“Magically uplifting” EVENING STANDARD
“Duke is in a world of his own” INDEPENDENT
“This is music of magic and soul” THE TELEGRAPH
“Sumptuous, symphonic pop anthem, courtesy of dreadlocked Irishman who sounds like The Flaming Lips crossed with Rufus Wainwright” Q
“Emotive and endearing” GQ
“ Like fellow timeless travellers Arcade Fire and prime Van Morrison the songs favour an otherwordly orchestral arrangement” CLASH
“ The duke’s cowboy-gone-vaudeville dreampop is pitched between Rufus Wainright and the Divine Comedy” UNCUT
Duke Special has announced further details about his 4th studio album ‘Look Out Machines!’ will be released April 6th 2015 on Stranger Records. The Ulster born singer songwriter and gramophone impresario, has superbly crafted this new collection of catchy, rousing and lyrically poignant tracks.
‘Look Out Machines!’ sees Duke exploring new musical ground with collaborators including Iain Archer, Phil Wilkinson and Gary Clark and heralds the return of an artist back at the very top of his game; a major difference between his recent output and this album is that, for the most part, Duke has placed himself in the first-person with these songs. The obvious result is a more personal album. Yet as vulnerable as he may be, the spectacular 'In a Dive' betrays his inner defiance. "'I refuse a safety net," he croons over a beautiful, elegant piano riff, while the sweeping, elegiac 'Domino' draws the album to a close on a redemptive note.
The sense of creative derring-do and openness to all possibilities permeates the musical arrangements, too resulting in his most eclectic, unexpected release to date. He himself says "This album is a photograph of where I am right now; it feels like a kind of gathering-in. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. What's the word where you stay in one place to recharge your batteries, and then you're ready to go again? It feels like that; almost like a little launching-pad."
Those who know Duke Special for the platinum album 'Songs From The Deep Forest', and the hit song 'Freewheel', may be surprised by the cultural 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.
Duke has partnered for a second time with fan funding platform Pledge Music to help finance the making of the record. The campaign quickly surpassed its target figure by offering a variety of exclusive items, such as signed CDs, personal house concerts, plus the opportunity to join Duke in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most concerts performed in 24 hours! The record currently stands at 65 shows.
‘Look Out Machines!’ is an epic album from a unique artist. It’s a grand gesture of a record that displays a rare and timeless quality and speaks with a refined eloquence.
DUKE SPECIAL UK TOUR
WED 11 SHREWSBURY HENRY TUDOR HOUSE
THU 12 NOTTINGHAM GLEE CLUB
FRI 13 LIVERPOOL EAST VILLAGE ARTS CLUB
SAT 14 WREXHAM CATRIN FINCH CENTRE
SUN 15 BIRMINGHAM GLEE CLUB
TUE 17 OXFORD O2 ACADEMY2
WED 18 EXETER PHOENIX
THU 19 BRISTOL ST GEORGE’S
FRI 20 MILTON KEYNES STABLES
SAT 21 CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION 2
WED 15 GLOUCESTER GUILDHALL
THU 16 BURY MET
FRI 17 EDINBURGH ELECTRIC CIRCUS
SAT 18 GLASGOW ORAN MOR
SUN 19 GATESHEAD SAGE
TUE 21 LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
WED 22 NORWICH WATERFRONT
THU 23 BRIGHTON KOMEDIA
FRI 24 SOUTHAMPTON TALKING HEADS
SAT 25 READING BOWERY DISTRICT
SUN 26 CARDIFF GLOBE
WED 13 LONDON ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL