THE DUKE SPIRIT LIVE REVIEW: Bristol Thekla with The Computers in support June 1st 2011

The Duke Spirit have had trouble over the years with their music releases.  If anyone can remember prior to 2005 waiting for their first album to be released, some of us aged quite a bit before we finally got the finished product. So it perhaps comes as no surprise that the release date of their forthcoming album has been delayed.

It is a good job then that when we do finally get the releases from their musical vaults that it is always worth the wait. Duke Spirit are one of those bands that transcends musical trends and what they come up with always sounds fresh.

So with the album delayed until September, this is our first chance to hear the new material.  First up however are the Computers.  A 4 piece  from Exeter, England.  They have been described as Punk, Hardcore, Blues and indie.  Make of them what you will they are very entertaining.

This happens to be the second time I have seen them.  Last time they were an impromptu support over 6 months ago at the same venue.  This time they have a slot on the tour with Duke Spirit.

The real star of the show is the lead singer/guitarist Alex who has a large personality with whom he engages the crowd throughout the set.  They are err, VERY LOUD! A mixture of thrash metal vocals with rock’n’roll riffs and indie sentiment with a significant amount of humour thrown in.

They won’t win awards for the most original sound, but they will definitely entertain.  If they are on your local venue gig list I would recommend making your own mind up.

They finished the set with the lead singer amidst the crowd while giving our local celebrity that is Big Jeff a piggy back and playing guitar.  The crowd unsurprisingly gave the band a good reception.

Within half an hour or so the main event The Duke Spirit came on stage.

Liela Moss shone like a beacon on stage with her glittery silver jacket and the music began with an old familiar in Into the Fold and then followed up with a  string of new songs Procession, Northbound and Cherry Tree.

What was so striking about the set was the confidence with which the new material was delivered and how heavier their sound appeared from the last 2 albums.

The new material went down a storm with the crowd as Leila Moss explained to the crowed how they thought of cancelling the tour when the album’s release was put back to September, but they thought “what the hell”.

There is no doubting the crowd’s thoughts on their decision to continue the tour.  The crowd was extremely lively as the set continued with both old and new numbers.

I have seen Duke Spirit on several occasions in the past, but I think this was the best performance I have seen.  The last time I saw them they looked like an art school band, this time they looked and sounded more grunge like. It would be nice to think that a bit more mainstream success might come their way with this album, but the music industry is notoriously fickle when it comes to talent.

As the set continued Leila Moss exerted her personality and commanded the stage brilliantly, her voice superb and the music sounding great.

The first hour went far too quickly as they left the stage to rapturous applause. Not long before they came back for an encore and led into sweet bitter sweet and then into the old favourites of Red Weather and Love is an Unfamiliar name.

This was a fantastic set, a commanding performance from a band that is hard to believe have been around now for some 8 years.

I can’t wait for their new album.

Set List

Into the Fold
Procession
North Bound
Cherry Tree
Don’t Wait
Everybody’s Under Your Spell
Villain
This Ship Was Built
The Walk and the Step
Surrender
Hello to the Floor
You Really Wake up the Love
Cuts Across the Land

Encore
Sweet Bitter Sweet
Red Weather
Love is an Unfamiliar Name

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