Date: Wednesday 17 October
Cost: £16 / £14
Even before you get to the music there’s plenty to pique one’s interest with The Leisure Society. Main-man Nick Hemming began his career in shoegaze band The Telescopes and shared a further outfit with Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows.
They’ve had two consecutive Ivor Novello nominations for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, and have enjoyed the endorsement of everyone from Guy Garvey to Brian Eno.
They’ve collaborated with Ray Davies and the Heritage Orchestra, not to mention soundtracking a few films, most notably Mr Considine’s brutal masterpiece Tyrannosaur.
Now putting the finishing touches to their long awaited fifth album, the band are emerging this October for their first full-band shows in some time. Expect to hear brand new Hemming masterpieces alongside favourites like The Last of the Melting Snow and Fight For Everyone.
“Gorgeously delicate” – The Guardian
“A true gem” – Brian Eno
“Warm, colourful, literate songs that reach into the heart and the head” – The Independent
“As close to any of The Beatles’ greatest records as anything I’ve heard in the last five years or so” – Drowned In Sound
Many people are aware of Duke Special’s platinum album ‘Songs From The Deep Forest’, and the hit song ‘Freewheel’, but many may be surprised by the cultural breadth of his other work. His creative talents have seen him involved in projects as diverse as writing the theme tune for the Irish Sesame Street to writing the music for and appearing in Deborah Warner’s critically acclaimed 2009 production of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ at London’s National Theatre.
Recently he joined forces with stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle and together they brought a brand new musical adaptation of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ to the Lyric Theatre in his native Belfast, a production created by the team behind the West End smash hit Once the Musical!
In 2016 he was appointed as the Artist In Residence at the Lyric Theatre and as part of this residency, he worked on writing a musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn, based on songs written by Kurt Weill, which will premiere in 2018. The end of the residency was marked by three intimate shows at the Lyric in December, performing some of his new works and old favourites with some special guests, including Ben Castle and Barry Hyde from Futureheads.
“Duke is in a world of his own” – Independent
“This is music of magic and soul” – The Telegraph
“Sumptuous, symphonic pop anthem, courtesy of dreadlocked Irishman who sounds like The Flaming Lips crossed with Rufus Wainwright” – Q