As every bird has to one day grow up and depart from its nest, so does a band from its garage.  Aspiring talents, The Bird and the Cage, have officially stepped onto the folk-acoustic scene, conquering Cape Town audiences one flock at a time.  The young band have been very active on the live-performance front, most recently of which was the Flam jangled Tea Party Festival, as they performed next to national headliners such as Goodluck and Jeremy Loops. Jesse Vos and Katey Lee Carson make up the two-man band, both of whom play the acoustic guitar and sing.

The interesting and yet deeply unintended metaphorical name for the band was conceived in a rooftop bar one night when the duet happened to stumble upon an empty bird cage. The literal band-name has been well-spread throughout Cape Town folks (folk-lovers) and is yet to take over the folk acoustic industry. One thing that sets this group apart from other folksters (folk musicians – It’s just too easy to make up words within this genre) is their innocent intentions and simple outlook. Their warm sincerity in their musical style reflects their standing within the industry. To them, it’s all about the music, being stripped of all the plugins, add-ons and effects that take away from the rawness of an intimate relationship between a musician and its audience. Lead singer Katey added that “the people who like us, like us, those who don’t, don’t.” Unlike other bands, they are “not really in it for fame and fortune.”

When asked about where she sources inspiration from when writing lyrics, Katey replied with a quote from Leonard Cohen, “if I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often,” adding that it is difficult to say where inspiration comes from. On the flipside, her list of musical influences didn’t come with much difficulty – she finds influence from artists such Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitche.

Among taking centre stage at festivals and gigs in and around the Mother City, the pair have also been hard at work on their soon-to-be-released debut EP. According to the ginger in the band, Katey, the EP is taking longer than expected but fans shouldn’t worry as “it will be worth it.” A brand new website, repertoire and some fresh songs are all currently in the works so South African fans and critics alike can expect to be blown away.

However, amidst all the hype, it doesn’t matter if the early folk-bird catches the worm in the general music scene in South Africa. The market for folk music is highly demotivating and underrated. When asked to comment on the lack of exposure and support from national music lovers, Katey replied, “South Africa has some real talent and we could roll with the big boys but instead we try and copy them and loose an individual sound which is so important to folk. All hope is not lost and as Katey has “high hopes for the future,” adding that the support structures have increased in the last few years.

Although this band is well on its way to stardom and a large fan-base, their ideal performance, in the words of Katey, would be “an intimate gig no more than 50 people, just me and Jesse and our guitars on stage and of course no sound problems.”

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