The SANDA (Sanda) – a musical group formed in Tbilisi, Georgia on February 6, 1993. The band was named in honor of Sanda, a small island in northwestern Scotland in the United Kingdom, because the band had a special love and affection for British folk music.
From left to right (standing): Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Irakli Lomsadze, Tamuna and Keti Bakhtadze, Dima Asaturov. (Sitting) Gia Gagua, Gia Tskhvediani (a friend of group members), Gizo Peradze – 1993
The first members of the group were:
Irakli Lomsadze keyboard, rhythm guitar, vocals
Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson) vocals, bass guitar
Gizo Peradze lead guitar
Gia Gagua sax
Dimitri Asaturov drums, lip harmonica, percussion
The group set up a rehearsal studio in Irakli Lomsadze’s house ground floor place, which later became one of the most popular rehearsal places for Georgian rock bands of the period.
The SANDA began work in the Soft Rock and Blues genres. Gradually the elements of Folk Rock appeared in the sound of the group, which led to various changes. Some of the compositions were performed by Irakli Lomsadze, these songs were created in so-called “Sanda” language. The goal was to combine the lyrics and the musical line of the composition with each other. This is how the band’s first composition in Sanda language, “Belanderul“, was created.
From left to right (standing ): Gizo Peradze, Dima Asaturov, Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Gia Gagua. (sitting) Irakli Lomsadze, Mikho Koreli – 1994
TV “Sakartvelos Khma”, program “Party”, author Gigi Matiashvili – 1994
TV “Georgian First Channel”, program “Sakhe”, author Maka Sanikidze – 1994
In the spring of 1993, new members, Tamuna and Keti Bakhtadze (back vocals) joined the group. They brought pleasing musical colors to the vocal line of the band.
In early 1994, The Sanda gave the first solo concert at the Railway Culture House, followed by several more solo concerts on various stages in Tbilisi. In 1994, Tamuna and Katie left the group.
Then Katie Tsiklauri tried to work on the back vocals for a while, but a few months later she left the band.
From left to right: Irakli Lomsadze, Mikho Koreli, Dima Asaturov, Gia Gagua, Gizo Peradze, Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson) – 1994
In 1994, new members joined the band: Mikho Korel (keyboard) and Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay) (vocal/keyboard). Natia’s interesting vocal had a strong influence on the band’s sound, which led to the dominance of British folk in their repertoire. An awesome examples of this are the songs “Ireland” and “Sanda“, also the latest one has a music line from Georgian folk composition.
Irakli Lomsadze – 1994
Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson) – 1994
In the summer of 1995, The SANDA played for almost three months at one of the clubs in Kobuleti. This was the very first precedent for this period in Adjara, during the summer tour. With the money earned at this tour, the group bought quite good rehearsal equipment for that time. Later, the festival “Khelebi” will be held at the club “Kazbegi” in Tbilisi.
Mikho Koreli and Gizo Peradze left the group at the end of 1995. Although Irakli played only on keyboard and didn’t know the guitar chords at all, he studied and arranged the guitar on “his” lineup in the shortest time and played it that way. Later there appeared a very interesting sound in the group, created the composition “Punk” and others.
Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay) – 1994
In the same year, Gary Astvatsaturian (keyboard , rhythm guitar) and guitarist Zaza Zautashvili joined the band – a very interesting musician, who added special musicality to the group. Zaza’s performance at the festival “Margarita” is noteworthy. Zaza played in The SANDA for about a year, and in 1996 he left the band.
Gari Astvatsaturian – 1994
Dima Asaturov – 1994
The first video of the band, shot on the composition “Belanderul”, by the First Channel of Georgia, directed by Dali Gurgenidze
Natia Namgalauri, Gia Gagua – 1994
The SANDA is a participant, co-author, founder and organizer of two major multi-genre music festivals, together with the author of the idea of holding these festivals, director Giorgi Barabadze:
1995 – Festival “Khelebi”, which was held in “Club Kazbegi”. The festival included almost all genres of contemporary music.
1996 – The festival “Margarita”, which was held in Vake Park and included almost all genres of modern music.
These festivals were multi-day and also very important for Georgian rock music, because a large part of the participants later became a recognizable face of Georgian show business.
