Duke Spirit rouse the Bowery Ballroom. British Invaders win new fans opening for Eagles of Death Metal.September 11, 2018
A few audience members were previous fans of the band and thus visibly excited, but to begin with, the majority of the audience were as enthused for this group as for any other opening band. However, by the end of their set, the Duke Spirit showed off how regularly they’ve paid their rock dues.
Duke Spirit History
The band came together in 2002 in London, England, pairing school mates and roommates. In the six years the band has been together, they've produced two albums. A more apparent fan following occurred with their 2008 recording, Neptune, and their single, The Step and The Walk. Their sounds incorporates a bit of punk, a few pop influences, and even resembles some of their British forefathers.
Working the Bowery Ballroom Crowd
As a quintet, each member brought something different and equally imperative to the stage. Working together as a cohesive unit, the band seemed both gracious and ready to prove they were no ordinary opening act.
Clad in a black outfit of stockings, high-heeled boots, and a jumpsuit with feathers, lead singer Leila Moss brought to mind comparisons of Deborah Harry of Blondie, Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds, and even Wendy Williams. Armed with various additional percussive instruments, she leaned over the monitors onstage and kicked wildly. Strutting and shimmying, from stage left to stage right and back, Moss played the role of front woman to the hilt.
Drummer Olly Betts, in contrast, was dressed in a suit without jacket, with hair perfectly coifed. Looking flawlessly put together seemed easy for this hard-hitting man of many beats. Besides plainly keeping time to structure the music, Betts incorporated precision and exact timing, with full force intensity, to present a powerhouse of percussion.
Luke Ford and Dan Higgins often dueled and echoed one another, with their melodies, on rhythm and lead guitar. Ford, dressed in all black and looking reminiscent of Joy Division, swung his guitar back and forth in place, while Higgins played a bit more aggressively, in a full suit.
Winning over Eagles of Death Metal fans
By show’s end, it seemed the audience was not only moved by the music, but moving to the music, and well into the groove to welcome Eagles of Death Metal. The Duke Spirit, having performed their job, thanked the crowd and played one last tune before exiting the stage for the night.