I first heard C Duncan a few days before his debut album, Architect, found its way onto hipster coffee shop soundtracks the UK over, and before Duncan found his way into a demanding summer touring schedule, including The Wickerman and Latitude Festivals and a spot opening for Glasgow compatriots Belle & Sebastian.
I love the album (and reviewed it here) and was quick to book a ticket for C Duncan’s show at the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts this pat June. The meticulous maestro had taken a gorgeous album – one he crafted entirely himself, in his bedroom, calling on his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and his wits to build lush tracks out of handclaps and chairback stick-slaps – and turned it into a fast-paced and emotional live show, a one-man labor of love transformed with an excellent backing band before an eager audience. Duncan and I chatted in the CCA cafe a few hours before the show: read the fully interview in The Skinny here, and listen to the recorded sit-down here.
The Duke of Norfolk made a name for himself among Edinburgh folksketeers and pubgoers within a few weeks of starting to gig regularly in Scotland’s capital. Known for his humility, his finger picking, lyrics about wandering far from his Oklahoma home, and for high-energy performances from The Waverley to Paradise Palms and, recently, EdenFest, the man some know as Adam Howard also happens to be a friend.
The Duke and I (or rather, my alt-blues pop-freak two-piece, Better Strangers) have shared a stage several times over the past months – and recently, we shared a Cathedral.
On the cusp of releasing a full-length LP in the coming months, departing slightly from his transatlantic folk roots in to Sufjan Stevens-influenced electric experiments, the The Duke of Norfolk launched a Kickstarter campaign to record and release a video EP, to keep everyone happy in the meantime. You might remember my jazz adventures in Hilden and Dortmund’s domicil – so, I switched genres and returned with the drumkit when Adam honored me with a phone call. Shot over the course of a few hours one overcast evening in Edinburgh’s beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral, the video EP will be up on YouTube … soon. In the meantime, check out the trailer:
The Duke of Norfolk on Spotify.