Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on February 22, 2010
I don’t know what my life would be like without the presence of music. For me music is what keeps me going, it seems to some how make everything new again. For me music is the pure energy that drives me to see things a new and enables me to imagine what can be.
Some of the most powerful music which has shaped my life was created by such bands as The Clash, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, U2, Elliott Smith, Eurythmics (the 1984 Album), Nine Inch Nails, Madonna, Morrissey, New Order, Tears for Fears, Pearl Jam and Nirvana, to just name a few. All of these bands have created music which deeply changed how I feel about my inner world. In many ways the music has shaped me and made me a darker and cooler monkie.
So for me, discovering new music which somehow spreads a pleasurable infection throughout my brain, is very exciting. So much so, that I always feel compelled to pass on the infection as quickly as possible. Most of the time, I would simply focus on torturing the office monkies, by becoming the office music dictator. Playing nothing but the latest g monkie soundtrack again and again and again, for days, until I see trademark signs of the soft blue brain, swaying of the head, and tapping of the legs. All clear signs of an infected monkie brain.
But as of late, with the world crumbling around all our feet, there isn’t really that many Monkie brains in the office to expose. I am left with with the feeble attempts to blue the brains of who ever comes to the door, and that includes those hard to trap UPS and FedEx guys. So now what? Who’s brains can I soften and blue up with the music of the Monkie? Hmm, how about your monkie brain! Well, I mean yours’ and the millions other brains which some how find their way to gliving.com. Which may or may not be monkie brains I admit, but with that many possible monkie brains focused on the words, sounds and visuals being generated by The G Living Monkies, I am bound to soften and blue the brains of one or two of you out there. Right?
So to that end, I want to expose your brain to my latest discovery, The Duke Spirit . I have to admit, I may be a bit late to this discovery and many of you might already know this band and may even have seen them live. I was some how left out and wasn’t infected by them until my eyes and ears locked on to the song, The Step and The Walk, which is on the album Neptune. The video for the song is what caught my attention with it’s mono toned blurry visuals, rhythmic pounding pace and the energy pouring off lead singer, with her crystal clear eyes and dramatic looks.
The Step and The Walk has a spirit and soul of a modern day danceable version of the Doors song, Light My Fire. Okay, a much better version but still you can feel throughout all of Duke Spirit’s music a bit of that sixties formula which creates a distinct sound. I think the sixties influence even crosses over to the visuals of the band it self. In the videos they all dress is a unifying uniform of all black, which leaves the focus on the lead singer who jumps out in front with her light skin, blonde hair and dark minimal styled eye makeup.
So the video visuals grabbed my attention, but the music is what infected my brain. As soon as I was exposed, I knew I had to have this album. I rushed over to iTunes, to purchased the album, which is called Neptune. The album is a collection of 12 songs and included the video for The Step and The Walk. I followed that up a few weeks later by buying their first album, Cuts Across the Land, which was released in 2006. Both albums are now in heavy rotation on the G Monkie personal life soundtrack and I don’t see coming off it anytime soon.
I am attaching two of their videos. The one just below, is a new just released video for the song My Sunken Treasure, a song also on the Album Neptune and the video at the top of the blog is the video which started it all for me, The Step and The Walk.
Let me know what you think of them, and please if you are hiding any amazing bands in your closet, let me know! I am always on the look out for some much needed soul energizing.
The Duke Spirit are an English rock band, with an affinity to the sound of early noise rock and grunge bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s such as My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and the Pixies (a band The Duke Spirit has covered live) and also displays a primal take on Rock and roll, blues and soul music, allying them to groups such as The Gun Club, Spiritualized, The Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Liela Moss – vocals, tambourine, harmonica, piano
Luke Ford – guitar, backing vocals, farfisa
Dan Higgins – guitar, backing vocals, autoharp
Toby Butler – bass, backing vocals, guitar
Olly ‘The Kid’ Betts – drums, glockenspiel, percussion,piano, backing vocals
The band formed from the meeting of Moss and Ford at an art college in Cheltenham, where they were studying painting and photography, respectively. They moved to London together and began writing songs. After a short time they convinced mutual friend Butler to join the band, and they began to perform under the moniker Solomon. During this period they shared a flat with various other people trying to make it in their various facets of media. One of their flatmates, Higgins (he designed all their sleeves for Cuts Across the Land and resulting singles) turned out to be a guitar player looking for similarly minded musicians. After a chance meeting with drummer Betts, who was at the time studying at Drumtech in London, the band developed as a complete unit with a new name, The Duke Spirit by early 2003.
The band released their first single “Darling You’re Mean” in May and played their first gig at the Brixton Windmill later that year. Later that year, the label released the “Roll, Spirit, Roll” EP, which won the band critical acclaim from publications such as NME. The band’s debut album was due to be released in September 2004 until their record label, City Rockers, ran out of financial steam in the early 2004. They moved over to Loog Records/Polydor and released the album in the UK on 16 May 2005. After headlining the TMF Rock Festival (now known as Offset festival) in the UK, the album was released in the U.S. and the band found themselves touring through America for much of 2006, including a highly praised performance at the Coachella 2006 festival, California. The only release of 2006 was a downloadable EP and limited 7″ single entitled, “Covered In Love”, (released through Velo Recordings). This was a collection of songs, recorded to 8-track by the band, written by the recently deceased (Arthur Lee, Desmond Dekker and Jessie Mae Hemphill). In early 2007 the band signed to You Are Here a new independent Anglo-Canadian label. The track “Mayday”, a collaboration between UNKLE and The Duke Spirit was released on the latest UNKLE album, War Stories, in the UK on 9 July 2007. The track was recorded with Chris Goss at the Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree, California in May 2006. The Duke Spirit returned to work in the same studio with Goss in April 2007 to record their own second album, Neptune, which was released in February 2008.