Like pancakes and butter, and ocean views with an ice cold beer, some things in life find perfect harmony with each other, while simultaneously making each other better. This is on course for the alternative rock duo group, PurpleCry.

Straight out of the mother city PurpleCry started as a five-piece college band from the Campus of Performing Arts, which then found its current form as a delectable duo with Licia du Plessis (vocals & percussion) and Marcel van der Westhuizen (vocals & guitar/bass). If you like the sound of Paramore, Biffy Clyro, and The Kills, and have a head-jerk reaction of eagerness to great acoustic performances, this group is worth a listen.

Their music is energetic, passionate, and honest to say the least, as they master the art of harmonising with each other, while capturing a true feel for the singer-songwriter process. Emotionally present and carefully balanced, PurpleCry is that band you have to see when you just want to embrace some of life’s good warm feels.

Marcel notes that they “don’t really have a structure of music first or lyrics first, it normally happens very organically. We have a lot of different influences but normally just write what comes naturally. We usually just draw from our experiences. Our writing is very emotionally driven.”

Both Licia and Marcel come from Cape Town and share an equal love for heavier music like Underoath, Karnivool, Chevelle and Flyleaf.  Their passion for music has developed in their own unique way, and brings a fresh approach to the table.


When asked who they would include in a dream supergroup, they confidently list Chris Cornell for vocals, Jonny Greenwood on guitar and keys, Tom Morello on guitar, Jon Stockman (Karnivool) on bass, Steve Judd (Karnivool) on drums and Josh Homme producing. (Who knows? Dreamers can dream and fans can wish.)

Even though they are rocking the duo gig with style, they are keen to expand the family down the line and form a full band. “It’s something we have wanted forever and feel like our music could really come to life that way,” says Licia.

But in the meantime as a duo, their performance is intriguing and they gel terrifically. “Harmonising vocally I feel is something very scary and really difficult to actually get right,” says Licia. “It’s learning how the other person breathes and being connected to their heartbeat. Just like any other instrument it’s something you have to practice over and over again and getting it just right is very important to us. I think it took us almost three years to really hone in on it. And we still have so much to learn.”

Before I had to love and leave them there were of course a few crucial questions:

JL: “The period of purple crying is the phrase used to describe the time in a baby’s life when they cry more than any other time – now don’t be shy but, which one of you cries in movies?”

Marcel: “Obviously Licia”.

JL: “Where do you differ completely?”

Licia: “’Im just a girl and he’s just a boy, can I make it any more obvious?'”

“No but seriously, I’m very much an emotionally driven female with all the feels almost all of the time, and Marcel is soooo chilled, cannot be bothered with stress or most things at any given time. I absolutely love the beach and can stare at the ocean for hours, while Marcel absolutely hates it, he’s always complaining about the sand…”

PurpleCry is a dual-fronted alternative rock band from Cape Town. Listen to their latest single, Odyssey, here and check them out on Facebook to catch their next performance.