Reel to Reel
Duke Special is currently wowing the crowds on stage in Deborah Warner’s National Theatre prodution of Brecht’s Mother
Courage, which is fitting for such a theatrical performer, especially one whose admiration for Brecht’s work with Kurt Weill has been evident for a while. This collection of rarities and B-sides should delight Duke’s fans, and even win over some new converts. His collaborations with fellow Northern Irishman Neil Hannon are among the album’s highlights, notably the jaunty Our
Love Goes Deeper and a rollicking live version of Tainted Love. Some of the covers are more successful than others – his take on Radiohead’s
Lucky is great, though Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps lacks the original’s power. But while some of the original tracks are a bit vaudeville-by-numbers, this is still a treasure trove of hidden gems.