Werner van der Hoven
Gig Seeker Pro

Werner van der Hoven

Band Pop Adult Contemporary

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Rock, Paper, Scissors-Who won"

1. The Best of the Best – Clark & Van Der Hoven
This was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Clark & Van Der Hoven proved once more what damage media-hype can cause. Nothing bad has been published about them, but then again, hardly anything has been published about them. One sort of expects that the more inadequate acts will be stuck at the end of the bill, the late-night shows that aren't expected to be attended in vast numbers. Perhaps this gig wasn't expected to be all that well-attended... The bar at the Gito Baloyi Jazz & Blues stage was absolutely packed, although there was plenty of space outside before Gerald Clark, Werner van der Hoven and friends took the stage. When they started to play, however, it didn't take very long for the bar to empty and the seats outside to be filled to such an extent that even a skinny mouse would have had trouble finding a spot. Two guys on acoustic guitars, a lead guitarist with the most beautiful Telecaster you've ever seen and a double-bass player. It was obvious that this was going to be something different. During sound-check, the band already managed to silence the crowd and demand their attention. And when they started playing, boy, did they play! These guys were definitely in a league of their own with their brilliant guitar work and beautiful harmonising vocals. When the lead guitarist put on his steel slide and the band started playing some blues tunes, the crowd couldn't help but start partying. It is also with good reason that Clark & Van Der Hoven could play the Blues like they were raised in the Mississippi Delta. Gerald Clark is none other than the driving force behind local blues band Delta Blue and Werner's admiration for this band, is what lead them on the road that they are now traveling together. These two young gentleman will undoubtedly still walk a long road together as, at 1:00 on Saturday morning, they delivered, without contest, the finest performance of the entire OppiKoppi 2006 festival. The duo will be launching their album on the 14th of August at the Steak & Ale Pub in Centurion.
Clark & Van Der Hoven – 10/10

- www.mio.co.za


"Making their Own Decision in cape Town"

Clark & van der Hoven making their Own Decision in Cape Town

Kobus Prinsloo
12/10/2006
Initially the burlesque stage setup at the Dorpstreet Café Theatre didn’t strike me as the ideal background for what I heard was going to be an acoustic, folk rock performance. It’s all frilly purplish curtains, more cabaret than rock, but I hadn’t reckoned with the hidden script writing abilities of Gerald Clark and Werner van der Hoven.

I’d only ever known Gerald Clark as the lead man of blues outfit Delta Blue, while Werner van der Hoven was a complete unknown to me. The two met about five years ago during KKNK, and this was the start of a fine friendship, the qualities of which were immediately evident in the free spirited and fun interaction between them on stage.

For this performance they surrounded themselves on three sides with the warm wood of a local string section (not present on the CD), consisting of violin on their right, extrovert contrabass behind them and cello on their left. Ever seen a cellist getting her groove on? A cellist with mojo? Me neither, so this was a (very pleasant) first.

On the twilight drive from Cape Town to Stellenbosch I was curious about this project of Gerald’s, since it could obviously not be another blues gig. The showgirl images I got from the stage curtains moved me from curious to mildly concerned, but by the time a string ensemble appeared I was thoroughly worried.

My concern didn’t survive longer than the first few bars of their à capella rendition of Leadbelly’s Cotton Fields. One got the feeling that it was a surprise to the string section too, because they looked as impressed as the rest of us. It set a nice tone, mainly because I was immediately comfortable with the blend of Gerald’s whiskey vocals and Werner’s more earthy tone. From that song onwards I left the dark table at the back of the venue, taken somewhere else by what was transpiring. I felt this shift even more strongly afterwards. Every time I’ve listened to their CD, Own Decision, I slipped into another world where I could see the stories happening.

The secret to this, and only some acts have the ability and the material, is a theme that runs through the production and dictates the entire aura (‘scuse the word, but I was in the Cape and when in Rome and all that) of the performance, plus an imaginary world in which these themes can play out. In some of these cases the theme is not necessarily a planned, intellectual exercise, but the music is strong enough to put you on a journey of your choice and maintain its momentum throughout.

