+ DAVID FORD
Mon 06 Nov 2023
By nature, Duke Special (aka Belfast’s Peter Wilson) is a curious person. He is curious about music, theatre, books, poetry, art, love, life, redemption, death and 78RPM records. All of this is evidenced by the variety of musical adventures throughout his career. He has released 14 albums and EPs, toured all over the world and has been involved in a diverse array of other projects, including writing the music for Deborah Warner’s critically acclaimed 2009 production of Mother Courage and Her Children at London’s National Theatre and being commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to write a series of original songs based on photographs for their exhibition of the photographers Stieglitz, Steichen and Strand.
In the world of theatre, since Mother Courage, Duke has written music for four shows with Andrew Doyle: Gulliver’s Travels (BYMT, 2015), Paperboy, (BYMT, 2017), Huckleberry Finn (Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 2018), and Breadboy (BYMT, 2022) and with Bob Kelly: Breakfast on Pluto (Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, in development).
Performing live is still one of Duke Special’s main passions, and over the years he has played to captive audiences across the world. Whether he performs solo, as a duo with his long-time friend and percussionist Chip Bailey, with a full band, a string quartet or full orchestra, a Duke Special show is always a unique experience.
Support from DAVID FORD
As an artist, David Ford defies classification or comparison. Singer-songwriter doesn’t begin to cover it. He writes and performs with fluency across multiple genres, plays every instrument on the stage and even invents new ones to create truly unique recordings and performances. Every live show is different. Ford’s trademark one-man loop machine circus grows more complex and audacious every year, but then he is just as likely to show up with a six-piece band, a string quartet, jazz drummer or a choir and a recent UK tour proved he can be equally compelling sat in an armchair, playing acoustic guitar and telling stories. The result is a live spectacle described by The Guardian as “unmissable”.
As well as playing sold-out headline shows on both sides of the Atlantic, he has supported artists such as Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, Ray LaMontagne, Aimee Mann, Sara Bareilles, Gomez, Aqualung, Richard Ashcroft, Suzanne Vega, Augustana, Ingrid Michaelson and Jakob Dylan.
Unmissable” ★★★★★ The Guardian
“One of Britain’s best.” ★★★★★ The Times
“Puts everything into every word.” The LA Times
“David Ford is the eternal thrill of a young man going way too far and pulling it off.” Word Magazine