The Duke Spirit @ The Boston Arms, Tufnell Park, London 01/09/2011

September 4, 2011 by  

The Duke Spirit are a band that are well experienced in the gig arena having toured extensively over their career. However, tonight’s show is perhaps a little more unorthodox than normal. Firstly because this evening is an opportunity for the band to show case their new album ‘Bruiser’ in its entirety and secondly, because the group have rented a full-scale boxing ring to perform in tonight. There is no disputing the fact that this choice of stage is beyond original and is essentially, well, very cool.

The mix of fashionistas and musos gathered for the gig clear the bar and surge towards the stage as the band’s start time gets near. Arriving fifteen minutes late, Moss and Co.’s choice of pedestal for tonight’s performance certainly creates logistical challenges for the crew who have to hold the ropes open to ensure the band all make it into the arena in one piece.

Ripping into ‘Bruiser’s’ opener, singer Liela Moss bounds around and performs moves which are best described as taking the form of elegant contortion whilst the rest of the band retain their cool and focus on the job in hand. Clearly slightly edgy, bought about by the perils of playing new material live, the group blast through the albums tracks relying much on the wall of guitars which characteristically blitz through many of the The Spirit’s tracks of old.

Having introduced all to the group’s new work, the band return to the stage for an encore which ends up feeling more like a greatest hits show as the five members passionately belt out tracks from the previous albums which most in the crowd respond to like someone has just announced that the beer at the bar is now in fact free. Clearly enjoying the prospect of being back in the live saddle, the Duke Spirit respond accordingly to the assembled fans.

Alas it’s not long before the group are negotiating, Frank Bruno styley, the ropes again and we’re left reminded that the band are both underrated and have the ability to pen some great adrenaline filled tunes. With forth coming shows and the album release later in September, the crowd depart the Boston Arms content in the knowledge that The Duke Spirit are back and that Bruiser is well worth a listen.


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