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Friday, June 12, 2009


Guitar maestro presents his spellbinding acoustic guitar style at Alliance Française on June 12.

Guitar maestro Nibs van der Spuy will appear at the Alliance Française on June 12.

It would be modest to say that Nibs van der Spuy is an unsung hero, and an acoustic guitar legend of Southern Africa. His spellbinding acoustic guitar style was first taken notice of with his band, Landscape Prayers, performing live and on their four highly acclaimed Acoustic/Instrumental albums, between 1993 - 2003. His diversity as a songwriter, singer and finger stylist, reached a broader audience with the release of his solo albums; Lines on my face (1999) and Flower in the rain (2002). Both these acoustic gems were nominated in the best instrumental category at the South African Music Awards in their respective years of release. Nibs's versatility to cross pollinate various musical styles, from, African, Classical, Celtic, World, Maskanda, Indian and folk can be traced back to his formative years growing up in the old mining town of Benoni, 20 miles east of Johannesburg.

In the late 80's, after completing two years national service, Nibs moved to Durban where he studied and lectured music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Whilst a student he formed his first two bands, Little Nomads and Plagal Cadence, then in 1994 signed to the SHEER label with his newly formed band, Landscape Prayers.

In 2006, Nibs signed to the 2FEET label with the release of his third solo album, Beautiful Feet. This has seen him been released in the UK, Australia, Japan, USA, France and Germany. Since its release, it has received rave reviews in every country, from the London Guardian to the Sydney Herald, and in May 2007, was album of the month in four major German publications. This has been accompanied by intensive touring across the globe with a highlight being the prestigious East Coast Blues & Roots festival in Byron Bay, Australia. Here Nibs shared the stage with such luminaries as Ben Harper, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Bela Fleck and Piers Faccini. Besides his own solo career, Nibs got to record a beautiful duo album, Sweet-Thorn (2004) with Mozambican, Gito Baloi and Hadeda (2004) with drummer extraordinaire, Barry van Zyl, from Johnny Clegg's band. He has also performed and recorded with folk Legend, Shawn Phillips and Italian band, the Modena City Ramblers. Mostly touring as a soloist, Nibs also plays across the globe with his young virtuoso guitarist/multi instrumentalist friend Guy Buttery and the incredible violist, Brendan Jury.

A Bird in the Hand comes hot on the heels of his internationally critically acclaimed, Beautiful Feet. These 11 new songs have once again captured the natural, out of time, pacified and rural utopic spirit of the East Coast of Africa. Previously having been described by Johana Seban, of Les Inrocks (FRANCE) as having the soft disturbing ghost of Nick Drake in his guitar playing, melodies and especially voice tone. On this release Nibs has truly come into his own. With his precise organic acoustic guitar playing and his soft mesmerizing voice, one can visualize Nibs walking into the warm Indian Ocean and washing his hands for some kind of atonement of sins leaving behind a ravaged past. Reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen's call for revelation at the Mexican border in The Ghost of Tom Joad, Nibs cries out for answers and freedom at the cross roads of Mozambique and Kwa-Zulu. With A Bird In The Hand, one can envision Nibs’ dark olive skin, long plaited, prophet-like beard, his hardened feet from the rugged coastline and the holes in his clothes. In his pocket lie the keys of new found wisdom, beginnings, love and a positive message for those willing to lend their ears.

You can hear Nibs van der Spuy on June 12 at 19h00 at the Alliance Française, Cnr Sutton and Lillian Ngoyi (Windermere Road), Morningside, Durban. Entrance R60. More information on 072 280 1949 or 074 1192 999 or visit or