07:36 Friday 08 February 2013

Pioneering Duke is a special talent

Written byJAMES BRINDLE

BELFAST troubadour Duke Special wowed the critics with his album Oh Pioneer last year and hits the road next month to give audiences a taste of his euphoric live shows.

The Duke sprinkled more magic on the world with that album and given his usually rapid turnover rate another collection may only be around the corner.

He told the Mail he is enjoying some down time for a change but admitted the March tour is creeping up on him fast.

He said: “Last year was very busy with recording and at the minute I’m enjoying the slight break at home and beginning to do some more writing and working on new projects.

“The idea of doing the tour is something I’ve not quite got my head round yet.

“When it comes it is very rewarding and is like the final stage of the process of writing songs where you are playing your art in front of people and getting a connection.

“This tour we seem to be doing a few places I’ve not been to, certainly for a good while, like Aberdeen and Inverness and places I’ve never been like Barnsley.

“I enjoy going somewhere new and playing in venues with character as that can really enhance the performance.”

The Duke will be performing songs from throughout his career during the tour, including tracks from his platinum-selling album Songs From The Deep Forest.

However, he has been working on new material and he said he may include some of these tracks in the set list for the new tour.

He said: “Maybe there will be chance to play some new songs.

“I find though playing live there is one of those weird things where people want to hear songs they know but you want to work in some of the new stuff you are excited about.”

The Duke is a hugely creative artist and not just a musician, working on many weird and wonderful projects.

He told the Mail 2013 is a year he hopes to finally master the craft of songwriting, as well as enjoy his first foray into film soundtracks.

He said: “At the minute I’m trying to read as much as I can. I find that inspiring and I’m just trying to keep my radar open and write down little snippets of thoughts and phrases when I can.

“I’m trying to be more of a habitual writer but I’m not a very disciplined person historically and tend to write to deadline or as inspiration grabs me but I want to be more consistent this year.

“Writing is my biggest aspiration this year and I would like to be known as a writer of all kinds of things as I love writing poetry and prose as well as music and I would like to continue with that.

“I would also like to do more collaborations with other art forms. I’m working on a film soundtrack here in Belfast which I have never done before so I’m excited about beginning that process.”

Duke Special is performing at The Musician in Leicester on March 5 and The Venue in Lichfield on March 14. See the venues for tickets.

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