Britt Lundborg reports: The Duke Spirit blasted back into town on Wednesday night at (just re-opened) Santos Party House. Yowza, do Liela Moss and co. bring it every time. Knitting new songs into a setlist of their sure-footed blues burners, The Duke Spirit sounded better than ever. Clearly touring the fuck out of their last LP, Neptune, solidified their powerful live show.
Lead singer Liela Moss cavorted around the stage, banging her tambourine, flexing her leather-clad legs, looking and sounding commanding and assured. She’s really a sight to behold when in full gallop such as during the banger, “Love Is An Unfamiliar Name.” Her lusty vocals hit the back of the room, buffeted by the wallop of guitar squalls provided by her bandmates. Looking fit in a glittery, black tank, leather fingerless gloves and trousers, she poked fun at the venue’s recent narcotics bust by saying, “I wish I had a drugs joke up my sleeve… but I don’t. Since I don’t have any sleeves.”
Comprehensible words are given short shrift in our current witch-house-glo-fi haze, but Liela not only articulates her lyrics but gives them body and snarl. Her mezzo can purr or growl a la Grace Slick. It’s a relief to harken back to an era of rock rather than polyester. Come on, kids – the 80s weren’t that great, can’t we dream further back? I mean, when a leading lady whips out a harmonica – a motherfucking harmonica! – you listen and you listen good. Welcome back, Duke Spirit… you’ve been missed.