By Vanessa

The all-girl band, Saarkie, needs no introduction in the Lowveld. They graced us with their presence during Innibos a few times, and then again earlier on this month when they appeared live at Rango’s in Nelspruit.

This amazing rock band hails from the City of Tshwane and two of these lovely ladies sports degrees in music. They have performed alongside great South African talent, such as Piet Botha, The Parlotones and Southern Gypsy Queen. Their music is pure rock ‘n roll – you know, the kind of music you have to tap your foot to. The music you listen to on a Friday night to get you in the mood for a night of jolling. Their stage performance is nothing short of kick-ass and the dynamic between them comes to the fore while they’re doing their thing on stage. Super-talented, ultra-sexy and elegantly bad-ass is the best way I can describe them.

We have Adele Fouchè on lead vocals and guitar, Lila Botha on drums and Erika Pretorius on bass guitar and keys, and together they create a fusion of Afrikaans and English rock music with its very own unique flare.

So, at Rango’s earlier in November they once again set the stage alight with another mind-blowing performance. Having been to more than just one of their shows, I could tell by the people who attended that they have gained their groupies and fans. We rock ‘n rolled together with familiar faces in Nelspruit and it wasn’t long before people were shaking their legs to proudly South African rock ‘n roll.

Any Saarkie fan will tell you that their talent spreads far and wide. They do fantastic covers of Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning”, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and this alone indicates their knowledge of classic rock. It is not often an artist can cover a hit by a legendary band and get away with it, yet these women take classic rock songs and give them a new edge. It is safe to say that they bring old songs back to life with a feminine touch.

I managed to catch up with this superb trio in a virtual interview, and this is what they had to say:

STM: Why the name “Saarkie”?

Saarkie: When we were in school (Grade 10) we entered Rockspider (a competition) and we didn’t have a name. As kids we read the books “Trompie” and “Saartjie” and we thought it would be a cool name for a band (but by accident, we spelt it wrong).

STM: What do you guys do for fun?

Adele: Adventure sports, gardening and ‘n lekker Braai

Lila: love playing tennis, fly fishing and enjoy cooking a good meal

Erika: I have the cutest spaniel dogs and love spending time with them, I usually catch up on series or go out to support live music venues in Johannesburg.

As a band when we have some free time we enjoy exploring new areas of the country we have not yet seen, it keeps us inspired.

STM: Any embarrassing moments on stage?

Lila: My drum chair collapsed mid-song and I had to continue playing with my arms above my head.

Adele: I tripped over a monitor while playing a song.

Erika: Adele and I bumped our guitars against each other in a moment of excitement and it instantly detuned our instruments.

Saarkie on stage - photo by Momento Photography
Saarkie on stage
(Photo by Momento Photography)

STM: Tell us where Saarkie wants to be in 5 years?

Saarkie: Running SA’s top charts and touring the world with our music.

STM: Any advice for upcoming SA artists?

Saarkie: Whenever you think you’ve practised enough – go practice some more. Don’t stop making music even if people come and go… and most importantly, go out there and live… good music comes from deep life experiences.

If you have not yet seen Saarkie live, you are in for a unique, vibrant and super energetic performance that will leave you writhing with musical satisfaction. Their shows are not to be missed, so be sure to like their Facebook page to be kept updated with upcoming shows!

Thank you to Renee of Momento Photography for the pictures!

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.