Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, reimagined!
Since 2004 Sam Duckworth, better known as his musical alter-ego Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, is no stranger to playing in some pretty high profile spots. Glastonbury? He’s a regular. One Tree Hill? Had an episode named after him. Remember the Astoria? He organised their leaving do. This is, of course, only one of the strings to Duckworth’s bow – with a lengthy support of charities such as Love Music Hate Racism and a commitment to progressive politics.
This Friday (that’s tomorrow, folks!) sees him embracing an altogether different environment. In the tighter confines of The Macbeth, in Hoxton, Sam will be bringing his all-new laptop set for the P-Rock club night. We caught up ahead of the show to demystify the cryptic laptop label, find out about his current musical headspace, and why he might be sticking to drinking water. Grab your tickets here.
Hello there Sam. So, Friday’s set is billed as a Get Cape laptop set – what can we expect?
I’ve actually rewritten the whole set from scratch for the show. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, so it’s quite heavy – there’s lots of jungle and drum n bass influences in the set. I’ve taken songs from the last four albums and just reworked everything. There’s stuff from Chronicles II that’s a lot more sub-bassy with a jungle feel. I’ve totally reworked “War of the Worlds” and “Glass Houses” in particular to be something completely new, and taken tracks from my other records and reimagined them to be something quite clubby. There’s still acoustic and electric guitar, and then lots of jungle and house and breakbeat from the computer.
The impression I got was more that the show was a return to your roots – is it more a step into the future?
It’s kind of where I started 2.0. With the solo record coming, a lot of the work on that has really got back to the core of just playing acoustic guitar, and I really wanted to draw a line between the two sounds. I don’t know why, but I just started messing around with some of the songs and really just trying to relearn and replay them – and I got the itch to get back out, not to do many shows, but to take it back to its roots as a more electronic thing, with the Get Cape songs. To me, it felt like going back and just playing them over the old backing tracks didn’t really feel like where my head’s at now. This show’s more like an hour long remix of my back catalogue.
Are these the sort of genres you’re listening to at the moment then?
It’s always what I’ve listened to really! I’ve always listened to a lot of dance music, a lot of jungle, a lot of house – and in particular now a lot of percussion heavy stuff, a lot of deep house, and it felt like a lot of the songs really lent themselves to that. I’ve known Adrian [Storry, the show’s promoter] since I was – bloody hell – 16! I don’t know how old Adrian was, but let’s hope 16 for the legalities of the venues that I met him in…
We’ve known each other for years, and every time I see him he’s been saying “You’ve got to do a show at P-Rock, you’ve got to do a laptop set, it’ll go down well” – and in the end I just thought it sounded like a lot of fun. It’s been a rough couple of years really, and it’ll be a good chance to just get loads of friends together in one place, and just catch up with loads of folks. Scratch quite a few itches all at the same time!
Do you miss the style of your earlier shows?
Not really. I think my biggest problem, and it always has been, is that I want to do loads of different shows at once. Trying to get to grips with what kind of things work in which ways – I’ve always really enjoyed that schizophrenic element of the way that I write, and the way that I play gigs. The older you get, the more you want to cram things into spaces. The solo record’s got a really clear sound to it, and people kept asking me – “what’s the difference, what’s the difference?” – and I thought the best way would just be to show people. Take it back to where I kind of envision the partition being. What I do miss is being able to turn up somewhere and play. Acoustic sets I love doing – but I really want to have a show that I can just turn and play, that’s more suitable for after 8 o clock. It’s kind of where I see everything at the moment, just doing things for fun. It needs to be loud enough for people to have a dance and really get into it, and also talk and not feel like you’ve interrupted a party by playing the guitar! There’s always a danger of that. I was so into sing-a-long songs and sets for a long time that I’ve really rebelled against that. I’ve wanted to create a set that had moments of involvement for an audience that were partly singalong, and partly big, tear your hair out, club synths moments.
So the solo record is what you’ve been working on at the moment?
Yeah, for most of the year. That’s due out – it’s finished and with the pledgers now – so it’s imminent! It’s nice when that was finished, we did three shows over the summer with a minimum of about 28 musicians appearing over the course of the show, so it’s kind of gone from one extreme of another!
Have you got any shows you’ve seen this year that you’re trying to emulate with this style?
Not really. Without meaning to sound pretentious, I’m trying to do something that I haven’t really seen over the summer. I’ve seen some amazing electronic shows, and I’ve seen some amazing singer-songwriters. One of the things I still enjoy is the juxtaposition of the two things. So at times, it really worked, and at times it didn’t really click. Having most of the year on my back last year, and a lot of time this year to just watch things, and study things, I’ve been working out what elements I like – just trying to borrow elements from different sounds, and piece it together into something else. In a strange way, it feels like these are more complete versions of these tracks then than ones that ended up on the album. I feel like in an odd way, I’ve just left university. I’ve had almost a decade of learning stuff, and it feels like it’s time to come back and reimagine the things in the same space as the original vision, but with the same skills that I’ve learned over the years.
Do you see Friday as a one-off show, or something more sustained?
I think it’s just going to be a really fun night. It’s not something that I’m going to do too often. I don’t want to get back out into relentless touring, but it’s something that – if there’s a fun night, where there’s a club night that loads of my friends go to, where we can hang out and I can just get people together – this is something that’s more fitting than an hour of introspective songs about the end of the world. All my songs have kind of been about that. The last few solo shows in London that I’ve done where everyone’s come have been a bit bleak – and deliberately so – but this is just an attempt at having a bit of a party, doing something fun. Not that the other stuff wasn’t fun, but this is about trying to build the fun elements of what I did, into the darker elements of what I’m doing now, and see how the two work. P-Rock’s always a good night as well – Adrian throws good parties.
It’s our round, what are you drinking?
I’m not sure! I’m actually playing at a wedding on Saturday, so it’ll all end up on how much adrenaline’s in me, and how much I’ve drunk before, as to whether it’ll be rum or water…
Limited tickets are still available for the show tomorrow, taking place at The Macbeth. Head here to grab yours for £7.
Here’s a few snaps from the set!