In the shade of the wild fig with Buttery & Van der Spuy

Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery have a jam. Picture: DEBORAH ROUSSOUW.

By Kate Janse van Rensburg


With the launch of their first collaborated album ‘In the Shade of the Wild Fig’ well underway, Guy Buttery and Nibs Van Der Spuy will be heading down to Grahamstown for two nights this week.

The artists independently came up with the album’s name ‘In the Shade of the Wild Fig’. “That’s telepathy!” says Van Der Spuy. The Wild Fig Tree is synonymous with Kwa-Zulu Natal. This is just one part of the province’s natural environment along with its rich culture that has inspired a large part of their music. “Your surroundings tell a story, they dictate the mood of the music. They act as a canvas backdrop,” said Van Der Spuy. He added that “the colours of the landscape to the ancient river beds all add to the initial visual spark”. As a result of this, Buttery and Van Der Spuy have held concerts where they give back to wildlife. This was most recently done to raise money for the fight against rhino poaching.

Buttery’s unique guitar style resulted in him recently being featured in one of the world’s most esteemed guitar magazines, ‘Guitar Player’. In 2010 his album ‘Fox Hill Lane’ received a South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Instrumental Album. Van Der Spuy’s mellow voice along with his guitar techniques have seen him become a respected and celebrated singer, songwriter and guitarist. Both musicians have an international reputation. Combined, the artists create a sound that can be described as akin to a spiritual experience. Together through their music, the artists will transport you on an authentic musical journey.

Their influences derive from various different genres of music with the album even having a unique rendition of AC/DC’s ‘Up to my neck in you’. Buttery explains that he tries to “emulate interesting sounds that are not really heard”. An array of instruments will be used during their upcoming performance. According to Van Der Spuy, he and Buttery really connected with one another from the beginning and enjoyed exchanging ideas. Both artists admit that making music with each other is quite easy. After just over a decade of performing together it is no wonder that they have finally had a meeting of the minds and created a collaborated album. “We both had a gap in our schedules and it felt kind of right,” says Buttery. Van Der Spuy admits that they had loads of fun together, while creating the album which only took two days to record. Both musicians are “constantly amazed and inspired” by how the album has been received by its audience. The album’s huge success has resulted in them playing on demand.

Buttery and Van Der Spuy feel that the response has been great with regards to their upcoming concert in Grahamstown. “There is something quite magical about it,” says Van Der Spuy. The artists agree that Grahamstown is a town they both love. “We also love the Rhodes campus and could not ask for a better supporter of the arts”. Both musicians have performed at the National Arts Festival and have fond memories of the experience. The artists are hoping for a warm audience. Van Der Spuy and Buttery encourage audiences to look forward to a “very visual and organic experience” in an intimate concert environment at the Lowlander on both Wednesday and Thursday night starting at 20:30.

The new album will be on sale.

Listen to the album here: In the Shade of the Wild Fig

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