The SANDA performed at the Margarita Festival in 1996
We can’t ignore the fact that during this whole period, apart from The SANDA, various musicians and bands rehearsed in the studio for free, “friendly” – Niaz Diasamidze, the band “Steeplechase”, the group “Mystery”, the group “Limousin”, the group ” Sky End”, “Long Cross Road”, Bachi Kitiashvili, Irakli Charkviani, “Mother of Mondays”, “Royal Way”, “Generals”, “Zumba Land” and others.
Musicians of different genres – Teona Kontridze, Roma Rtskhiladze, Nino Katamadze and many others often visited the rehearsal place of The SANDA. Often the group played the so-called “warm up” something famous composition, but in its own style, for example, the famous composition “Ah Turfav, Turfav” was performed in a heavy rock, which was later picked up by Nino Katamadze and performed in that style.
The SANDA’s performance at the rock festival, which was held at the hall “Amirani” in 1996
The video was shot by the band members on the song “Solange” in 1994
The SANDA held several solo concerts in K. Marjanishvili Theater, in the small hall of Shota Rustaveli Theater, also took part in the rock festival held at the Amirani Hall. The group’s tour area included various cities in western and eastern Georgia, the coastal areas of Adjara as well.
In 1997, guitarist Goga Makharadze joined the band, with the idea of creating the composition “Khorumi“. In the same year, the festival “Let’s Protect the Black Sea” was held in Batumi. Guests from different countries were invited. As the headliner The SANDA took part in this 2 days rock festival, later in the spring of the same year the band took part in a big rock concert held in Vake Park.
A year later, in 1998, the band quit the creative working process due to financial problems up to next steps.
In early 2006, The SANDA reunited. With own funds, the band members founded SANDA Records Studio, where the band was able to record own music and rehearse as well.
Gia Gagua (Saxaphone), one of the band’s members, who was in the band until 1997, left the band.
The SANDA members for 2006:
Irakli Lomsadze keyboard
Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson) vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay) vocals
Goga Makharadze guitar
Dimitri Asaturov drums, lip harmonica, percussion
In 2006, they recorded the album Return in SANDA Records Studio and began working on the next album. During this period two new members joined the band, Vano Khimshiashvili (bass) and Zura Lanchava (lead guitar). It should be noted that Soso previously played in the band on bass guitar, but due to the fact that in almost all compositions it became necessary to perform the parties on acoustic guitar, he had to change his profile.
From left to right (standing): Irakli Lomsadze, Vano Khimshiashvili, Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Goga Makharadze, Dima Asaturov, Zura Lanchava. (Sitting) Keti Jokhadze, Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay) – 2007
In June 2007, The SANDA gave a solo concert at the “OZONI Gigz” Festival, featuring two different styles, Celtic folk and modern rock. In November, the band, along with other well-known Georgian performers, took part in a concert dedicated to the memory of Irakli Charkviani. In December of the same year, the band played live on the radio station “Ucnobi FM”.
In the same year, due to family circumstances, Goga Makharadze left the band and two new members joined Keti Jokhadze (cello) and Vazha Mamatelashvili (violin).
The members of The SANDA in 2007 :
Irakli Lomsadze keyboard
Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson) vocals, guitar
Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay) vocals
Zura Lanchava lead guitar
Vano Khimshiashvili bass guitar
Keti Jokhadze cello
Vazha Mamatelashvili violin
Dimitri Asaturov drums, lip harmonica, percussion
From left to right (standing): Irakli Lomsadze, Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay), Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Vazha Mamatelashvili. (Sitting) Vano Khimshiashvili, Keti Jokhadze, Dima Asaturov, Zura Lanchava – 2009
In July 2008, At Nodar Dumbadze Theater The SANDA presented another evening of mixed sound compositions to the audience. In August of the same year, the band participated in the annual festival “Artgeni” with a solo program. The director of the program “M-Code” on the TV company “Mze”, film director Giorgi Kikaleishvili, became interested in the group’s activities and shot three music videos on the singles: “Play the Game“, “Two Virgins“, “Bluebell“.
In 2009, The SANDA participated in the project “Usmine Tsotskhals” initiated by “Rustavi 2”, where according to the rating, they came out on top of the season with the hit “Play the Game“. It should be noted that the band’s concerts have been regularly covered in the media since 2007. Gradually, Funk and Art Rock elements enter the band’s repertoire. At the same time, the group is coming out with its solo projects in the clubs: “Ethno 99” and “Flat”, and also has a concert in the “Theater on Atoneli”. They successfully passed the announced casting and took part in the “Tbilisi Open Air/Alter Vision” held by Step Records on October 23. They take part in various concerts held by “Promo Industries”: “Good Old 70’s”, solo performance at “Magti Club”, New Year’s concert, charity performance at Tbilisi Rock Club.
