Sunday, 4 November 2007

A Duke at the Opera

Duke Special returned to Belfast last night providing the culmination of the Belfast Festival at Queens and reinforcing his reputation as the finest talent to emerge in Northern Irish music for many years. In genteel surroundings and in front of a polite audience Duke Special's music was given space to live and breathe.

Fitful support acts failed to undermine the show as the crowd was composed of the Duke's committed following. The Opera House wasn't quite conducive to the call and response participation numbers, but the performer's textured, nuanced songs filled this space in magisterial fashion.

Favourites from the orginal release of Songs From the Deep Forest remain the highlights of Duke Special's set with the anthemic rush of Freewheel commanding one of the night's most rapturous receptions. The East Belfast performer also included newer songs and culminated with a celebratory version of recent single Our Love Goes Deeper Than This.

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