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The band formed from the meeting of Moss and Ford at an art college in Cheltenham, where they were studying painting and photography, respectively. They moved to London together and began writing songs. After a short time they convinced mutual friend Butler to join the band, and they began to perform under the moniker Solomon. During this period they shared a flat with various other people trying to make it in their various facets of media. One of their flatmates, Higgins (he designed all their sleeves for Cuts Across the Land and resulting singles) turned out to be a guitar player looking for similarly minded musicians. After a chance meeting with drummer Olly Betts, who was at the time studying Music in London, the band developed as a complete unit with a new name, The Duke Spirit by early 2003.

The band released their first single "Darling You're Mean" in May and played their first gig at the Brixton Windmill later that year. Later that year, the label released the "Roll, Spirit, Roll" EP, which won the band critical acclaim from publications such as NME. The band's debut album was due to be released in September 2004 until their record label, City Rockers, ran out of financial steam in the early 2004. They moved over to Loog Records/Polydor and released the album in the UK on 16 May 2005. The album's producers were Simon Raymonde (formerly the bass player in Cocteau Twins, and now Bella Union Label boss, enjoying great success with the release of Fleet Foxes in the UK) and the legendary Flood, best known for his work with Nick Cave, NIN and U2 . After headlining the TMF Rock Festival (now known as Offset festival/a>) in the UK, the album was released in the U.S. and the band found themselves touring through AAmerica for much of 2006, including a highly praised performance at the Coachella 2006 festival, California. The only release of 2006 was a downloadable EP and limited 7" single entitled, "Covered In Love", (released through Velo Recordings). This was a collection of songs, recorded to 8-track by the band, written by the recently deceased (Arthur Lee, Desmond Dekker and Jessie Mae Hemphill)). In early 2007 the band signed to You Are Here a new independent Anglo-Canadian label. The track "Mayday", a collaboration between UNKLE/a> and The Duke Spirit was released on the latest UNKLE album, War Stories,, in the UK on 9 July 2007. The track was recorded with Chris Goss/a> at the Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree,, California in May 2006. The Duke Spirit returned to work in the same studio with Goss in April 2007 to record their own second album, Neptune/a>,, which was released in February 2008.

In February 2009, the band released a 10-track compilation CD featuring three songs never released in the US ("sca", "Souvenir", "Do What You Love") as well as a cover of Alex Chilton's "Baby Doll". The CD was sold alongside a McQ Alexander McQueen fashion collection, one of the shirts of which featured the face of singer Liela Moss.

NME - "Raw, wired & bursting with energy....10/10"

XFM - "Simply Irresistable"

NME - " The
Duke Spirit are dragging British rock back to triumph!"

HAR MAR SUPERSTAR - "They will earn a place at th Royal British Rock Table"