Editors Diary: Willard Grant Conspiracy and The Duke & The King
The Relentless Garage
When The Duke & The King made their UK debut at London’s Bush Hall in May, I seem to remember there being at certain points up to about nine people on stage, including on at least one number four people playing guitars, someone on keyboards, a couple of backing singers and, of course, Simone Felice, late of The Felice Brothers, and his new musical partner Robert “Chicken” Burke on vocals. The evening also included a lot of instrument-swapping, principally between Simone and Burke, who took turns at the drum stool.
This was only The Duke & The King’s second show, and good as it often was, there were a lot of early nerves, although by the end the house was duly rocking. You still had the feeling, however, that this was still very early days for the band. After a decent spell on the road, you could only imagine they would be even more fearsomely good.
The superb (we don't use that lightly, they are quite superb) Day Trotter website has made available a session they recorded with the Duke & The King. The Day Trotter newsletter explains that "They'd come from Indianapolis and were running two hours late-- they said because they took a wrong turn, but we think it was more the rich guy they'd met the day before who had a country home and a lake." It all came together to find the band in fine fine form, recording five songs for the site.
SHORN of the large, grey-flecked beard which was once his trademark, Willard Grant Conspiracy's leader Robert Fisher cuts a less imposing figure these days. Where once he resembled a grizzled mountain man, now he's simply a Bostonian barroom troubadour, although the delicate, acoustic alt-country style remains.
On their last trip to the UK shores, The Duke & the King spoke to The Guardian's James Medd. That interview ran in full in yesterdays paper.
Are they a revivalist folk-soul band or a religious cult? Either way, this charismatic three-piece are on a mission from God
On a late spring evening in west London, on stage amid the restored Edwardian splendour of Bush Hall, Simone Felice was a man possessed – as transfixing as a cult leader, testifying about Jesus, Gandhi and Elvis. This morning, just down the road in Chiswick in the kitchen of his record company boss, he seems a different man.
The music group The Duke and the King recently played music off their first CD, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" at the City Winery in Manhattan. The band is a side project for Simon Felice, who ordinarily can be found in the roots rock alt-country Felice Brothers.