By Marley

It’s a blissful moment, each time I watch Andra on stage.

That first note of pure silence from the crowd as they are simply hypnotized.  Her black guitar sprung notes, sounding like little light bulbs.

Andra during her performance at The Pub, Nelspruit - photo by Small Town Music
Andra during her performance at The Pub, Nelspruit – photo by Small Town Music

In April 2024, Andra along with her fantastic co-musician, Brenda Burnit on a multitude of instruments, made her way down to the Lowveld. Finally, after a long absence, they say “Good comes to those who wait”, and it sure did. On her two-day stopover in the Lowveld, her first night was with the good people in Nelspruit at The Pub. Being a host to Andra in the past it was an easy choice and the cozy fire in the fireplace, aromas of the delicious food and the simple excitement was enough to fill the soul.

As the tables were packed to the max with people, red wine being shared and happy thoughts, Andra and Brenda beautifully decorated the stage. This is done at almost every show of Andra, she painstakingly takes the time to set up the stage with scarves, lights, pillows, and carpets. I don’t know of any other artist who does this. And it’s always like a little surprise to see what she has done.

When they got in their zone, people got excited but no one dared to ask what time the music would start. It will start when it starts and when it does you will wish it never stops. This was this evening to me and as I think about it the energy of the show, I still get a soul smile.  I love to people-watch and see faces that know her music. Singing softly with and to those who are first timers, now those are the people I enjoy the most. Their faces are in disbelief at the singing voice that is so powerful coming from a woman so small.

Brenda Burnit playing harmonica on stage in Nelspruit - photo by Small Town Music
Brenda Burnit – photo by Small Town Music

Brenda, this lady was born with the multitasking talent of playing multiple instruments. I had the pleasure of seeing her a few times as well and she’s just got it. Harmonica, drums, drumming machine, backing vocals, being awesome – all down the checklist.

A girl and her black guitar - Andra - photo by Small Town Music
A girl and her black guitar – Andra – photo by Small Town Music

I’m glad Andra brought her with because it made it all sound so full, so much bigger. Not that Andra’s solo shows are any smaller, this woman is a 1969 Mustang (to me) but with Brenda, it’s like the story is told in harmonies. I have seen Andra with a fuller band on the beaches of STRAB and I’m taken back every time to those beaches. Yes, I missed drinking an R&R at this stage.

Andra performing at The Pub Nelspruit in April 2024 - photo by Small Town Music
Andra – photo by Small Town Music

When the show was over, two hours flew by too fast, and I was feeling so full-filled. I have missed good music for so long and I have missed Andra and Brenda as well.

As the fans greeted and took selfies, people came to shake hands and buy some merch……. The place emptied, yet it still felt full.

Andra and Brenda performing to a crowd at The Pub in Nelspruit - photo by Small Town Music
“pure silence from the crowd as they are simply hypnotized” – photo by Small Town Music

Thank you, Ettienne and his team for supporting South African music. Thank you for trusting and believing, as always. Thank you Andra and Brenda for travelling down and filling up the empty spaces.

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.