Duke Special

Duke Special

1 min read

When it comes to musical performance Duke Special is the master. Peter (Duke) is an ideas factory, churning out new creative ideas for his shows that never cease to entertain his ever-growing audience.

Friday was of a new series kicking off in Aether & Echo but this one is different, it comes in the form of a DJ club gramophone style. The Gramophone Club will take place on a monthly basis with each night featuring a live set from a different artists.

The launch night featured the ever-brilliant Beth Rowley and quite a performance, it was great to hear some remarkable recording music although with the familiar sound of aged vinyl.

Beth Rowley

It was interesting to see the effort Duke Special had to put in to changing the vinyl records on the turntable. How we listen to music has changed to much over the last 20-30 years, no more getting up and flipping a record to the B-side and setting the needle the track you want to listen to. Are we better off? There are things I miss like the pleasure of arriving home with a new album and studying the record sleeve and lyrics as we hear the music for the first time.

Duke Special

Perhaps we are missing out on all the back information that runs alongside the music. Facts like Beth actually sang backing vocals on Crowded House “Transit Lounge” or that Duke performed on Beth’s album “Little Dreamer”.

Beth Rowley

The classic, crackling gramophone tracks were complimented by Beth’s beautifully pure voice. You could have heard a pin drop, the audience frozen by the breathtaking sound created by Beth and a single electric guitar.

Beth Rowley

Red Lights

From a photography point of view the stage was bathed in red light making capturing and processing a total nightmare. I ended up developing a dedicated preset that I called “Duke and Beth” that attempted to counteract and balance the red.

Red Light at concerts, photography

It worked up to a point, I will try and fine-tune it with the view of adding it to the Lightroom presets section of the site. For now I wrestled with the preset and fixed the images to 90% satisfaction but I couldn’t quite get the skin tone correct. As a result I ended up using the preset to fix the image and then converting it to black and white.

Beth Rowley

Duke Special and Beth Rowley

If you missed last night there is both good and bad news. The good news is that Duke Special will be continuing the series (keep and eye on his Facebook page). The bad news is you missed the brilliant Beth Rowley, if you get a chance to hear her perform live, don’t miss it. See more images over on flickr.


Duke Special
Beth Rowley


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.


  1. I typically underexpose by at least stop to eliminate the red channel clipping. Keep a close eye on the RGB histograms while shooting to make sure your getting the right amount of underexposure because you don’t want to lose too much in the Green and Blues because that will add more noise once you adjust the exposure in LR.
    If you’ve got the clipping under control it’s easier to dial in a more natural skin tone in post.

  2. Using split toning on the highlights (and sometimes shadows) on RAW files in Lightroom is actually very helpful for overpowering the reds with a contrasting color.

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