Duke Special is an artist aptly named. Dynamic, musically ambitious & bracingly eccentric, with his inimitable style and lush musicality. Hailing from Belfast with a sound that is self confessed hobo chic, Duke Special AKA the endlessly inventive Peter Wilson is once heard, never forgotten.
Blissfully at home in his own alluring genre of beautifully bruised romanticism, Duke Special inhabits a world unlike any other ,a world filled with vaudevilleesque sensibility, sing a longs and addictive melodies.
His critically acclaimed 2006 album Songs From The Deep Forest achieved platinum status in Ireland and received plaudits across the board. His 2008 followup, I Never Thought This Day Would Come was recorded between Wapping, London, Champaign, Illinois and Culleybackey, Northern Ireland, and was produced by long-time collaborator Paul Pilot and mixed by Nick Terry.
This was a more immediate and visceral collection than its predecessor, with many moments of beauty and hope juxtaposed with a dark, brooding edge, the trademark twist of the Duke. It was an album for sleepwalkers, skeletons and gravediggers, for those who have fallen so far down they can taste the soil between their teeth.
Duke Special is a fervent performer who harks back to a pre-rock n roll era, with dashes of Gershwin and orchestral swing, all tinged with a Northern Irish lilt and poetic lyrics that could feature in a modern-day fairytale the perfect balance of old and new boasting the appeal of a three minute pop song with the incessant charm of an old school music hall.
He is the ringmaster of a broken down circus, the lead dancer in a forgotten ballroom of ghosts, the loudest singer in a midnight choir and the first on his knees in an old time revival tent.
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