"Pop anthems, courtesy of dreadlocked Irishman who sounds like The Flaming Lips crossed with Rufus Wainwright” Q
“ Ambitious, shamelessly romantic, highly melodic” WORD
“Duke is in a world of his own” INDEPENDENT
“Magically uplifting” EVENING STANDARD
Duke Special has announced his plans for a grand comeback in 2015. Teaming up with Pledge Music for the second time in recent years Duke will release an album composed of entirely new material: Look Out Machines on 30th March 2015.
In celebration of the new album, Duke has mapped out a no-stone-left-unturned tour of the UK throughout the springtime that takes in a whopping 21 dates with his full live band in tow across the country. The full live band dates will immediately follow on from the Belfast singer-songwriter's unrelenting string of acoustic dates across Ireland that Duke Special has already embarked solo on from the very beginning of 2015.
His first album since 2012's acclaimed Oh Pioneers album, Look Out Machines sees Duke deliver arguably his most commercial material to date. The album was written with collaborators including Iain Archer, Phil Wilkinson and Gary Clark. It was recorded at Electric Zoo studios in the English seaside town of Eastbourne and produced by Dave Izumi.
At the end of 2014, Duke gave fans a teaser taste of how the new material on Look Out Machines would sound as he shared the first single from the album ‘Elephant Graveyard’, accompanied by surreal clay-model animation video that features our hero Duke cavaliering through space and time. The video can be watched in full below;
Look Out Machines will be released via Pledge Musicon 30th March 2015
Those who know Duke Special for the platinum album 'Songs From The Deep Forest' and the hit song 'Freewheel' may be surprised by the breadth of his work. His immense creative talents have seen him involved in projects as diverse as writing the theme tune for the Irish Sesame Street to writing the music for and appearing in Deborah Warner’s critically acclaimed 2009 production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children at London’s National Theatre. From presenting a documentary on the life and times of 50s megastar Ruby Murray to being commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to write a series of original songs based on photographs for their exhibition of the photographers Stieglitz, Steichen, and Strand. From performing with orchestras such as the Ulster and RTE Concert orchestras, to finishing an unfinished musical by Kurt Weill based on the novel Huckleberry Finn.
Back in 2009, Duke Special was one of the first artists to embark upon a Pledge Campaign, raising money for his ambitious “Stage, Book and Silver Screen” project. Within a record breaking time the new pledge got to a 100% and with still some weeks left to go it’s already at 114%.
Duke Special has just finished his next studio album entitled Look out Machines for release in 2015. The first single, "Elephant graveyard" was released in Ireland on November 20 2014. He has once again decided to work with Pledge Music to help fund and promote this release. He then returns to Ireland for a run of solo live shows in January & February 2015, where he will unveil for the first time some of the material from the new album.
Fans can get their hands on Look Out Machines 2 months in advance of its release (from January 15th) is by pledging for the limited collectors Empire CD, DVD & New Album Box. The box set includes 2CD’s, 1 DVD & extras; CD1 is Look Out Machines and CD 2 & the DVD contain the best songs performed live at Duke’s 5 nights at the Belfast Empire in 2013. More information at: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/dukespecial
By pre-ordering the album now via Pledge Music fans will receive a variety of other exclusive goodies, such as signed CDs, personal house gigs, and loads of other brilliant stuff including the opportunity to join Duke in an attempt to break the world record for the most concerts performed in 24 hours!
Later this year, Duke is also opting to take part in a “Guinness Book of Records” attempt, planning to break the record for the most shows in one day, which currently stands at 65. Fans are invited to join Duke a 24 hour period in March 2015 to break the record.
Full Spring UK Tour Dates
Wed 11 Mar SHREWSBURY Henry Tudor House
Thu 12 Mar NOTTINGHAM Glee Club
Fri 13 Mar LIVERPOOL East Village Arts Club
Sat 14 Mar WREXHAM Catrin Finch Centre
Sun 15 Mar BIRMINGHAM The Glee Club
Tues 17 Mar OXFORD Academy 2
Wed 18 Mar EXETER Phoenix
Thu 19 Mar BRISTOL St Georges
Fri 20 Mar MILTON KEYNES The Stables
Sat 21 Mar CAMBRIDGE Junction 2
Wed 15 Apr GLOUCESTER Guildhall
Thu 16 Apr BURY The Met
Fri 17 Apr EDINBURGH Electric Circus
Sat 18 Apr GLASGOW Oran Mor
Sun 19 Apr GATESHEAD The Sage
Tues 21 Apr LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Wed 22 Apr NORWICH The Waterfront
Thu 23 Apr BRIGHTON Komedia
Fri 24 Apr SOUTHAMPTON Talking Heads
Sat 25 Apr READING Bowery District
Sun 26 Apr CARDIFF The Globe