Guy Buttery off to the UK

2007-02-01 00:00

For anyone who is interested in the local music scene, Guy Buttery is a familiar name. The young man from Amanzimtoti maintains a blistering ability as a guitarist that music lovers have associated with South African legends such as Tony Cox and Steve Newman.

He's a young man who has a fair share of accolades under his belt. “I can recall many amazing moments,” he tells me in an interview for The Witness. “Opening for the Violent Femmes in Perth, performing with one of my guitar heroes Steve Newman, doing a TV special with maskanda legend Madala Kunene, getting nominated at the South African Music Awards while still in my teens, laying down parts for Vusi Mahlasela's classic album Naledi Ya Tsela and traveling around the country with my good friend and childhood mentor, Nibs van der Spuy. All very memorable experiences. Each held in a very special place for me.”

UK tour

Buttery will be performing at the Stables this weekend, before he jets off for a two-week tour of the UK, which is a tour he has had in the pipeline for most of this year.

“My plan for my UK tour is to just set a small dent in the acoustic music scene and try to see what's available for the future for me over there,” Buttery says. “There seems to be an abundance of great festivals and venues so I'm basically just sussing it out. My expectations for this tour have already been achieved really. I was just interested in establishing contacts and getting onto a few festivals as well as to perform at some cool venues. All of which are set up and done.”

The tour includes festivals such as the Wye Fayre Festival, the Chagstock Music Festival and the Small Nations Festival as well as club gigs with Nibs van der Spuy at the 12 Bar Club, the Halfmoon club and the Electro-acoustic club - all of which Buttery says he is looking forward to. No doubt this will be a good move for an artist who has been working hard at his career in the South African music industry.

“I have been performing constantly and getting my music out there and seem to have a busy year ahead of me,” he says. “Performance fees and CD sales are my sole income, so I need to be out there making music.”

This will be Buttery's first outing as a performer to the British Isles. “I have been to the UK before, but not to perform,” he says. “The more research and people I speak to about working in the UK as a musician, the more I realise how similar it is to South Africa. For this tour, I pretty much did what I would for a Cape Town or Gauteng tour.

“The big difference is that in the UK, there is an industry for what I do. There are dozens of festivals that feature exclusively solo guitar music and people whom I just adore are performing all the time.”

And a new album? “I intend to start recording again early next year. There is an abundance of new material I'm interested to lay down and quite a few artists I've worked with over the years whom I'd love to record with and have as guest artists on the album. I think it's going to be an interesting album,” he says.

I ask him what he is most proud of so far in his career. “Perhaps one's proudest moment is something one keeps striving for?” he suggests. And so he soldiers on, continuing to carve and establish a unique niche for himself as a musician.

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