Via Whats on in Cape Town By: Samantha Reynolds

Samantha Reynolds is a travel writer and photographer, and more of her work can be found on her blog, Travel and Photography – Golden Dreams.

Studio 7 is a venue that creates an exclusive, stripped down acoustic performance for just 50 people. Set in a house in Sea Point with sea views, wooden floors, a fireplace, and comfy white couches, this is about as intimate a venue as you can get.

Founder Patrick Craig created Studio 7 out of impromptu jam sessions with friends that grew ever more popular. “Three years later and we’re basically just an upmarket shebeen,” he says with a wry smile. Having hosted the likes of Arno Carstens, Ard Matthews, Freshlyground and Dan Patlansky, Studio 7 is a little more than that. It’s a unique way to experience the best of South African music.

The perfect place then, to enjoy an original acoustic set with Jesse Clegg and his new guitarist Richard Onraet of folk band Black Handed Kites, a young man who we last saw playing alongside local guitar icon Tony Cox and the internationally renowned guitarist Andrea Valeri.

Jesse Clegg needs no introduction to South African music lovers. His 2008 debut album, When I Wake Up, and the 2011 follow up, Life On Mars, have both made the 25-year-old a platinum-selling success

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in his home country. He has been nominated for three South African Music Awards over the course of his career.

In 2013, Jesse spent the first half of the year recording in Toronto and playing several well-received shows in New York. Now, on the back of a brand new single release, Jesse will be returning to New York to play at the influential CMJ Music Festival where he will be debuting his new track, ‘Sinking’.

However, we heard it here first.

I’ve chatted to many musicians who have played to capacity crowds at big venues, and they often confess to feeling really nervous before their Studio 7 session. Something about being in such close proximity to their audience, the challenge of stripped down sound and no theatrics is daunting. Not for Jesse Clegg however. “I love this vibe,” he says, explaining that they write all their songs in acoustic. So, the beauty of playing here is that they strip back to the bare bones, and play the songs the way they wrote them. They also get to play songs they wouldn’t normally perform live because they work so well in this special setting.

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