By Marley

I’ve been lucky this past decade or so, to have seen some amazing bands perform live. From international to national to local. Plenty stands out but not many make you feel like you are part of the family, this is what Hoot ‘n Anny does. They are a music family who just adopts you into their world and that’s where you want to stay.

This past weekend Hoot ‘n Anny aka Alouise “Vlooi” and Franco Jamneck along with session musician, Peter Toussaint, did their first solo shows in the Lowveld.

Why do I say solo shows? This trio has performed here before, Blue Moon, Woodcrock, Road To STRAB – but never had their own solo shows. Many people were excited to see them. On Saturday afternoon we joined Hoot ‘n Anny on Radio Laeveld 100.5FM for an interview in between their Top 20 Show. Next, we were off to their hosts’ home for a nice chill out in the lapa with some beer. The weather was building up and by 6 pm one hell of a lightning storm broke out. I personally think many people cancelled their plans to stay home with scared pets.

Hoot 'n Anny - photo by Momento Photography
Hoot ‘n Anny
(photo by Momento Photography)

We arrive at their first venue for the weekend, Kuzuri restaurant. This little gem of the Lowveld is situated right next to the Lowveld Botanical Gardens. At night you could hear the roar of the Cascades. Despite the rain, people squeezed into the restaurant with a bottle of wine to watch Hoot ‘n Anny. A wonderful performance with stories aplenty from Franco like where the song “Rooster” comes from. The song they wrote on Blue Moon and a song for their 4-year-old son.

They captured the crowd with their voices and Peter’s guitar skills are definitely something to write home to. After an hour and ten minutes of their first set, the band mingled with fans who eagerly bought their latest album “Countrees” which contains all original music. The band took to the stage again for a second set much delight to many of the fans. The evening ended off on a high note and I must admit, I felt like I was at a festival. Completely relaxed with their music.

The next day I went with a friend to Bohemian Groove Café on Kaapsehoop to catch Hoot ‘n Anny’s second show. It was your typical all 4 seasons in one day Kaapsehoop day. It was misty, cloudy and chilly when we stopped on the mountain. The beautiful wild horses were between the houses which are the drawcard to this little town.

Set up on the porch of Bohemian, the trio entertained us again to what I can only say was another high quality performance. With different influences from all three of them, they make it work into a beautiful experience. Just after 3 pm, their last note was strum and by now we have taken off our jackets, just to put it back on with rain falling softly. The next hour or so was spent talking about life, love and experiences on the road. A little jam session entreated between local artist, Arno and the band where it took me right back to weekend afternoons on Blue Moon mountain. How we all miss that place.

If you didn’t see Hoot ‘n Anny this time around you did miss a beautiful thing. They are not your typical band that you see who just do covers or rocks it out on stage. If you love your folk acoustic (although they classify themselves as country folk), then you’ll love this band. Think a SA version of Mumford and Sons but without the sadness and a bit more country. Hoot ‘n Anny makes you smile, especially Vlooi’s little voice, you can’t help but hug her at the end of a show. A weekend like this I haven’t had in years but I want to thank each and every person that was behind this show and who attended the show. You just served yourself a triple helping of the best three musicians we have in South Africa.

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.