The Duke And The King Live Review @ Union Chapel (Islington) - 19 Apr 2010
The Union Chapel is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite venue in London. It has everything; great acoustics, coffee and tea on demand and seats! Huzah! The Duke and the King have picked a great venue, on a heady spring London evening. Openers, Trevor Moss and Hannah Lous are an absolute treat to the ears, especially when they sing together (not so great on an individual basis - maybe that is why they are married). Their stand out song is a cover rather than one of their own; a truly amazing number called 'Cheap Wine' by Charlie Parr a Minnasotian with a wry sense of the absurd! This song may well be the stand out song of the evening. Hannah and Trevor are then joined on stage by a chap whose name I think I have chosen to forget - to say I was underwhelmed is an understatement - from very fine folk singing to the worst Bruce Springsteen impression I have ever seen, yet the crowd go wild (the crowd, I have to admit, are a little on the eccentric side tonight - even for the Chapel!).
On to the Duke and the King, who really are a very fine looking band and must be the most hairy band I have ever witnessed! Their sound, however, is totally different to their record - a welcome change I must admit from a record that is slow and hard to get into to a live band who are fast and just grab the audience and take then on a very fine little ride through theirs, and others, song (including a rather lovely cover of Crosby, Stills and Nash's 'Helplessly Hoping' - dare I say that the Duke and the King are better playing this song live than the great CSN last year at Glasto? I think I do!). Their set is fast paced, and each member of the band seems to have a go at each other's instruments with varying degrees of success but always with masses of good humour and great vocals! This is a very talented band and a vibrant group of people.
The only down side was when the lead vocalist decided to fight with the drum kit and his guitar, never a good idea especially when in such an amazing venue. But this really was the only downside to the night. The band deserve big things, if only they can rescue their instruments from their leaders clutches, and by the sound of their new material they will be seeing the big time real soon!
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