The PASS arkives (re)awaken with a performance from Netsayi and her Black Pressure band. Doreen Gaura takes us back:
Just a little over 10 minutes into the show, she removed her high heeled shoes and jokingly feigned regret for the action as she apologised to the audience, suggesting that she’d only worn them for our sake. It was at that moment that I realised that I was in the presence of spirit and realness and I was in for a great night. Zimbabwean electro – folk band Netsayi & Black Pressure, graced Cape Town with their electro-meets-traditional energy when they performed at the Slave Church on October 5th, 2012 and I had the pleasure of attending their gig. I am generally not the most punctual of humans and that night was no exception as I arrived just as the show was about to start and my waiting friends and I had to hustle for some seats in the gallery as all the ones downstairs were already occupied. This little bit of misfortune later turned into a blessing as my positioning at the far right end of the back row of the gallery made it possible for me to jive away to the band’s more jivable tunes without really disturbing everyone else who chose to remain seated for some weird reason. After all, it wasn’t that kind of party.
The band’s presentation of their individual and collective gifts and offerings was very memorable; from Ray’s tenor/soprano marimba and bass vocal awesomeness to Matthew’s mad skills on the baritone marimba and electric guitar to Ngoni’s badassery on the ngoma and drums to Netsayi herself’s captivating voice. Their performance also featured South African trombonist and singer, Siya Makuzeni, whose beautiful voice added a Xhosa flavour to the mostly Shona and English set. Through their music, Netsayi & Black Pressure comment on various realities, issues, joys and struggles in people’s everyday lives, mostly Zimbabwean people, both in Zimbabwe and in the Zimbabwean diaspora. A natural conversationalist, Netsayi kept the performance interactive by regularly engaging with the audience between songs and encouraging them to interact with her, using her dry sense of humour as a tool to do so.