It’s difficult to describe Duke Special; all day I had people asking me ‘what is he like? Who else does he sound like? But Duke Special is one of those few artists that still leave you speechless, unable to draw comparison. On many occasions throughout the day, words failed me and I had to say ‘you’ve just got to go see him.’
The big top setting was perfect for Duke Special ‘s self-confessed ‘hobo-chic and bruised romantic’ songs. Rewarding the audience with a mixture of classic songs and new material, as well as a few covers, Duke Special went above and beyond to provide an excellent evening of entertainment, culminating with the audience climbing out of the stalls and into the big top ring itself. Not to mention plenty of extra songs.
The antics of Duke Special’s drummer, Chip Bailey, was a show in itself. Boasting one of the best, personalised drum kits I’ve ever seen – think bells, horns, huge rings of keys – the man is a percussion genius. He can even play a whisk and cheese grater (I’m not lying) to perfection!
Afterwards, many people came up and thanked me (erm…sorry about that Duke!) for the recommendation, saying it was the best concert they’d been to in years. I even heard there was a group who travelled from Belfast especially. Overall, the performance was faultless; the big top setting, the percussion antics, the amazing voice and intimate approach amalgamated into a truly special night.
(Thanks to Sarah Web for the photo)