The silent world of Hector Mann

Myself and a friend made a last minute decision to go to see
Duke Special
in Letterkenny yesterday. I tried getting an interview with him for my show but it didn’t work out, so I wasn’t really planning to go to the gig. Luckily it hadn’t sold out and we got tickets on the door.

Duke recently released a box set called ‘the stage, a book and the silver screen’, which contains music he wrote for a played called ‘mother courage and her children’, music for ‘huckelberry Fin’ and music for twelve films by the silent movie maker Hector Mann.
Its a very interesting concept and you can read more about it

Duke and his band performed the twelve songs from Hector Mann in the first half of the gig. Between songs they showed some video clips of some of the songwriters talking about the film they had written their song for. After a fifteen minute interval they played tracks from ‘mother courage’ and a couple from ‘Huckelberry Finn’, ending with ‘diggin an early grave’ from the previous album ‘I never thought this day would come’. The audience sang and clapped as Duke made his way through the rows of people, nearly tripping over my feet when he came to our row. Oops! Just as well O.J wasn’t there too.
All his songs feature a piano, and the old style piano sounded amazing in the theatre last night.

We talked to him briefly after the gig. He was nervous about how the audience would react to the songs, since this was the first gig of the Irish tour. There was no need to be though. It was a bit different from his usual gigs, and attracted a slightly older audience. He’s always an interesting performer to watch on stage,, while off stage each time I’ve met him he seems quite shy.I admire him because he is always innovative. Whether he’s writing for a musical, playing with his musician friends having fun, playing with an orchestra or just touring his latest album, his live performances never disappoint.

Quote of the night:
“Mother nature called very quick, never mind mother courage! I don’t think I’ve ever made such a swift exit off stage after a song in my life!”


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