In March 2010, The SANDA fulfilled a long-held dream, playing “Unplugged”, which was performed in the “Theater on Atoneli”. It is noteworthy that in this concert they were assisted by the quintet “Kibatono” formed on the basis of “SANDA Records”, who also took part in the recording of some compositions of The SANDA”.
From left to right: Dima Asaturov, Zura Lanchava, Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay), Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Vano Khimshiashvili, Irakli Lomsadze – 2010
The soundtrack for the TV series “K17” was shot by “Kikala Studio TV”.
The band also took part in a joint project between Rustavi2 and the Ministry of Defense, “Kazarma”, creating an original musical arrangement for the project. In October 2010, the band’s musicians created a composition specially written for the project (series) “K17”. This TV series was shot by Kikala Studio TV on behalf of the First Channel of Georgian Television (Public Broadcaster) and the Ministry of Defense.
In March 2011, the band held another solo concert at the famous Batumi club “Sublime”, which was held with a bang.
In July of the same year, The SANDA took part in the project “Caucasus Live” of the First Channel of Georgian Television (Public Broadcaster).
On June 18-26, 2011, SANDA Records organized a modern music festival, Music for Music (M4M), hosted by the “Theater on Atoneli”. The idea of this festival belongs entirely to “SANDA Records” and also the financial expenses were paid by the members of the group.
The idea of the festival “M4M” was to discover young Georgian musicians and bands. The festival fully proved the hopes of the organizers. During 9 days, 25 bands of different genres performed on the stage. Young, original, interesting faces appeared. Among them are already well-known bands that have been invited to many other music projects. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, it was not possible to give a traditional character to the festival.
On December 22, 2011, The SANDA presented new compositions different and interesting soundat “Magti Club”. The concert was sold-out.
Keti Jokhadze (cello) and Vazha Mamatelashvili (violin) left the band in the same year. They moved to the band Kibatono formed on the basis of SANDA Records.
In the same year, The SANDA began to work on the album “The Beatles Tribute”, which was sent to Liverpool, to participate in the annual festival at the “Cavern Club” and received a positive evaluation.
In 2012, SANDA Records Studio, recorded and released new album “The Smell Of The Rays”. On April 29, 2012, the band held a solo concert at the Senate Club, where they presented the album “The Smell Of The Rays”. The concert was organized by the band’s friend and musician Bichiko (Ben) Kadagidze and was opened by the band’s great friend, poet and novelist David Dephy.
On May 12, 2012, the band took part in the Rock and Alternative Music Festival, where they were honored to open this grand concert. On May 26 of the same year, they held another solo concert in the club “Sublime” in Batumi, where they performed new compositions and several famous “Covers”.
In the same year, The SANDA received a message from the United States that the band was selected for the international music search site WORLD TOP MUSICIANS OFFICIAL DIRECTORY, which increased the interest to the band from various Internet radio stations and websites.
At the end of 2012, Dima Asaturov (drums) left the group and was replaced by Nika Margvelashvili (drums).
From left to right: Zura Lanchava, Irakli Lomsadze, Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay), Nika Margvelashvili, Vano Khimshiashvili – 2012
Poster for The SANDA’s 20th Anniversary Concert – 2013
2013 was marked by the performances at various events, concerts and TV shows, including a solo concert on Tbilisoba and the days of Gori. This year the band celebrates the 20th anniversary and dedicated to this date a big concert with friends at the club “Divani”. Within the framework of GDS TV music project “Georgian Dreamers”, was shot a video for the song “Angel“.
In the summer of 2014, The SANDA left for Antalya, Turkey. The band held live shows almost every day at five-star hotels and other locations. At the end of the same year, Nika Margvelashvili (drums) and Zura Lanchava (lead guitar) left the band. Gigi Koberidze (drums) and Giorgi Gogolashvili (guitar), as well as Giorgi Painter (bass guitar) joined the band and stayed for several months.
In March 2015, The SANDA participated in the Public Broadcaster music project “Comunicatori”, where they performed for the first time the composition “Lazuri” (music by The SANDA and lyrics by Iasha Tandilava). This song became very popular in Turkey, in the ethnic Laz people.
In April, the annual music festival “Caucasian Music Awards Phoenix” was organized by the famous Georgian punk-rock musician King Lado Burduli, where the composition “Angel” presented by the band won the award for the best video of the year.
