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Interview: Adelaide's Cape

PUBLISHED: 17:39 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 29 October 2010

Main photo: Antonella Muscat

Main photo: Antonella Muscat

Jack Phillips

Adelaide's Cape is the musical moniker of Norwich singer-songwriter Sam Taylor and his ever-changing acoustic collective. Ahead of his latest hometown show, JACK PHILLIPS catches up with him.

Jack Phillips

Adelaide's Cape is the musical moniker of Norwich singer-songwriter Sam Taylor and his ever-changing acoustic collective. Ahead of his latest hometown show, JACK PHILLIPS catches up with him.

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There have been whisperings around the city of a Scottish Anglian who's making some ripples everywhere he goes.

Sam Taylor, or as you may know him, Adelaide's Cape, has been trundling around the country spreading his good word supporting the best up and coming folk artists around.

His hat might lay here but he splits his time between here and Bath, where he recently started a creative writing degree, something that has made touring and all that goes with it easier. Which in turn has made the constant travelling between homes seem easier.

“I moved from Scotland just before I started secondary school so I grew up here,” he says of his Norwich links. “I think it will always feel a bit of a home but for a while things are going to get a bit nomadic. It's nice to have a place to stay when you're out and about too and it doesn't seem too far any more after touring, so that's a bonus.”

Adelaide's Cape has grown over the past 12 months too. Originally it was mainly composed of Sam and percussionist and vocalist Hannah Richardson, but since then the ever-changing line-up has ebbed and flowed from a one-man band to a six-piece group.

Their debut EP, Last Sleep In Albion, released earlier this year on Norwich-based label Dustbowl Records, showed the full potential of the six-piece as thick, ramshackle folk complemented the more lonely, open moments delicately well.

The live shows have been Sam and himself for much of it, but things are only going to expand. “I do a lot of shows solo and we also do band gigs. I've been lucky because our songs work solo and as ensemble but I think there will always be two sides it. There's six of us in my full band currently which is hopefully going to turn into eight very soon.”

This full band will be back on the road in July for dates as far afield as Cardiff, Newcastle and Brighton, but next week sees the stripped back version appearing with The Miserable Rich - aka cellist/pianist William Calderbank and singer/percussionist James de Malplaquet - as they perform songs from their new album Of Flight & Fury at Norwich Puppet Theatre.

Sam is well used to opening for hotly tipped outfits after appearing on the joint tour of the two principle threats to Laura Marling's position as female folk royalty, Alessi's Ark and Rachael Dadd, plus a tour opening for Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit.

“Alessi and Rachael are both amazingly engaging performers and it was a pleasure, I think if I hadn't been playing I would have been in the audience. The First Aid Kit tour was great too.”

The Scandinavian duo have been making all the right noises to all the right people, but illness cut their journey short. He still made it to - and left an impressive mark on - Ireland along with First Aid Kit

“Travelling the length and breadth in such a short space of time was almost therapeutic. It was a treat to go to Ireland as I'd never been. It was a shame we had to cancel the last few gigs - I got a nasty chest infection but we've rescheduled the shows for the full band in July.”

The real Adelaide's Cape sound still eludes him, something he's hoping to find before a full long-player, but he's still planning on at least one more EP before then. “We've got plans to a least record another EP this year. An album would be great but I don't think I've quite got the sound I want yet.”

Last Sleep In Albion gave Sam the chance to explore his love of different instruments although his desire for a full-blown sound was a struggle at times.

"It was a lot of hard work,” he said, “but it's good that it hasn't just been drums and a guitar - we ended up playing a whole range of instruments.”

Adelaide's Cape's strapping sound unfolds to the beats of drums and congas and the strains of the violin, banjo, double bass and piano, which while exciting led Sam to fret over travel arrangements for his musicians. "It's quite difficult to transport a double bass and drum kit around!"

The Miserable Rich cherry-picked him to open for them. “They have a great sound so I'm excited to support them on tour, and there's the possibility we'll be doing some more shows together further afield later this year.”

With numerous festival appearances in the offing - including a slot at the prestigious Secret Garden Party in Herfordshire next month - the whispering could well be turning to shouts very soon.

t Adelaide's Cape will appear with The Miserable Rich at Norwich Puppet Theatre on June 7.

t Last Sleep In Albion is still available.

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