I’ve seen Sam Duckworth live a number of times over the years, I really should compile a complete list. Many of those shows have stood apart from the early Get Cape set up of Sam, Mikey (cornet) and Andy (drums). Other than playing solo acoustic, or with the laptop, this tour and album campaign was the first big change to Sam’s set up, building the band out for a fuzzier, more distorted take on the Get Cape sound.
The album, Maps, was produced by Jason Perry, frontman of one of my favourite bands, A. Jason had has some commercial success as a producer in the late 2000’s when he worked with McFly. He took the sound Kids In Glass Houses had established on Smart Casual and made it bigger (I wrote about this a bit in a recent post) for Dirt, but it was his work on their third album In Gold Blood, that was, to me, really interesting. It pushed the band outside the confines they’d created with their first two records and I think Jason did the same with Sam on Maps.
Get Cape shows and albums were becoming a progressively more refined version of the original concept, with Sam having his own formula down to a fine art on his self-titled third album. The Maps era was much looser and less interested in trying to compete with the project’s own legacy. I can see how a move like this could alienate someone coming along expecting to see what had come before, and if it was your first show, it might have been a little jarring also. I don’t remember getting any sense of this in the crowd. It helped that this new set of songs sounded fresh and carried a renewed energy from the band.
This was the first date on the bands UK tour. Maps had been released a week earlier on Monday 7th May. Pretty cool to have got to see some of these tracks performed live for what was likely the first time the band had played them to an audience. Given that the songs were quite unique to this era, I don’t think even the ones released as singles appear on more recent Get Cape set lists. Would love to see this material make a return in the future.
Later in 2012, Sam fell ill from a serious parasite infection. Fortunately he recovered from this, but it inevitably had an impact on his life and profession for some time. There have been moments since in Sam’s creative output that feel like spiritual successors to the Maps era (2015’s Sam Duckworth and The Brackets project and 2016’s Recreations ‘Beaches Aint Shit’ EP), but I do wonder if things had played out differently for him, whether he would’ve continued further in this musical direction.
If you missed out on this album and touring cycle, go back and check the record out. Some really great stuff on there. Listen out for Jason Perry’s great cameos.