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The Duke Spirit: CMJ Music Marathon Blog

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit


London rockers The Duke Spirit don't release their third album, Bruiser, Stateside until January 17 (with a digital release slated for November 21), but the band made a quick trip to New York last week for the CMJ Music Marathon.

The group, which has changed up its lineup a bit since the depature of guitarist Dan Higgins in 2008, played two CMJ gigs and also had a chance to stop at the release party for the videogame "Batman: Arkham City." Their song "Creature" is featured on the new soundtrack, featuring original songs from MGMT, Florence and the Machine, Adele, Noel Gallagher and, believe it or not, Tom Waits.

The Duke Spirit's Bruiser, released through Shangri-La, was released in the UK in September and the band launches a tour there, supporting White Lies, on November 25. For their third album, the band recruited producer Andrew Scheps, who has worked with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Manu Chao. Seeking a slight shift, they diverged from the bluesy garage rock that dominiated their debut, 2005's Cuts Across The Land, and 2008's Neptune, opting for a sleeker, more straightforward rock sound, like the muscular "Running Fire" and the reserved, but roiling "Villain."

The Alternate Side asked the quintet's charismatic frontwoman Liela Moss if she'd keep a blog of her speedy trip through New York, which included a Nylon magazine shoot, the "It's A School Night" show at Bowery Hotel and a gig at Brooklyn Bowl.

Liela Moss' CMJ Blog:

Nylon magazine invite us over to play in front of their posse in their photostudio and offices. They shower us with Nylon love and then we scoot off for dinner.

Nylon Magazine - they have a great linoleum floor for dancing on. We play a little acoustic set and get down on it, for a sweet moment.

Olly and  Marc are now at the Batman Arkham City launch party. They put something pretty pokey in the cocktails, and Marc started getting agitated when he couldn't find his mask and gloves.

Liela hits soundcheck at the Brooklyn Bowl. Only problem was I seem to have a misunderstanding about the door handle. I just had some electrifyingly strong coffee from Bakeri café, just down the street on Wythe and 9th or so. Thank god for that place, today was a long day.

[We then played]  our first show of the night ["It's A School Night" at Bowery Hotel]. I think I'm hailing a cab in this photo, as I know we're running late for the next show.  

Onstage at the Brooklyn Bowl. The stage is high. Vertigo-inducing. Or they make their margaritas too strong. What's behind the velvet curtain? I didn't get time to investigate. Next time ....

Brooklyn Bowl - setlist