Get Cape set for final flight

HE'S set to hang up his cape for good, but Sam Duckworth isn't soaring away just yet.

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Sam Duckworth is set for a farewell tour with  Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Sam Duckworth is set for a farewell tour with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

The man behind the Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly stage name is to retire it, and the songs he released under that name, with a farewell tour that calls at King Tut's next month.

He's still going to be working on music, but feels it's the right time to say goodbye to Get Cape, after nearly a decade of penning political pop.

"It just seemed a good time to go out on a high," says Sam, who saw his first album, The Chronicles of A Bohemian Teenager, become a hit in 2006.

"I was watching the LCD Soundsystem documentary, Play The Hits, around Christmas and it kind of become clear to me then.

"I was already considering if it was time to stop doing this and try doing something else, and after watching that I thought the best thing to do was go out having a giant party."

Sam will go back to the start for the last Get Cape tour, reverting to the format with which he found his name.

That saw the Southend-on-Sea native perform with only a guitar and a laptop.

His thoughtful, often political songs soon earned him comparisons to the likes of Billy Bragg, who made a guest appearance on Sam's second album, Searching For The Hows and Whys.

Yet the past couple of years have been a tough period for the singer.

He was unable to fully tour fourth album Maps after serious health problems left him sidelined.

"I was in hospital for about four weeks, and then it took about six months to recover physically, and the same to just get my head straight," he explains.

"I'd picked up a tropical parasite that had ended up settling for a couple of years, and after some tests the feeling was that it could be quite an aggressive cancer.

"So I ended up having a lot of surgery and it wasn't the most pleasant time I ever had."

The 28-year-old has since been given the medical all clear, but feels now's the time to "draw a line in the sand" and start afresh.

He has a folk album, Amazing Grace, due for release under his own name in October, and he's working with the singer Sean McGowan on his debut album as well.

Part of the reason for his decision to change course is a belief his political songs are rooted in a certain time.

"It's about the relevance of them," he adds.

"Some of those songs are very applicable to me at a certain time in my life, and they're coming up to being eight and nine years ago since I wrote them.

"When you write political songs, it's hard to keep doing them when they're a decade old."

When Sam started out he was fuelled with anger at the Labour government of the day, and at the war in Iraq. In the years since politics has shifted even further to the right, both in Britain and across Europe.

The singer says he's not disheartened by this though, as it just confirms what he's already thought.

"I've not been disheartened any more than I expected politically," he says.

"The moment that everything changed was around the Iraq war, when a million people marched on Whitehall and were raising their voice and it was blindly ignored.

"The problem I have with politics is that what's good for the many still gets ignored in favour of big business and corporations.

"That's not disheartened me, it's just reinforced my position there's injustice at the top.

"Right wing parties becoming more popular is a product of the environment at the moment. There's tension and there's inequality, and far right parties tend to benefit from that."

A happier note is struck when he mentions Glasgow. Originally Sam had planned one final gig in London, but he decided to expand that into a full farewell tour.

"I realised there were so many places I wanted to go to in the UK one last time," he says.

"King Tut's is certainly right at the top of that list.

"I've had some great shows in Glasgow, some of the best we've ever did, and we always had fun nights out at Optimo too.

"King Tut's always looked after me well and it seemed the best place to say farewell to Scotland."

n Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, King Tut's, Monday, September 1, £12, 8pm.

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