Duke Special : Oh Pioneer

2 mins read

Duke Special is no stranger to the auditoriums of Northern Ireland and last night a packed Waterfront received a rare treat as Duke performed tracks from his upcoming ‘Oh Pioneer’ album accompanied by the amazing Ulster Orchestra. From start to finish Duke, the band and the orchestra excelled well beyond the audience’s expectations.

Duke Special X-Pro1

Peter’s live performances have a theatrical style inspired by music hall and Duke Special regular Chip Bailey was onstage with his usual phenomenal style of percussion and Stumpf fiddle.

As well songs from ‘Oh Pioneer’ the night also featured songs from ‘Under the Dark Cloth‘ an album inspired by the photography of Stieglitz, Steichen & Strand and a selection of songs by the great Ruby Murray.

Duke was joined on stage by Swedish support act Foreign Slippers for a breath taking performance of a final Ruby Murray track. Gabrielle Fröden has an absolutely amazing voice and the duet is well worth checking out. You can download a free Foreign Slippers EP over at Music Glue.

The new album ‘Oh Pioneer’ has an official release date of 18th June 2012.
You can download the single ‘Punch of a Friend’ (free) single and pre-order the album on the official Duke Special Website. [/box]

The Photographs

Photographing the event was a considerable challenge. There were strict rules on photography for the venue and as a result I had to photograph from a fixed position within the body of the audience. The aim was to be as subtle and unobtrusive as I could so I didn’t ignite a wave of camera phones and flashes.

I used both the Canon 5DMKII and the Fujifilm X-Pro1. I decided I would stick with the 18mm lens given my static position. Naturally the tighter shots are the 5D and the wider images are the X-Pro1. I tended to go between the Canon and the X-Pro1 but being locked in a set position meant the X-Pro1 photos tended to all look very similar.

About Duke Special

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 vaudeville- esque sensibility, sing-a-longs and addictive melodies.

His critically-acclaimed album ‘Songs From The Deep Forest’ achieved platinum status in Ireland and received plaudits across the board.

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.


The Duke Special Website
Duke Special on Twitter


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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