Chord between two loves
Guitarist goes from unplugged to plugged in
ACELEBRATION of folk music is coming to the Cape Town International Convention Centre next Saturday.
The first Cape Town Folk ’n Acoustic Music Festival will feature 18 artists including Ard Matthews, Gavin Minter, Machineri, Natasha Meister and Farryl Purkiss.
The Good Weekend chatted to 31- year- old singer- songwriter Purkiss, who spoke about his move from Durban to Cape Town, the folk music scene and his techniques.
“I moved here in 2002. I came on holiday and just never went back,” he said.
He does appear to be a homebody in other ways, though – his last two albums were recorded in Durban. “I might record my third album here. In Durban you get too comfy. It’s like a haze which makes a comfort zone. People are happy to do nothing. Maybe it’s the humidity.”
Purkiss is upbeat about the growth of folk music performances in Cape Town.
“There weren’t a lot of venues before but we are getting there. I do not like open mic sessions though. I think it’s disrespectful to have to perform with 10 other people. It’s more difficult as a folk musician but it is getting better.”
However, looking at the festival line- up, Purkiss is happy about being on the bill.
“It is an honour to be on same bill as these artists. About 60 percent of them inspire me. It is super humbling and an honour. The festival is a cool idea. It should have been done long ago. There aren’t a lot of folk festivals.”
And, as with many local artists, Purkiss’s work takes him overseas – in March he will head to New York and Canada.
“I can never say what will happen in five years. I love making music and I consider myself blessed. My goal is to make music, travel and support my family.”
He says the writing is almost done for his new album and he’s almost ready for studio but, with the prospect of travelling, he’d rather wait. “It gives a fresh breath of inspiration, travelling before going into studio.”
Purkiss is changing his act a little. Once a sworn acoustic guitarist, he now experiments with a looping pedal and the electric guitar. “It’s not rock, it’s more like new folk blues. I used to think using an electric guitar was like cheating. If you made a mistake, no one would hear. I only bought this electric guitar eight months ago. I am going to see where it takes me. My record company is not too stifling.”
Sadly, Purkiss has not been playlisted much in South Africa. “Most of my playlisting is overseas. I have had a single that was number one in France. It’s very difficult to get playlisted here.”
Purkiss’s writing is also different to most: “I make music before I write. There is no process. I don’t wake up and decide I want to write. There is no notebook I carry around. I write one line, then write the song, read it and then figure it out. The songs lead me. If you control them, they will backfire.”
For updates from Purkiss, follow him on Twitter@ farrylpurkiss
Tickets for the Cape Town Folk ’n Acoustic Music Festival cost R180 on www. webtickets. co.za or R200 at the door. The show starts at 7pm.
SEA CHANGE? Acoustic guitarist Farryl Purkiss is now experimenting with the electric version.