At the same time, working process continues on new compositions and the band members change again, Giorgi Gogolashvili (guitar), Giorgi Mkhatvari (bass guitar)left the band and Zura Lanchava (leader guitar) and Vano Khimshiashvili (bass) return. A new concert program is being created, which was presented in Batumi during the summer season. In October, The SANDA had a live gig in the city of Gori.
From left to right: Gigi Koberidze, Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay), Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Giorgi Gogolashvili – 2015
In February 2016, The SANDA, on its birthday, plays an updated “electronic” program in Zazanova. In April, the band was invited to the Public Broadcaster’s music project “Communicator”, where they presented 5 new compositions. Then, in the morning broadcast of “Rustavi 2”, the band made a presentation of a new song “Hello, You are not alone, my Jane“, which was specially written within the framework of the French-Italian association “Stop Violence against Women”. This composition and “Angel” were actively streaming on the Internet radios in France, Italy and the United States. In June, The SANDA plays “Unplugged” in Zazanova Club.
In the same year, the band applied to participate in the project “Check in Georgia” and received a positive response. The solo concert was held on August 26 in Batumi and its slogan was “No Terrorism!”.
The SANDA solo concert in Batumi, August 26, within the framework of the project “Check in Georgia” – 2016
In 2017, The SANDA visited several TV and radio stations: in the music section of GDS TV’s “Shuadge” program, hosted by the famous Georgian musician David Evgenidze, the band performed three songs . Then Imedi TV – together with the musician King Lado Burduli in the morning program where they performed the winning composition “Angel” from the previous years of “Caucasian Music Awards Phoenix“; The compositions “Smashing Love“, “Punk“, “The Best Friend” were performed on Rustavi2 TV in the morning and afternoon programs ; Radio Fortuna, Radio Imedi, Radio Tavisufleba and Radio 1 Channel.
In 2018,the work was completed on the album “The Sea Of Dreams“. It should be noted that it is written in Georgian language. The presentation of the album and the jubilee of the band, 25 years, was held at the club “Backstage76”. Also, several compositions from the album were performed exclusively on TV – in the morning program of “Rustavi2”, in the radio “Fortuna”, in the radio “Ar Daidardo” and in the radio 1 channel. This year, the band presented the song “Sizmari” at the “Golden Wave” music awards held by Radio “Fortuna”. Also on the radio project “Fortuna+” “Exclusive”, where The SANDA performed 3 songs from the new album “Chalisperi Tmebi“, “Mgzavruli Nana” and “Gamemde“.
In the spring The SANDA was invited to the city of Gori. At the presentation of the album of their fiends, the band “Kanudos” , where they performed several compositions. Later in April, the band was invited as guests to the Caucasian Music Awards “Phoenix”, where they performed 5 songs. The band completed 2018 with a gig at the club “Backstage76”.
The SANDA at “Rustavi2” in “Skhva Shua Dge” with Marina Beridze – 2019
In 2019, The SANDA, along with Lado Burduli, took part in the Rustavi2 TV program “Skhva Shua Dge”, in Marina Beridze’s music heading, where they talked about the band’s anniversary, plans and the upcoming Caucasian Music Awards “Phoenix”. On February 9, The SANDA held a solo concert at the Hard Rock Cafe. Then the composition “Bluff” was played live and shot for the music project “Acoustics” of the Public Broadcaster.
From left to right: Soso Sakvarelidze (Josef Loveson), Vano Khimshiashvili, Irakli Lomsadze, Natia Namgalauri (Natasha McKay), Gigi Koberidze, Zura Lanchava – 2019
Rehegoo Music USA and Rehegoo Music Group Record producers (Rehegoo Music Group Record label and digital music publisher are the globally recognized digital music publishers) contacted The SANDA at the end of 2019, who offered to sign an Exclusive contract with them. The band’s music will be featured on popular digital platforms as well as the Rehegoo Streaming Platform. After several months of negotiations, the contract was signed in early 2020, and on April 21, the official release of The SANDA’s album “The Smell Of The Rays” took place on the following platforms.
Gigi Koberidze (drums) and Zura Lanchava (lead guitar) are leaving the group in the same year.
The band began searching for new musicians again. In early 2020, new members Giorgi Lomidze (drums) and Zura Zivzivadze (guitar) joined The SANDA and the band continued their creative work, but unfortunately,rehearsals were temporarily suspended due to the global pandemic situation.