The man with the laptop proves he’s more than just a pretty face
“I’ve got pier-envy,” shrugs Sam Duckworth. “I mean, the one in Southend is bigger, but it’s a burnt-down shit heap. I want yours.” Never mind, eh? What Get Cape lacks in jetty length he’s making up for with a vanload of new band members and instruments. Last time he was here was as a lone performer, but now he’s backed by a cornet player, a drummer and Mr Apple Mac glowing proudly in the gloom.
And the reinforcements work beautifully, helping Sam’s simple beats and gentle strumming to envelope his docile audience like a warm embrace. So the crowd smile, sing and occasionally even scream (yes, really) at their hero, who’s bashfully unsure of how to handle the admiration being directed at him. Not that it’s too intimidating: one member of the audience is quietly munching his way through a tube of Pringles throughout – anarchy this is not.
But while the crowd might at times err on the placid, Get Cape himself is anything but. Just 20 minutes into the gig and he’s flexing his political muscles with brand new song ‘You Just Sit There In Silence As The World Cries Out In Vain’ (catchy, eh?). The fashion industry, racists, bombs and veils may be on Sam’s mind, but it’s hard to tell whether or not his rapidly expanding fanbase are fellow political activists, appreciators of his music, or simply on a mission to get inside his pants.
Mr Cape strides around the stage giving the occasional twirl and girls squeak every time he moves towards them. Swinging his guitar and sweeping his black fringe from his face, the grinning charmer and his band charge tracks such as ‘I-Spy’ and ‘Glass Houses’ with life and vitality. Nowhere more so than during the Mardi Gras cover of The Steve Miller Band’s ‘Abracadabra’. In any other circumstance this choice of encore would be suicidal and frankly embarrassing, but Get Cape somehow pulls it off and it comes as light relief after the heavy political overtones of tonight’s gig.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly has played over 200 gigs in the last 18 months. None may have ended in mosh mayhem or social upheaval, but slowly, surely, he’s retaining and strengthening his position as the new political hero for the post-Geldof generation.