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Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Electric Ballroom, Camden, London - October 13th 2010 (Live Review)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 Written by Arran Oakes
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Electric Ballroom, Camden, London - October 13th 2010 (Live Review)

It’s hard to believe that only 4 years ago Essex boy Sam Duckworth AKA Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly was playing gigs with just his guitar and a laptop. Adding a small brass section to the line-up, Sam set about bringing his acoustic folk-pop to a wider audience, playing a string of major UK festivals including Oxegen, Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals and SXSW. Gradually building a name for himself, Get Cape’s sound has matured with the band’s progression, with new album ‘Get Cape Wear Cape Fly’ sounding a long way from 2006’s ‘Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager’, featuring an increased emphasis on electric guitar and keys than either of his previous two albums.

So it was that I found myself looking forward to his first few London gigs in 2 years (his first was what appeared to be a small gig for fans and record company guests at Borderline in August), wondering how the once-solo frontman would handle the change in pace and musical style. The answer became obvious very rapidly, as first song (and current single) ‘Collapsing Cities’ caught a mostly unsuspecting crowd by surprise. The band were playing noticeably tighter than when I saw them last at Reading Festival 2008, albeit minus long-standing trumpet player Gavin Fitzjohn (currently playing for Paolo Nutini), and Get Cape classics ‘An Oak Tree’ and ‘I-Spy’ had a fresh life breathed into them, benefiting from the fuller sound provided by the newly extended band.

ImageThe half-way point of the gig was supposed to be the solo acoustic breakdown traditional for this setting, however technical difficulties left Sam without a playable acoustic guitar. Determined to continue, Sam proceeded to grab the nearest Telecaster and launched into solo electric performances of ‘The Plot’ and new unreleased song ‘The Farmer', pausing only to quip that it would be “the first song off (his) upcoming electric-only album” with characteristic charm.

The second half of the set powered on, with an excellent mix of songs off the new album and more established classics, with up-tempo, up-lifting and irresistibly catchy ‘The Uprising’ fitting neatly alongside a new rockier version of ‘Glass Houses’. The highlight of the evening was definitely an inspired cover of Daft Punk’s classic (and Kanye West-sampled) ‘Digital Lover’, which might possibly have been good enough to even take the title of “Best Live Cover” from Biffy Clyro’s cover of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’.

Unfortunately while the band was undoubtedly excellent, the evening was somewhat let down by the crowd. Now I’m certainly all for discovering new bands through going to random gigs; it’s one of the best ways to find new music, but if you’re going to go to a gig then I would definitely recommend actually listening to the music. The atmosphere of a crowd can make the difference between an electric, exciting night and an infuriating gig, and it just seemed that half the crowd were ambivalent about the whole thing. Luckily, even that tough crowd were won over by the catchy pop hooks from Sam and the gang, so by final anthemic new song ‘Morning Light’, arms were raised, people were jumping and the gig drew to a very happy (and sweaty) close.

For the second time this year, Get Cape managed to become my own ‘gig of the year’. If you haven’t had chance to catch him live yet, I sincerely recommend you go check him out at your first opportunity!

Setlist:

1. Collapsing Cities
2. An Oak Tree
3. I-Spy
4. Queen for a Day
5. All Falls Down
6. The Plot
7. The Farmer
8. Where Will You Stand
9. Could’ve Seen it All
10. Get Cape Wear Cape Fly
11. The Uprising
12. Glass Houses
13. Nightlife
14. Digital Love
15. Call Me Ishmael
16. Morning Light

Stereoboard Gig Rating: 8/10




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