October 19, 2018
Islington Assembly Hall, London
“The final song in our set is about cous cous”
Although there was a hint of The Fratellis when heard through the refracted sound of the lobby doors, Eat The Evidence turned out to be a ska band up close. Think [spunge] fronted by your builder mate from down the pub.
They had an effusive stage presence and a wide array of instruments. As if the branded skateboard sign wasn’t enough, the accordion proclaimed the band’s name too.
Its player then switched to ukulele with a whistle attached for the final song: the infamous cous cous song.
There was a bit of backstory. It came from a memorable visit to Lidl when Sam Duckworth of the night’s headliner was producing their album. Friends in high places? Well, maybe *someone* was high at some point that night! Sample lyric: “you really put the cous in cous cous/c’est la vie.”
“Any hope you had is fucked”
Explaining he’d never played after a ska band before, James Page, who performs as Sivu, thought it best to manage expectations: “This song is called Lonesome and it’s as happy as it sounds.”
Songs like Better Man Than He and Communicate were also introspective electro-acoustic reflections, perhaps better suited to an intimate room than a cavernous theatre with a restless post-work crowd.
“Thanking you very much for coming to this ridiculous experiment”
The contrast with Sivu’s introverted one man musings was really magnified when Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s Sam Duckworth came out followed by 3 trumpet players, 3 saxophone players, a violinist, a flautist, a keyboardist, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and 2 sax players. Even that wasn’t everyone; the third sax player had hung back waiting for his Guinness to settle!
Although Duckworth kept sending up the sound engineer’s nightmare of a line-up – “every show more ridiculous than the first!” – he was quite rightly proud of the rich sound, the way his pop culture filled politically charged anthems were being expressed, and the ridiculous amount of fun everyone was having on and off stage.
As well as the bombastic soundscape reverberating around the Grade II listed building, Duckworth took the time to challenge apathy by urging participating in the impending anti-Brexit march and other direct, collective action.
The relentless performance was matched by an exuberant dancing crowd. Indeed, the latter part of the sent was punctuated by Duckworth reaching into the crowd for handshakes and hugs.
As a mainstay and strong supporter of the London live music scene, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly simply had to fit in one last show at The Borderline before it closes its doors for good at the end of August. Get Cape fans still wax lyrical about a previous sold out show there so don’t be surprised if it goes the same way. Get your ticket now so you don’t miss out. Tickets are only £11 through that link.
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