The Natives ‘Living Room Tour’ brings music to the people
In 2016, Sereetsi and The Natives performed several solo, stripped down and intimate shows in a hotel room in Chicago, USA.
The unplugged performances took place before enthusiastic audiences, ranging from 10 to 15 people, crammed inside the hotel room.
The shows were then broadcast online and shared by mostly Facebook users throughout the world, introducing the local group to a global audience.
It was this experience which completely changed lead vocalist Tomeletso Sereetsi’s idea of a live music performance and possible venues.
Sereetsi explained the Chicago outing opened his eyes to how artists around the world have taken the concept of house concerts to another level.
“It is not exactly a foreign concept in Botswana. There has always been live music in households that double up as drinking holes. That’s where I met the music of the four-string guitar in Somerset, Francistown,” he revealed.
It is against this backdrop that the four-string maestro came up with the ‘Living Room Tour’, which he explained is an attempt to take live music back to the intimate and personal space that is the living room, backyard or garden.
“The tour will run across living rooms in the country and in neighbouring South Africa as well,” he said.
For those keen on hosting the ‘Kgatha thu’ hit makers in their living rooms with their circle of friends, Sereetsi says the concept will kick off this August.
“To host the concert, we require that you invite at least 20 people. The more the merrier,” he said, adding that the house concerts are an up close and intimate, stripped down unplugged presentation, designed in part to cultivate an audience for the bigger, more public shows.
“There’ll be no tickets sold for these shows, but a way for us to interact and connect more with the community and Natives supporters,” Sereetsi continued.
For the survival of the Living Room tour, guests show appreciation after the performance through donations of their own choice.
“No one is forced to donate. It is exactly that: a donation. It’s up to you,” he stressed.
For the ground rules, Sereetsi reminds prospective hosts that they reserve the right to invite guests, and that the performance can be held any day of the week.
“All we need is a performance space and an enthusiastic audience of music lovers,” he concluded.