LIVE: The Duke Spirit @ The Scala, 20.10.16

Having been a long-term fan of The Duke Spirit (but falling even more in love with them since being blown away by their completely captivating set at Field Day this summer), I was particularly chuffed to be seeing them at The Scala on a chilly Thursday evening.

Following an impressive set from Joe Gideon & Bonfire Nights, The Duke Spirit take to the stage, immediately exuding their incredible, enthralling energy. Opening with ‘Steel Love’, a new track from their latest Serenade EP, The Duke Spirit waste no time in filling the venue with their sweeping, cinematic power.

As the band treat us to a range of tracks from over the years, front-woman Liela Moss shines from the stage, her illuminating sparkle not dimming for a second. From the gripping intensity of 2004’s ‘So Good To Hear’, to the captivating, delicate power of 2011’s ‘Bodies’, the charisma and passion of Moss draws the crowd in and doesn’t let go.

As the raw rock and thrashing energy of earlier tracks such as ‘Everybody’s Under Your Spell’ are welcomed by the crowd, more recent offerings seem to expose a more vulnerable side to the band; as the delicate melodies of ‘Hear Comes The Vapour’ and ‘Wounded Wing’ flow from the stage, I’m sucked into their intense, spellbinding beauty and emotive power.

As with their set at Field Day, it seems that The Duke Spirit are not only capable of delivering fantastic tunes, but have truly mastered the art of performance; whether oozing a fragile beauty or the fierce sass of more lively offerings, the overwhelming energy and vibrant spirit of the band exudes from the stage without fail. As Moss moves perfectly in time to each beat – her hands either tapping a tambourine or dancing delicately to the flow of the melody – she brings an element of drama to the set, as her strong presence only adds to the music’s emotion-strewn intensity.

Closing with the gritty power of 2004’s ‘Love Is An Unfamiliar Name’, The Duke Spirit have once again proved to be one of the most inspiring, and truly captivating, bands I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live.


Serenade, the new EP from The Duke Spirit, is out now via Red Essential.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.