said Weiss. "It was clear that they would only get back together when they felt it was right for all of them on a personal and artistic level, and not for any other reason.
"Now the time is right."
Saturday, 9 p.m., Zappa Club, Rehov Raoul Wallenberg 24, Ramat Hahayal, Tel Aviv. (03) 649-9550,