The first trick for the artist, I think, is not to confuse genre with a theme, and Gerald and Werner took me past their acoustic folk-rock to make me listen to their own stories within the genre. The second crucial factor is the symbolism and musical imagery that clearly paints the unique world in which the eternal themes of music can play out. In essence, it’s about music that you can walk around in.

Inside this musical picture, not Stellenbosch, is where I really met Clark & van der Hoven: on a dusty road, maybe America, maybe the Karoo. For the songs Shooting Stars and Own Decision I see them as a distant shimmering of vague, small shapes that slowly become two men as they approach. The two travellers are tired and dusty, but clearly used to walking and hitching rides between drifter towns. Their gait is steady, in step, and all in slow motion of course. One has an impressive ‘fro of reddish hair and the sun reflects off his teardrop Ray-Bans. He’s wearing bootleg jeans and a faded white T-shirt. The other is in dark blue jeans, boots and a black jacket. Both have guitars on their backs and now and then one of them looks back for the dusty telltale sign of a lift to the closest town with a bar. The Afrikaans blues number, As Ek Kon, also fits into this attitude driven scene, but more about that one later.

Somerreën and Hey There Elle take me to that small town bar, but now it’s much later into the night. The place is smoky, a couple of locals and a few other drifters sit around tables or at the bar counter, staring into the pasts hidden in their drinks. The two guitars languidly speak of far off places where someone waits for their return, maybe in vain. Drifters rarely go back, the call of the road too strong, but the eyes and soft touch of a lover is always remembered, and longed for in the late night song. “Liefde kom en gaan”, sings Werner on Somerreën and one can see a fellow wanderer at the bar staring far past the here and now of a neon Johnny Walker sign, giving a long, Peter Stuyvesant filled sigh.

For the only instrumental cut on the CD, we’re somewhere else completely, although you’re welcome to stay on the dusty back roads for this one if you want to. But I imagine them here having made it big. We’re in a bar or club somewhere in Manhattan. A black stage: they’re seated on two bar stools under two spotlights, in front of a red brick performance-club type backdrop. Gerald looks at Werner, starts tapping his foot to set the beat and then opens with a lick that speaks of rainy city nights and New York skylines. The audience nod their heads to the rhythm, engrossed in the incredibly enchanting acoustic duet from behind expensive wine bottles on white tablecloths. The song sounds like hope and growth and shared memories, but the long road that brought them here still features, making this as good a driving song as you’ll ever find. At some points in the song one can feel that somewhere the road took them past the sidewalk markets of downtown Jozi and that makes the song a powerful fusion between the spiritual home of acoustic jazz and rock and the unique feel of one of our vibrant city areas.

Own Decision contains seven songs, which would have been inadequate if each song wasn’t completely worthy of the repeat button on your car stereo. It is however their first CD together that I know of, and I’m eagerly awaiting more new music from these two. I believe there is material on the way, such as Journeyman, from Werner’s pen. It fits in so nicely in the world of this production that I remember it from the live gig every time I listen to the published songs.

Now back to, As Ek Kon, the final song on the CD. It’s a journey on its own. Gerald’s blues roots could never be completely ignored; in fact, I find it very fitting that the genre that is so much part of him gets a nod on this project, most strongly through this song. Yet, the CD is a complete unit and I strongly recommend getting a copy before setting off on that road trip. Then again, listening to it in the office could be just the thing to get you to say something horribly abusive to the boss and slam the door on your way out, kicking off the most pure of road trips, those where the destination is of minor concern.

Just quickly allow me to apologise to lyricist Elizma De Villiers, as I’m completely on my own mission with her words here and my story is likely not at all what she had in mind when she wrote it. My current going rate for apologies is two Jägermeisters, maybe three if I was really painfully off the mark about something (which happens a lot)

In my mind, As Ek Kon opens on that dusty road that we started on, but this time they’re just entering town and the locals are kinda edgy about it. Gerald’s slide guitar gets some air on this one, telling us that maybe there’s a daddy or boyfriend around who’s not too impressed about what proceeded to take place after the last time a certain couple of wandering musicians made their way into town. But the draw card must have been rather strong. I said drifters rarely come back, but sometimes it’s hard to shake the dust from your shoes, or the prints from your heart, brief as the encounter may have been. A curtain quickly slips back into place, and two very lovely young drawcards in blossomed dresses frantically try and make themselves even more presentable for a second chance at making certain people stay a little longer this time, maybe forever. Whatever kind of devious technique or charm-abuse might be needed, it will be a night to remember…
As the afternoon wanes there is a softer moment of re-uniting, of a secret rendezvous under an old willow by the river. (For reference purposes, all this cuddly business sets in about one minute and forty seconds into the song)

