Release Date 13/09/2010 (Cooking Vinyl Records)
By Simon A. Morrison
Is it a bus? Is it a plane? Is it a band? Well, yes and no. Get Cape, Wear Cape Fly is, essentially, Sam Duckworth: by day, mild-mannered man from Southend, Hoxton-haunting muso by night.
This eponymous long-player is the third album from GCWCF (or shall we just call him Sam?), and it’s good… really rather good. Previously I have only been aware of Sam from the periphery – appearances on Jonathan Ross’ Radio 2 show (RIP…whatever are we to do with Saturday mornings now?) and various music shows. This is the first album I have been able to proper get my gnashers into, and it’s warmingly varied – from the drum & bass foundations that underpin ‘Stitch By Stitch’ and ‘Collapsing Cities’ (a collaboration with Shy FX), the acoustic folksy strummery of ‘Hand MeDowns’ to the popishness of ‘Where Will You Stand’. At times it sounds a little Athlete-y (really, no bad thing), at others quite Liam Frost-y (definitely no bad thing), but in general the quality of the songwriting means that Sam has earned the luxury of taking the music off on these different tangential directions – big beat, drum & bass, indie.
Aside from the Shy FX collaboration, Baaba Maal also provides vocals on ‘All Of This Is Yours’, following in an auspicious line of collaborators (in the positive rather than the Nazi sense) on previous albums – Kate Nash, Billy Bragg, Nitin Sawney etal.
There is also purpose, lyrically. Sam is a strong supporter of Love Music, Hate Racism following a pub altercation with the BNP (wouldn’t we all love to have been there and lobbed a few well-aimed beer-sodden peanuts at whatever slap-head ne’er-do-well was mithering our Sam), and other lyrical concerns include them naughty bankers, community action and global responsibility. Plus, he’s been on Hollyoaks, so what’s not to like?
So, quality songs that take influences from all over the world but root themselves, fundamentally, in the traditions of proper British songwriting, PLUS lyrics you want to listen to. Get yer cape…you’ve pulled.