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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2007, 00:46 
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Sounds like a wonderful night. Duke really is a star. Roll on 8th December when I see him at The Charlotte in Leicester.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2007, 10:56 
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I'm off to see him too and can't wait. That's my next gig.

Roll on whenever the Oxford gig is :D

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2007, 10:15 
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I'm currently travelling via a very circuitous route from Cambridge (after the mesh gig last night) via Doncaster (for about 5 hours at home) to Leicester (for Duke Special at the Charlotte tonight).

Can't be bad - two of the very finest acts on consecutive nights (something that happens again on December 20th/21st when I see mesh-29 in Stamford followed by David Ford at Bush Hall in London the following night).

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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2007, 03:06 
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Well I went to Leicester (1/2 an hour from where I live) via Burnley :roll:

Was supposed to be going to a football match in Barrow but it was called off LATE :evil: so went to visit Burnleyfan (my cousin) in Burnley before heading back down for the gig.

Well worth it it was too - amazing - very different approach compared to Oxford on Wednesday - both gigs were amazing though.

Just 2 gigs left for the year now - Levellers being next up :D :D :D

Strange who you bump in to at gigs though! Good to meet you Anthony, Natasha and Martin :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2007, 09:16 
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What can I say? Amazing live performance as ever from The Duke and his very able band (including the ever-entertaining Chip Bailey on drums, cheese-grater, egg whisk and stumpfiddle). They played for over an hour and 45 minutes too - excellent value for money. If you haven't seen Duke live you really should consider rectifying this as soon as possible.

Thanks very much to Natasha and Anthony for your hospitality and great company throughout the evening. It was great to see you again too Chris.

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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2007, 18:42 
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After meaning to catch him live for ages I finally got the chance on Sunday when he supported Crowded House at Wembely. Fantastic! Really enjoyed it. He certainly lived up to his reputation.

I found out a colleague of mine was to going and see Crowded House yesterday so I insisted that he catch Duke Special. He did and came in today completley won over.

Appparently all his CD's sold as well!

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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2007, 22:11 
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Glad that you liked him Alex, and good to hear you achieved another convert too.

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2008, 18:46 
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May
Wednesday 28th - Oxford Academy
Thursday 29th - Bristol Thekla
Friday 30th - Hebden Bridge Picture House
Saturday 31st - Norwich Arts Centre


June
Monday 2nd - Birmingham Glee Club
Tuesday 3rd - Brighton Komedia
Wednesday 4th - Cardiff Glee Club
Thursday 5th - Aldershot West End Centre

Tickets not on sale yet - will get another newsletter nearer the time :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2008, 11:17 
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Yes, I got that newsletter too. Will have to investigate the practicalities of getting to one of those gigs. Duke's shows are always so enjoyable.

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2008, 11:43 
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I managed to book on line for the Birmingham one today.

Now listen up guys - no rebooking Sawyers for that date :evil: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 06 Apr 2008, 16:01 
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Drat. I'm am-dramming the week of the Cardiff one, or I could have gone and parked myself on my sister. He's bound to come back to London soon enough, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2008, 16:58 
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Would love to see him live again. Will have to check the old diary on those dates.

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 07 Sep 2008, 21:45 
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Somewhat belatedly, but as promised, one of my marathon reviews, this one of the Duke Special gig at the Roundhouse on 29 August.

My first Duke experience (last November at the Bush Hall) had been a doozy, and on that occasion he’d only had two people with him (Ben Castle and Rae Curran) so going to see him perform with an entire orchestra was the other end of the spectrum, to say the least …

The Roundhouse had been transformed for the night into a sort of intimate cabaret-type venue, with tables around the stage, ‘stalls’ type seating further back, and curtains all round – it looked much smaller than usual. They were a bit late starting and didn’t let us in until about 8pm (apparently due to rehearsals overrunning) by which time I’d smiled at someone I thought was Chris (Poppiesfan) but hadn’t quite had the nerve to go over and say ‘Are you Poppiesfan, then?’

First up was a duo from Liverpool called ‘Burning Leaves’, a young chap and a young girl, both with very sweet voices – the girl's voice, in particular, reminded me of Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley. They sang soft, beautiful, haunting songs in close harmony that sounded like they’d been written about 100 years ago. Sadly, they weren’t on for very long, but just after that we suddenly discovered that they were lurking behind us and had a chat with Indie (the girl). They’re about to record their first album at a studio in North Wales, and apparently Duke invited them to support him (I asked).

Before Duke came on the orchestra played an overture – and it really was a proper overture – we were grinning and counting the songs! I understand that this is on the orchestral CD and is old news to people who’ve heard that, but it was all new to me and Himself. I will swear I heard a few bum notes here and there, but no-one’s perfect.

The man himself began with a stunningly lovely new song, apparently called ‘Mockingbird’, and then proceeded to mix up old stuff, new stuff and stuff by Kurt Weill, as he does. It was the first time I’d seen Chip, his percussionist, who was dressed like Napoleon and was completely hilarious with his egg whisks and cheese graters.

For a couple of songs he was joined by female vocalists, including Indie from Burning Leaves, but sadly her mic wasn’t turned up high enough and we couldn’t really hear her. I hadn’t been expecting audience participation, but about halfway through Duke announced that we were being too polite and made us sing ‘Down at the old Bull and Bush’ before continuing. Best of all, during the encore there was a chap who had been to the loo and was just coming back to his seat. Duke said something like ‘nice of you to join us’ and then asked him if he played anything – the chap replied ‘drums’ and before you could say ‘Salvation Tambourine’ he was up on stage and playing drums on ‘Last Night I Nearly Died’! For the last song Duke disappeared off the stage for a moment and then materialised standing on one of the tables at the front. What a showman.

This was the setlist:
Overture
Mockingbird (solo)
Brixton leaves
Portrait
I never thought this day would come and now it won't go away (with Indie Mae of Burning Leaves)
Those proverbs we made in the winter must end
Applejack
John Lennon love
Freewheel
Down at the Old Bull and Bush
Sweet, sweet kisses
Catfish (with Gabi Froden of Foreign Slippers)
Why does anybody love?
Salvation tambourine
Our love goes deeper than this
***
Closer to the start
Last night I nearly died
I let you down
No cover up
Digging an early grave

The new songs are absolutely wonderful, especially ‘Mockingbird’ and ‘Sweet, sweet kisses’ which is a very bouncy up-tempo number. I am sooo looking forward to the new album. The only thing was, I did notice that Duke’s voice seemed to be going towards the end - he was getting quite hoarse and struggling with the high notes. I guess he’s had a bit of a stiff touring schedule of late.

Oh and, thanks to Chris for having more nerve than me and making herself known, it was lovely to meet you properly at last!

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 07 Sep 2008, 22:15 
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And some pics. They're not brilliant as I was right over to one side, and it was the opposite side from Duke's piano, so I had a great view of the brass section but not of the man himself.

Burning Leaves
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The conductor (I think her name was Sarah Fenton)
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And we're off.
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He did his usual 'climb up on the piano and play with his feet' thing during 'Salvation Tambourine'.

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Chip!
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Encore ...

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 Post subject: Re: Duke Special
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2008, 18:15 
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Joined: 09 Feb 2007, 16:28
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It's still only a (strong) rumour at this stage, but it's been suggested that Duke will be the very "Special" guest at David Ford's Union Chapel gig on Friday 26th September. Very few tickets left apparently...

It will be most excellent if true!

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