Savannah Betts

IMG_7343.JPGLive review from Underground 104:

1. The Perfect Storm

2. Restart

3. Ghost

4. Lost at Sea

5. Hunt the Wolves

Although Savannah has played the Underground in the past, I think she is still quite an inexperienced performer, so it must have been quite a daunting prospect for her to open to such a big crowd, alone on a big stage. Much to her credit, after some initial hesitations, she rose up to the challenge and won over the crowd. Obviously to achieve that you have to give the audience what they want – her music is folky and poppy, a little on the melancholic side but yet by no means slow, and somehow reminded me of that long line of female Celtic singer-songwriters such as Mary Black and Loreena McKennitt (ok she’s Canadian but if you know her music you’ll know what I mean). Savannah has a strong, expressive voice and a good range, and the ease with which she changed from her chest voice to her head register was absolutely delightful to watch. As I listened to her set, I kept thinking how her music would really take off if augmented by further instruments (e.g. a bit of the ReOrientate clapping/cajon treatment in the first song): this is by no means a criticism; on the contrary it is a testament to how interesting I find her music.

If Savannah were a “YouTube” musician, she would be one of those capable of landing a recording contract from a bedroom performance of a well known cover. As she returns to her studies, I hope she continue to make music, both to amuse herself as well as to entertain others.

— Thlayli


Live Review from Girls with Guitars 4:

1. Fiddler and the Voice
2. Hunt the Wolves
3. Home
4. The Perfect Storm
5. The Twat Song
The show began with a performer set in the classic “female singer-songwriter” mould. Alone with her guitar, Savannah has a considerable presence on stage, probably owing to her work as an actor. She’s got the kind of composition style which, at its best, gives you that warm floating-in-mid-air sort of feeling. Add to that her voice, which is rich yet having papery overtones, and you have a recipe for some real feel-good music. My problem is that she doesn’t fully utilise this voice in her songs – she clearly does not have an unconventional or unmelodious voice, because she does create some beautiful moments with it. But, because the songs are relatively simple in their construction and rely on their emotional content for effect, not hitting even one note can sour the feel built up to that point, and this tends to happen more often than I’d like. A little effort in this direction will, I’m sure, go a long way in making her a better performer. Her guitar style is simple and unfussy, and tends to mirror the franticness or calm expressed in the lyrics almost exactly; an approach that works very well in Hunt the Wolves, which is about annoying things that persist in your mind. Home condenses her songwriting approach into its purest form; and while it’s overly simplistic, it has potential for some lovely solos (perhaps she should consider getting a lead guitarist, or even a piano into her act). The Twat Song was definitely her best, and a really good closer, because it had a manic energy reminiscent of the Violent Femmes. I’m guessing the last two songs were written more recently because they seem to have a subtle dark undercurrent, unlike the others; if this is true, her future songs will definitely be worth watching out for.— Shashwati

說起搖滾音樂或樂隊音樂,好像仍然是男性主導的世界,縱使外國出現過一些著名的女樂手,但還是屬於少數的例子。The Underground2011723日於旺角的The Live House舉辦了Girls with Guitar 4音樂會,重新把spotlight照耀在各女樂手身上。Girls with Guitars音樂會系列的舉行目的,相信並不是要提昇女樂手的地位或是什麼的,而是要展現及肯定女樂手的位置,相信她們能夠以獨特的女性觸覺為觀眾帶來好音樂。

當晚共有4隊樂隊演出,包括Savannah BettsNew Tonic PressWho Shot HolgaFADSavannah Betts是一隊一人樂隊,說起一人一結他自然便令人想起林一峰,繼而想起at17的兩位成員盧凱彤(Ellen)及林二汶(Eman),她們也是本地較為突出唱作人。而同樣也是一人一結他的Savannah也毫不遜色,以自學的結他自彈自唱多首作品Savannah當晚演出了5首歌,題材都是圍繞著生活的所思所感出發,如 “Home”是一首比較抒情的歌,說出以香港為家的心情,而擁有香港人身份但卻有外國人外貌的她更能表達香港人身份的混雜性。而 “Perfect Storm”一曲充分表現出她出色的結他及圓潤而優美聲線,更以有力的歌聲把歌曲的副歌部分的情緒推至高峰,控制得宜。Savannah表達出年輕人的青春活力,欣賞過她演出的觀眾必定會受她的甜美聲音及自信的笑容所吸引。


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Performances by Savannah Betts: