Chord be­tween two loves

Gui­tarist goes from un­plugged to plugged in

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMUSIC - WENDYL MARTIN

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.

PIC­TURE: CRAIG KOLESKY

SEA CHANGE? Acous­tic gui­tarist Far­ryl Purkiss is now ex­per­i­ment­ing with the elec­tric ver­sion.

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