Success lies at Phil’s fingertips

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TO GUITAR PLAYER2 Sibonelo Ngcobo Phil Moffett

YOUNG Phil Moffett appears to be the king of slap harmonics on the North Coast of Durban.

Over the past few years he has worked hard to forge a cult following with his acoustic rock covers as well as some intricate originals. Moffett is also one of the few guitarists who can sing as well as he can play.

This tall, broad-set man seems a bit clumsy off the stage, but when he is onstage all that is swept by the wayside as he commands his art.

His manner is easy when he performs and he comes alive as the set progresses.

Slap harmonics could be construed as a novelty because the musician uses the guitar as the only instrument in terms of strings and slapping the instrument’s body to create the percussion. However, there is a serious art to it, and Moffett is definitely mastering it.

He has enjoyed residencies at a few venues on that side of the world and now handles the open mic at Beach Bums in eMdloti.

“My first big stage performance was at No One’s Ark a few years back,” he recalls. He says he first began playing because of his brother and the first song he learnt was Nirvana’s Come As You Are.

Altogether Moffett has been playing for 15 years, although he is only 26. On the way, life adventures have happened.

Growing up in Mbombela, Moffett played in two high school bands. He also studied at the SA Music Institute in Joburg before moving to Grahamstown where he played that small, but busy circuit.

A big highlight for him was playing in Zanzibar for three months. The original gig he was booked to play fell through and he made a living by busking and sleeping on the beach.

Four years ago he came to Durban to attend his aunt’s funeral and never left. From Umhlali to Salt Rock, Moffett has impressed young and old with his refreshing and unique style.

“I plan to write more which means I have to remove myself from society and get away,” he says.

Yeah, well it would also be cool if he included Durban in his live shows, and then maybe the rest of the country. Heaven knows, he has the talent.


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