Having fallen for the delightful duo that is Digby and the Lullaby at the end of last summer when they opened the Cape Town Folk & Acoustic Festival at Kirstenbosch, I was stoked to hear they would be playing just down the road at The Cottage Club on the last day of winter.
To me, Rouchelle Hubsch and Darren Digby Peens produce a sound very reminiscent of The Swell Season (you’ll know them if you’ve watched beautiful movie Once) and not because Darren and Glen Hansard both sport ginger beards.
What was special about hearing them perform at such an intimate venue this time around was the way they are clearly crazy in love with each other (they celebrate their first wedding anniversary in September) but rather than excluding us, the audience, we felt drawn into their love story.
Their own music (they both write) is sweet and a little sad but not melancholic. Rouchelle’s voice is clear and true and effortless, and Darren’s a skilled but subtle guitarist who carries her voice beautifully (mostly she leads the vocals).
In-between songs they tell quirky stories of their lives, interrupting each other and laughing and arguing about the details and it’s very endearing. At the end of many of the songs, Rouchelle spontaneously says “Yay!” It’s clear that these two love what they do – as if they would be sitting together singing even if no-one was there to watch.
And they’re as warm, friendly and natural off stage too.
My highlight of the evening was their clean and uncomplicated cover of Neil Finn’s Don’t Dream it’s Over. And Darren singing the song Rouchelle walked up the aisle to at their wedding.
Of course The Cottage Club was on top form – Bill, bashful in his top hat, Gale, welcoming and warm, the fire keeping things cosy and the soup tasty as always.
If you haven’t been to The Cottage Club – you should be ashamed of yourself! This gem of a live original music venue deserves the full support of anyone who loves great music and wants to support local artists. Oh, and they’re on Facebook too – Like them so you’re in on who’s playing next.