Windhoek-Now that the Take Note Music Festival has come and gone, the message that everyone took away from this incredible event, where no less than 100 musicians performed in Windhoek over the weekend, is that live music in Namibia is alive and well and here to stay.
What originally started out as an informal gathering for band members and owners of Take Note Music shop three years ago, has transformed into one of Namibia’s major live music show with 1,200 concertgoers attending this year’s event.
A turnout of 23 different acts comprising rock, blues, acoustic, jazz and electro swing to mention some saw musicians coming together for the love of the music over two days.
The open-air festival held in the beer garden courtyard of Take Note was buzzing with a programme of back-to-back live performances from last Friday evening hitting a high note on the Saturday when the last band struck a chord at mid-day.
Delicious homemade food, bar service, socialising and good vibes was the order of the two days, as music lovers flocked through the gates to be part of this not to be missed occasion, where they celebrated a few firsts.
Up and coming band from Walvis Bay ‘Wakambi’, which is making waves on the music scene, has just dropped their five-track EP, which they recorded at the new Nautilus studio in Swakopmund, treated the audience to their home grown fusion of funk rock/hip-hop.
Another first was the talented Savannah’s video shoot of the title song off her debut album Be Free, played to full blast at the end of her powerful solo acoustic set to create even more hype for her already strong following.
Meanwhile Steve Slabber, the lead singer of the heavy metal group As Night Fades, tamed the ‘beast’, with the band taking it down a notch to deliver an acoustic rendition of themselves.
The amazing sounds of Blikweg, and popular solo artist John Rock Prophet put an independent spin on their original Afrikaans songs, whilst Bourbon & Traffic lit up the stage with their instrumental jazz swing performance.
One of the highlights was the powerhouse performance of Cape Town band ‘Rumswinger’, fronted by the petite blond, dynamo Carla Louw, who bopped and sang to their electro party swing rendition of popular songs.
Bold sax playing accompanied by a techno DJ fusion gave Namibian audiences a taste of Gypsy jazz – something they have never heard or seen before.
Musicians ranged in age from young starlets to impressive swinging veterans, some of whom were in their 60s but rocked it out like true pros.
Mention must be made of drummer Hartmut Wenk, currently performing in three bands, but he has played for over four decades in countless bands.
Lead guitarist and vocalist of Road House Blues band Thomas Bockemuller leaves you speechless with his world-class guitar skills, tackling amongst other ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar solos with impeccable precision.
Not taking a back seat is Marian Reder, the keyboard player of the six-piece Steam Rock Band who, along with her seasoned band members, have done an excellent job of reviving 60s and 70s rock music. Marian is also the co-owner of Take Note and one of the main organisers of this event.
Other bands included Desdemona, Rush Hour, Koos Van Zyl, Famaz Attak, Wolfhunt and the Jaco Jaco Band. Last but not least were the dedicated sound technicians Wouter De Bruyn and Phil Schmaman, who gave each artist their best, and without whom the show wouldn’t have been the same.
The team of Take Note organisers have meanwhile been flooded with compliments and positive feedback about the festival. Next year the event may see two concerts as many more bands have expressed interest.