If you are using Internet Explorer 6, you may not have the best Bebo experience. Please consider upgrading.
Duke Special Official
- Duke Special pledge now live!
- Me, Myself, and I
- An accomplished performer, harking back to the pre-rock ’n' roll era, Duke Special is gloriously vintage and truly unlike any other artist. Since the release of Songs From The Deep Forest, Duke Special has toured sold out shows across Ireland, the UK and Europe. He’s been seen headlining a packed-to-the-rafters Shepherds Bush Empire in London, stage diving at Electric Picnic, hosting five sell out nights back-to-back at Belfast’s Empire Music Hall, appearing as a special guest performer at the Cannes Film Festival, appearing on later with Jools Holland, being invited to tour with Crowded House on their first outing in ten years, and so much more.
Last year’s I Never Thought This Day Would Come was a more immediate and visceral collection, the many moments of beauty and hope are juxtaposed with a dark, brooding edge. It’s live tour was filled with even greater theatricality then before, with a seven piece band creating a mighty sound.
close Video Box
Having AutoPlay on gives you the best media experience on Bebo. When you visit another user's profile, their Video Box will automatically start playing their current favorite video.
You can change your account settings at anytime here: account settings
I am pleased to be able to invite a select few of you, my good friends, to participate in the release of my three new records!
I have created some exciting new ways for you to get hold of the music and, by visiting my updates page, pledgers will also have exclusive access bonus music, demos, rough mixes and live tracks to videos, tour diaries and photographs from the road.
All info is available here:
Also I have decided to donate a percentage of the profits from this Pledge to DePaul Ireland, a Charity which helps chronic alcoholics. They are passionate about what we do, working in the very heart of local communities.
Some of you will know these 3 records, but for those new to our world;
The first contains Studio Versions of the songs I wrote with Brecht’s words for the recent production of Mother Courage & Her Children at the National Theatre
The second is an E.P – ‘Huckleberry Finn’; the first ever recordings of 5 songs which comprise an unfinished musical by Kurt Weil based on the Huckleberry Finn novel by Mark Twain.
The third is a collection of songs inspired by Paul Auster’s Novel ‘The Book of Illusions’, entitled ’The Silent World of Hector Mann. This comprises 12 songs written by myself and 11 of my friends including Neil Hannon, Matt Hales and Ed Harcourt amongst others, and recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago, USA.
In order to raise funds to set up our own well-run DIY operation, and to put on some unusual and elaborate concert/theatrical experiences next year, we’re also offering some more unusual Duke Special things and experiences!
0 Comments 188 weeks
Mother Courage Reviews
Duke has received mostly excellent reviews in the press for his part in Mother Courage. Here are a few (we'll put links to all reviews we have - good and bad! - on www.dukespecial.com);
"Alongside clamorous military noise, there is music of a wheezing sweetness (as if Tom Waits were singing with a throat lozenge in his mouth) from a dreadlocked Duke Special, who appears on stage, weaving his way through the scenes."
"Instead of offering the usual harsh harangue, Duke Special's music has a quirky melodic plangency, but the mysteriously pacific presence of this gentle, dreadlocked composer-singer is itself a kind of alienation effect, given the strife-torn circumstances into which he strays."
"Providing music is Duke Special - a new-age minstrel whose sound mixes Elton John with old Irish crooners The Chieftains, plus a bit of White Stripes thrash thrown in for good measure."
"The diminutive, dreadlocked figure of Duke Special laces the action with haunting songs"
"He has an enchanting voice and his compositions are sinuously melodious, rocking up a notch or two when the action requires it. The Arts Desk
Mother Courage arrives atop her wagon sporting sunglasses and a tin hat, accompanied by the dreadlocked Duke Special and his terrific onstage band."
"The music is provided by the indie/folk group Duke Special and the Band who deliver some beautifully poignant songs."
The Jewish Community online
"The outstanding innovation of Deborah Warner�s delayed but exuberant production, in which technicians and costume changes remain in full view, is the music of Duke Special. Dreadlocks flying, he leads his band vocally and on the piano in songs which, softer than Weill, transmit something of the mixture of emotion and sardonic objectivity which are the hallmarks of this modern take on Brecht."
