Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, The Xcerts

James Smith 11/08/2010

With a third studio album on the way and fresh off the release of the brand new single 'Collapsing Cities', Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly returned for a London show for the first time in nearly eighteen months as part of what was effectively a collection of warm-up dates for a more thorough UK tour in September and October.

And for this long-awaited return, he had the support of The Xcerts, a band put under the vague label of “distorted pop rock”. Their half hour set was largely focussed on their new material which moves at an incredibly fast and vigorous pace but still retains a strong melodic presence. These new songs do also seem to have become subject to a darkening set of lyrical themes on the part of front-man Murray MacLeod. A gentleman who also seems to have developed a generally more aggressive stage presence, as was evidenced by his later venturing into the crowd and soloing at the feet of a heckler at the end of what was a quite a refreshingly soft and poignant version of 'Home Versus Home'.

The more intense instrumentals and darker lyrics make their new sound harder to get a grip of compared to the perhaps more vibrant “distorted pop rock” tunes of debut album 'In The Cold Wind We Smile'. But behind it all they do seem to be taking their sound somewhere deeper and perhaps more meaningful for those willing to give it a full chance. Whether a room of Get Cape fans was the best demographic to target such a new sound to is questionable, but their new, 'Scatterbrain' album is due for release in October. And then it was the turn of a certain Mister Sam Duckworth, who, also on the cusp of a new album release, seems instead quite determined to stick to his proven formula for success. He opens with two new songs, 'Queen for a Day' and the single 'Collapsing Cities', closes with another, 'The Uprising', and another relatively new and quite beautifully performed 'Morning Light' was placed in between many of the older sing-along classics, allowing audience members to grab a breath in stunned silence. All of these tracks fit seamlessly into a set which was mostly centred around revisiting the earlier classics that had shot him to fame in 2006.

Other notable performances included 'Could've Seen It All' and an equally breathtaking recital of his former hit single 'Once More With Feeling', two tracks that the audience was more than obliged to help out with. Audience participation is indeed a key component to what works to make the Get Cape live experience incredibly engaging and atmospheric. This is shown not just in the 'sing-along' tunes, most notably his self-titled track 'Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly' which left the Borderline ringing out with the famous lines “Open your eyes, you don't need to buy”, but was also evidenced as he pauses for a moment during one song to commend an audience member's accompanying vocal harmonies.

The fans who have stuck by him do seem to enjoy a blast through the Get Cape back-catalogue just as keenly as ever before. What's more, when you see a fifty year old man dancing next to someone suspiciously young-looking for an over eighteen venue, both equally enthusiastically, you begin to realise the exceptionally wide demographic that Get Cape has managed to capture and maintain over the past four years.

One wouldn't expect Get Cape's third studio album to venture anywhere new, but nor is he leaving behind the sound that has served him so successfully thus far or the fans who still continue to love his music.

He may not be about to make another massive impact on modern music, but he does still continue to fly, for now.