Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

Edmund Townend 10/03/2008

Sam Duckworth is always a sucker for simplicity, even if reports say that his new album Searching for the Hows and Whys is of 'orchestration' and 'new instrumental depth'. It certainly is, but the same atmospheric music can be repeated in the oldest record store in the world with just a trumpet, a guitar and a voice.

Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager, the first super-heroic album from Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, was manipulated using various electronic substitutes, leaving the three key instruments live. Those who have said that Sam has gone 'electric' Dylan-style fail to see the full picture. Sam, and local trumpeter Gavin, shows volume and power especially in new song 'Moving Forward', a song about relationships that (quote) “have come back around to bite me in the arse”.

Throughout the set in Spillers, Sam ad-libbed through tuning sessions that seem a regular occurrence. He organised the set more by feel than logic, changing tuning and capo almost every song and changing song order according to mood. The real addition to the sound of the set was the inclusion of trumpet: nothing more defines the sound of Get Cape than a surprising and pleasing flourish of brass.

To say it is a glorified corridor would be blasphemy, but Spillers was not designed for in-stores. The hallowed racks may seem primitive and badly organised to an outsider, but the store has a strong musical heritage and impressive list of past customers and Sam voiced this, praising the staff for their intricate knowledge and pressing the crowd to buy records from independent stores like it. Sam's disassociation with being a 'political artist' does not coincide with views like this and on his new album - to be given that label nowadays means little to artists such as Bloc Party who voice their political ideas to unaware audiences.

The intimate nature of the set really showed the overall reaction to his new songs to be irrelevant. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly has always been an acoustic band, and no producing techniques showed through in Spillers. Sam has kept his musical inspirations and roots live, even if he has moved on in the studio.

(Photo by Stellar Spontaneous Photography)