But it’s all going one way: a night of playing in the local bar, stolen kisses around the back between sets and far more impressive progress after the show. There’s a jealous suitor with a big bakkie and two farms outside town. Henchmen abound. A Shotgun wielding father takes to the street to avenge the loss of virtue that was bestowed upon his house.

The stories will be plenty and varied and repeated in the town for weeks to come and remembered for a generation, but few will ever be completely clear on the exact details. Suffice to say, the next wandering muso might want to take the long way round.

In the morning two men with guitars on their backs are some way out of town already. One last stop to look back, to take a final mental picture, a moment of indecision and then a voiceless goodbye over dry lips. Then it’s just the road again as the journeymen slowly drift into the distance and disappear into the shimmering heat.

This is what Clark & van der Hoven can do. Get the CD, get in your car and go see someplace you’ve never been. You won’t regret it.
- Kobus Prinsloo; www.samusic.co.za


Discography

1. Clark & van der Hoven - Own Decision

Photos

Bio

Biography/Press Release

Werner van der Hoven started his musical career in the academic town of Potchefstroom three years into his Chemical Engineering studies to cure his cash flow problems, soon realizing that his passion for music would overcome his love for engineering.
He formed a duo with Gerald Clark called Clark & van der Hoven in December 2005 and performed at the KKNK National Arts Festival where it really all started.

www.mio.co.za

1. The Best of the Best – Clark & Van Der Hoven
This was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Clark & Van Der Hoven proved once more what damage media-hype can cause. Nothing bad has been published about them, but then again, hardly anything has been published about them. One sort of expects that the more inadequate acts will be stuck at the end of the bill, the late-night shows that aren't expected to be attended in vast numbers. Perhaps this gig wasn't expected to be all that well-attended... The bar at the Gito Baloyi Jazz & Blues stage was absolutely packed, although there was plenty of space outside before Gerald Clark, Werner van der Hoven and friends took the stage. When they started to play, however, it didn't take very long for the bar to empty and the seats outside to be filled to such an extent that even a skinny mouse would have had trouble finding a spot. Two guys on acoustic guitars, a lead guitarist with the most beautiful Telecaster you've ever seen and a double-bass player. It was obvious that this was going to be something different. During sound-check, the band already managed to silence the crowd and demand their attention. And when they started playing, boy, did they play! These guys were definitely in a league of their own with their brilliant guitar work and beautiful harmonising vocals. When the lead guitarist put on his steel slide and the band started playing some blues tunes, the crowd couldn't help but start partying. It is also with good reason that Clark & Van Der Hoven could play the Blues like they were raised in the Mississippi Delta. Gerald Clark is none other than the driving force behind local blues band Delta Blue and Werner's admiration for this band, is what lead them on the road that they are now traveling together. These two young gentleman will undoubtedly still walk a long road together as, at 1:00 on Saturday morning, they delivered, without contest, the finest performance of the entire OppiKoppi 2006 festival.
Clark & Van Der Hoven – 10/10

Werner van der Hoven undoubtedly has the passion, conviction and talent needed to achieve exemplary marks in the world of the modern day musician.

It’s like this.

“In the dog-eats-dog music industry, new music needs to have an edge, but must be performed with a quiet confidence, with the kind of honesty and fearlessness that grabs your soul. You hear just that when Werner opens his mouth with a guitar following suit. His voice is old leather and the color of dry bushveld thorn. Strumming takes on a new meaning here. You simply cannot get enough. Consider yourself warned.

With his song "Shiny Streets" being shown on MK89 and the release of Clark & van der Hoven`s first ep, “Own Decision”, the crowd perked up like meerkats – and they listened – completely forgetting about their beer.
SOMETHING’S AFOOT. SOMETHING GOOD”.-Katvrou-