That age old saying – “you’re never too old to rock ‘n roll” must surely apply to veteran duo, Two Hats, who despite being ‘ou toppies’ are keeping the party music alive at the coast.
At 60-something, lead singer and guitarist, Jan Gous, is the younger of the ensemble, whilst maestro electric guitarist, Hansie van Niekerk is nearly 73, and still going full steam as a “full time musician”. The Two Hats, are a Swakopmund based two-musicians outfit who play at functions, bar gigs, prize-giving’s and social gatherings. The duo teamed up two years ago and clearly have been on a roll. Needless to say, both have been playing for ages, and amassed their musical chemistry well over a decade ago, whilst performing together in a popular Windhoek band, aptly named the Final Chapter.
Although Jan’s name has mostly been synonymous with the motor industry all these years, his music career started up in 1980 during nocturnal stints but keeping his job during the day. He was the guy who would be fronting a band, and still today his cool, effortless voice and solid guitar-playing has kept the appeal of a true evergreen. Van Niekerk on the other hand, has been playing live for over 55 years, and says he’s been in too many bands to mention. Whilst holding down a top corporate position back then, Hansie would spend every spare minute on his guitar. His family were all musical, and his passion for the instrument goes back to primary school. His music career took off in 1965, after watching a live band performing, and hasn’t put his guitar down since.
With a repertoire of thousands of songs under his belt, at one stage he even owned eleven guitars. He still practises religiously every day, and admits that if he cannot get onto his guitar he “feels sick.” He’s also the master mind behind compiling and modifying reams of back tracks, spending a lot of time on the computer, tweaking songs to fit into the Two Hats style of music.
The boys recently kept up a foot tapping mix of 70’s rock and pop at the Swakopmund Sky Divers Club. Jan says they bring a variety of music to the table, and without playing the same song twice, they can keep a party alive for at least four hours, which gets played through an impeccable JBL sound system. “We play music for fun and ere enjoying the different venues at the coast,” quips Jan, adding that they are building up a solid reputation and are getting a lot of positive feed-back from the crowd. Already the guys are booked for gigs once a month at various venues, with a busy Easter Week-end ahead.
Asked how many more years they still plan to rock it out, Jan replies whimsically, “we’re just building up steam at the coast, but the way we’re going we’ll play till we can’t play anymore.”