Mother Courage post-play gigs
Here is confirmation that Duke will be playing late night shows on Fridays AND Saturdays for the rest of the run, ie Oct 9, 10, 16,17, 23, 24, 30, 31, Nov 27, 28, Dec 4, 5. These are free for anyone to attend - you do not have to have been at the theatre that night! We are hopeful that these will now run from about 10.45pm until midnight, although we'll post actual running times on the site sometime soon!
If you are going to see the play and would be happy to hand out Duke wallets to the departing audience after the show, do email us at the address above, letting us know which show you are attending.
We're particularly keen for you to frequent our webshop (www.dukespecial.com/dukestore/) as, from this month onwards we will be parting with our record companies, Universal Ireland / Decca, and - for the time being at least - striking out alone. So we're now even more reliant on Word of Mouth to spread the word! Thanks to the 500 or so fantastic souls who asked for Sampler Wallets to hand out to their friends. We still have some left, so email email@example.com to let us know how many samplers you need if you would like to take part in this guerrilla campaign.
The Hector Mann and Huckleberry Finn albums are finally in production, and between shows Duke and the team are busy recording the new Mother Courage album...
Until next time!
Duke Special Team
0 Comments 197 weeks
Dukebox will kick off with the stunning backdrop of St Anne's Cathedral in the centre of Belfast at 12pm on Saturday 29th August.
The main stage supporting lineup in the city’s Custom House Square has already announced as The Magic Numbers, Bell X1, Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club, David Kitt and David Ford among others.
Two further stages of invited musical guests are also announced from 1pm at venues close to the main arena. The heart wrenching melody of London’s Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards, Dublin’s beautiful wordsmiths One Day International and Belfast’s Queer Giraffes will be appearing at The Black Box. Whilst New York singer/songwriter and madcap inventor of musical instruments Thomas Truax, former Watercress frontman currently residing in Brighton Dan Donnelly, and Belfast newbies Katie and the Carnival will perform at McHugh’s Basement.
Also from 1pm, upstairs at The Spaniard, there will be spoken word from various special guests, including Aqualung’s Ben Hales and our local Slam Poets, with more to be announced.
Out in the streets expect to run into the odd surprise, with for example, sometimes Duke Special band member Rea Curran playing at the base of The Albert Clock from 245pm
12, a 50 minute film by Gyz La Rivière about the Fret Click, a legendary Amsterdam and Rotterdam skateboard gang documented in a fast, humorous and moving way. There’ll be two screenings, at 115pm and 230pm. Custom House Square’s regular Saturday afternoon skateboarders are invited to come along, showing their skateboard for entry!
From late morning and through the afternoon demonstrations, workshops and hands on activities will be happening at SpaceCRAFT - a shop, gallery and exhibition area above The Fountain Centre owned and managed by the Craft & Design Collective. The ringing of some bells is rumoured!
Traditional Irish Music for the afternoon has been provided at The Duke Of York with a lively open air Street Ceili in Commercial Court with The All Set Group from 2pm, and at McHughs with a traditional music session from 330pm
The Belfast City Blues Festival have some great afternoon music in the area as well, evoking the spirit of the city’s great Blues tradition, and Dukebox goers are welcomed for free at their afternoon gigs in some the Cathedral Quarter’s best pubs and small venues: Oh Yeah Centre - The Pontiax Blues Band; The John Hewitt - Speedy Mullan + Shit Hot Helicopters; The Roost - Rab McCullough Blues Band; The Cloth Ear - Lee Hedley Band
The main arena in Custom House Square opens at 3pm, with the first performance by The Voluntary Butler Scheme (3.30), and the day proceeding with Panama Kings (4.15), David Ford (5.00), David Kitt (5.55), Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club (6.55), Bell X1 (8.10), The Magic Numbers (9.35) And the day will end with the only Northern Ireland headlining appearance of 2009 by Duke Special (11.00)
0 Comments 203 weeks