THE DUKE SPIRIT
The band formed from the meeting of Moss and Ford at an art college in
Cheltenham, where they were studying painting and photography, respectively.
They moved to
London together and began
writing songs. After a short time they convinced mutual friend Butler to
join the band, and they began to perform under the moniker Solomon. During this
period they shared a flat with various other people trying to make it in their
various facets of media. One of their flatmates, Higgins (he
designed all their
Cuts Across the Land and resulting
singles) turned out to be a guitar player looking for similarly minded
musicians. After a chance meeting with drummer Olly Betts, who was at the time
studying Music in London, the band developed as a complete unit with a new name,
The Duke Spirit by early 2003.
The band released their first single "Darling You're Mean" in May and played
gig at the
Brixton Windmill later that year. Later that year, the label released the
"Roll, Spirit, Roll" EP, which won the band critical acclaim from publications
NME. The band's debut
was due to be released in September 2004 until their
record label, City Rockers, ran out of financial steam in the early 2004.
They moved over to Loog Records/Polydor
and released the album in the
UK on 16 May 2005. The album's producers were
Simon Raymonde (formerly the bass player in Cocteau Twins, and now Bella
Union Label boss, enjoying great success with the release of
Fleet Foxes in the UK) and the legendary
best known for his work with
and U2 .
After headlining the TMF Rock Festival (now known as
Offset festival/a>) in the UK, the album was released in the
U.S. and the band found themselves touring through
AAmerica for much of 2006, including a highly praised performance at the
Coachella 2006 festival,
California. The only release of 2006 was a downloadable
EP and limited 7" single entitled, "Covered In Love", (released through Velo
Recordings). This was a collection of songs,
recorded to 8-track by the band, written by the recently deceased (Arthur
Desmond Dekker and
Jessie Mae Hemphill)). In early 2007 the band signed to You Are Here a new
independent Anglo-Canadian label. The track "Mayday", a collaboration between
and The Duke Spirit was released on the latest UNKLE album,
War Stories,, in the UK on 9 July 2007. The track was recorded with
Chris Goss/a> at the
Rancho De La Luna
Joshua Tree,, California in May 2006. The Duke Spirit returned to work in the
same studio with Goss in April 2007 to record their own second album,
Neptune/a>,, which was released in February 2008.
In February 2009, the band released a 10-track compilation CD featuring three
songs never released in the US ("sca", "Souvenir", "Do What You Love") as well
as a cover of
Alex Chilton's "Baby Doll". The CD was sold alongside a McQ
Alexander McQueen fashion collection, one of the shirts of which featured
the face of singer Liela Moss.
NME - "Raw, wired & bursting with
XFM - "Simply Irresistable"
NME - " The
are dragging British rock back to triumph!"
HAR MAR SUPERSTAR - "They will earn a place at th Royal British