At long last, I finally got to see The Duke Spirit live! A one-off Christmas show at the ICA in London provided an ideal opportunity to see the band, and was a good choice of venue too - nice and intimate (about the size of the Pavilion Theatre) with good visibility to the stage, although to be fair I was standing pretty close to the front! The band played a 75 minute set comprising of old, new and obscure tracks. One new song (This Ship Was Built To Last I think it was called) was especially strong and could easily have come off the Cuts Across The Land album, but for me the highlight was Red Weather, one of my favourite album tracks which really rocked out. Leila proved to be an engaging front person, grabbing her microphone stand and reaching skywards, and during several songs the band was swelled by the addition of a brass section, viola player and a couple of lovely backing singers. I caught up with Leila in the bar afterwards and she admitted they haven't played Brighton as much as they should, so fingers crossed for 2007 - "It's all about next year!"