12 December 2012
20:00 - 22:30
glór Irish Music Centre, Causeway Link, Ennis, Co Clare
- €16/€14 Conc.
Oh Pioneer is the new album and concert tour from Lisburn-born, Belfast-resident Duke Special. The LP comes jam-packed with the singer and songwriter’s idiosyncratic worldviews and some of the most inherently melodic pop music you’ll hear this or any other year. Following the release and a number of sold out Irish shows earlier in the year, the Duke headed off to support BellX1 on their US tour and returns to Ireland for a run of December dates. Duke and his band will perform songs from the new album as well as a selection of hits, rarities and sing-along tunes in his own inimitable style.
You’ll know Duke Special, of course, from catchy, radio-friendly songs such as Freewheel and Last Night I Nearly Died. (For the record, Freewheel was recently nominated the second best Northern Irish song of all time at Radio Ulster’s Great Northern Songbook). You’ll know him also, from his Choice Music Prize nominations (2005’s Adventures in Gramophone, 2006’s Songs From The Deep Forest) and his three Meteor Music Award nominations. What you may not be aware of, however, is the vast array of other work he has been up to since his 2008 album, I Never Thought This Day Would Come.
Some people have been asking me where have I been and what have I been doing, says Duke Special, but I’ve actually been very busy.
He’s right about that. In the past three years, the Duke has put his singular artistic imprint on five albums: Little Revolutions Volume 1 & 2, The Stage, A Book & The Silver Screen (comprising songs from the London stage show, Mother Courage And Her Children, The Silent World Of Hector Mann, and the EP, Huckleberry Finn), and Under The Dark Cloth (a record inspired by the works of pioneering American photographers Paul Strand, Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz). It is clear that Duke Special is someone who finds creative nourishment in all aspects of the art and literary world.
Without any compromises, Oh Pioneer charts its own steady course. Duke Special wouldn’t want it any other way. I would much rather keep on doing what I’m doing like this - and be skint - until the day I die,” he states. “Absolutely, and without hesitation - I’ve no genuine interest in chasing commercial success. I’d love what I do to be successful on its own merit, of course, but I’m in it for the long haul. If there are no hit singles on the album, then so be it.