Thursday, April 30, 2009

Duke Special LIVE

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As you will see when I get around to reviewing his new album, Duke Special has never quite convinced me on record. I enjoy his records, but never quite love them. Live, however, Peter Wilson never disappoints. And suffice to say, this sold out concert at the Manchester Academy proved to be another winner.

Refreshingly free of performer's ego, Duke was joined on stage at various points by support acts Foreign Slippers (who I missed, but who had a gorgeous voice when she joined Duke on stage) and Bailey and Bowles (as in The Temperance Society Chip Bailey, a long-time cohort) and even delivered a trio of songs inspired by little known 1920's silent movie star Hector Mann.

Indeed it was these interludes which made for some of the most special moments of the evening. Foreign Slippers joined him for a spellbinding version of the title track of his new album, I Never Thought This Day Would Come, and two of the "Hector Mann" tracks, The Jockey Club and Jumping Jacks were two of the most well received songs of the evening.

Throw in a liberal sprinkling of some of his earlier work, including the eternally brilliant Salvation Tambourine and you had a great night of music, part vaudeville part old time music hall, but always fascinating. Even if you remain unconvinced by his recorded work, give him a go won't regret it.

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