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Duke presides over an eccentric otherworldly mix

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 18, 2012

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Duke Special is an artist aptly named; there really isn't anyone else like this dynamic, musically ambitious and bracingly eccentric performer who makes a welcome return to Exeter's Phoenix this month. Duke, aka Peter Wilson, is a fervent performer whose engaging pop harks back to a pre-rock and roll era, with dashes of Gershwin and orchestral swing, all tinged with his Northern Irish lilt and poetic lyrics that suggest a modern-day fairytale land. Most know him for the platinum-selling album Songs from the Deep Forest, which spawned hit song Freewheel and other radio mainstays like Sweet Sweet Kisses and Last Night I Nearly Died, but there's an enormous breadth to his work, and he'll be introducing songs from forthcoming new album Oh Pioneer.

Zombies show will benefit guitarist's Africa charity

Pop veterans The Zombies play a special show in Yeovil next weekend, supporting a children's charity set up by their guitarist. Tom Toomey founded Music for Africa in 1999 following his first trip to South Africa, when he saw a child using an oil can with a piece of wood nailed onto it as a guitar. The charity now supports The Lehlake Music Project, providing musical instruments and education in the remote area of Phokwane. The Zombies, helmed by founding members Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, will play 1960s signature classics like She's Not There, Tell Her No and Time Of The Season, as well as tunes from latest album – Breathe Out, Breathe In from last year.

Sweet cafe sounds come from a trio of solo artists

The Eden Cafe in St Austell serves up a melting pot of music tonight with three eclectic artists – Toronto-born songstress Joanna Chapman-Smith (pictured), eccentric fellow Canadian violinist Jaron Freeman-Fox and Totnes singer and guitarist Katie Marie. Joanna mixes urban Canadian influences, flavours of European jazz, flamenco, Balkan choral music to expose her emotions.

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