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.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Downton Abbey fans outraged at Kindle sponsorship adverts
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave drama after a decade of crime-solving
Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God