A trendy pub in Hackney with a room upstairs set up for concerts: it is not small, it is not huge, just perfect for Garwood and his music. Duke Garwood describes himself as a hermit, a musical hermit finding music in the meanders of his soul. He has recently traded London for the British seaside and his music has become even more subtle and dark, while the pace has slowed down, as if following the rhythm of the tides. On stage he is accompanied by his trusted, shaman drummer Paul May, the versatile Jonathan Lovecall, who doubled as his opening act, on bass and atmospheric guitarist John J. Presley, while the wonderful Smoke Fairies, would make their intermittent appearance on stage sounding like sirens trying to crash a ship against the rocks, in a positive way. Garwood himself is as brooding and mysterious as his music, an atypical bluesman, an Englishman making honest, complex, poetic music to be peacefully savoured while cradling a shot of cold whisky sweetened by a touch of honey.

16 February 2017: Duke Garwood, Oslo, Hackney

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