WINDHOEK –Namibia’s Rock sensation, 19-year-old Savannah, brought things to boiling point last Friday evening in the Boiler Room with her soaring vocals and immaculate acoustic guitar playing.
The classy solo act, fresh back from her first year as music student in Cape Town, notched up energy levels with her opening song, before the inevitable I Love Rock and Roll had everyone on their feet. In an awe-inspiring performance of her new home-grown, Gypsy Grunge Rock genre, she delivered spirited versions of Jimmy Hendrix’s Hey Joe and Michelle Shocked’s Cherry Tree. New material out of her pen included Found Myself, Be Free, Pack my Things and the rousing Be Free.
From the moment she started assaulting the strings of her pitch-black Ibanez guitar with a sparkling version of Proud Mary and her down-home charms, you know it was going to be a blast. By the time she got to her closing song, I Love Rock and Roll, members of the audience were dancing on the tables and one guy even joined her on the stage to show appreciation for the unique brand of music the rock chic has brought to Windhoek after recording her first demo in Cape Town and appearing with some of the hottest acts there. Her spunky mixture of old-fashioned Blues/Rock and her own Gypsy Grunge is something never witnessed before in Namibia where solo acts either stick to traditional sounds or the la-di-da stuff you hear on the radio.
Oozing power and spirituality, and magnetic to watch, her decision to be a solo act is testament to her belief that this is the music that matters and it is demonstrated with every song she tackles. Savannah already had the crowd hanging onto her lips at her first appearance back on home soil at this year’s NamRock at the West Nest Lodge where she set things ablaze with her bluesy guitar riffs, accompanied by her trademark raspy vocals. Her strength lies in her ability to get the audience out of their seats, yet, make them quiet down when the powerful emotions of her melodies impact during especially her new songs.
Someone in the crowd summed it up best when he said “f this girl’s greatest guitar bits and singing do not make your worm glow, then nothing will”.
Catch Savannah live this holiday season on Friday December 27 at the Kalahari Hotel. Her last appearance on home soil will be at the Hilton Hotel on January 9, 2014.
By Deon Schlechter