Last night I went to Slipstream, to watch Nibs van der Spuy perform. He’s an old friend of mine, from back in the day when I went to a shitty private school called Crawford, I wanted to be a man, and he taught guitar. Although I was wise beyond my teenager years, I didn’t have the wisdom to think I should learn guitar with him.
And so I find myself now, aged 20 and a half, capable of playing six chords, wishing I was a master geetartist (see what I did there) like Nibs. Anyway, the point is, Nibs played a gig in Gtown and he is a great musician.
Nibs played an amazing set last night, with I think four different types of guitars, one small enough to be played by a midget five-year-old.
The crowd was small, but so intimate, and as I perched on a ledge and looked around, this is what I saw:
His music, like ribbons, draws people together. There’s this sweet couple…reminding me of everything I have not…and so involved in this moment and so inextricable.
Not cheesy, not exaggerated, just simply, simply beautiful.
There’s these two girls, tucked into each other, her leg touching her back touching her arm touching – knowing smiles – hands gesticulating, faces mimicking, the stories and worlds only friends can know. In that moment, I believe they know everything.
To the side, resting against the painted wall, there are two older people, standing near each other, maybe still faithful after twenty years. She has soft cheeks and he wears a beret.
I look up at Nibs, who wears life on his face, and hear the music he makes: an expression of all that he’s seen. All that he’s seen? Maybe only extracts? If his soul could play an uninterrupted symphony, what would it sound like? Could it relate everything?