The Duke Spirit, Royal Albert Hall, London
Voodoo sounds to wake the dead
Sunday 30 March 2008
Bashing holy hell out of a crescent tambourine, you can't say Leila Moss isn't giving it her all. With her burnt bourbon voice, gold dress, patent kinky boots, straw-blonde hair and twisting, turning hand gestures, she has the dress sense of Nancy Sinatra, the tonsils of Grace Slick and the choreography of Vishnu. As she and her five men in black rattle through their rather fine second album Neptune (as well as selections from their first, Cuts Across the Land), the big hollow chasm of the Royal Albert Hall – inhabited by R.E.M. fans with their legs crossed and arms folded – offers only a lukewarm response.
No matter. The Duke Spirit have their eyes on a bigger prize than a bunch of drowsy, disinterested duffers. By all accounts, the north London band are finally whipping up interest in the States (where Neptune was recorded, specifically at Rancho de la Luna under the auspices of Queens of the Stone Age's inner circle, which doubtless helps their cause), and new single "The Step and the Walk" has been all over alternative radio airwaves in Los Angeles lately.
It's fair reward. Their deep dark, voodoo rock is an often delicious thing, each song typically beginning with VU/Stooges shudder, and accumulating until it reaches an irresistible critical mass, Moss snapping her head back to signal a halt.
If tonight's support slot doesn't catch fire, it isn't for want of trying. You can't animate the dead. That doesn't alter the simple truth that The Duke Spirit are giving off sparks right now, from Holloway to Hollywood.
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
London art exhibition features portrait of Iraqi migrant shot dead in Iraq after being refused UK asylum
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns