Hag Records – 2005 – 49 minutes

When it comes to music, Belfast native Duke Special is just as eccentric as his stage name suggests. An old gramophone and some kitchen utensils are just some of the instruments he utilises on his debut album and they certainly make for an interesting listen.

Endeavouring to make his sound 'old', 'the Duke' (Peter Wilson) uses cheese graters, whisks and even wardrobe doors to create an antique effect. There are conventional instruments too; drums, guitars and piano; even a few cymbal clashes here and there. All this makes the album very theatrical in sound, contrasting sharply with the Duke's soft, accented vocal.

Among the standout tracks here are 'Freewheel', 'Kill Me Quickly Please' and 'Wake Up Scarlett', but the lyrics really take a backseat to the interesting melodies the Duke creates. He said he "wanted to find a way to play the piano and sing that didn't make me sound like Elton John or Billy Joel". He's certainly done that.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting; Last Night I Nearly Died (But I Woke Up Just In Time) – Some Things Make Your Soul Feel Clean – Freewheel – As Good As It Gets – Regarding The Moonlight In Eastbourne – Kill Me Quickly Please – I Let You Down Like A Tonne Weight – Wake Up Scarlett – Closer To The Start – Don't Breathe – You Don't Slow Me Down – Love Is A Series of Scars