Duels were perfect glam-pop re-inventers who thrilled us with their single 'Potential Futures', the first release on the famed 3" cd format as well as our classic 7". The band were quickly snapped up by Nude, and recorded their debut album with a young James Ford. The follow-up was released last year to great reviews.
Based in Leeds, Duels were formed in 2005 by Jon Foulger (vocal, guitar, keyboards), Jim Foulger (guitar), Jon Maher (bass), James Kirkbright (drums), and Katherine Botterill (keyboards). Early singles generated significant press interest and the band were taken on by Supervision Management, home to Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, The Cribs and Biffy Clyro. A major record deal followed, with the band releasing their James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine, Gorillaz) produced debut album in 2006. The melodic guitar pop of The Bright Lights And What I Should Have Learned masked lyrical themes of alienation, trampled dreams and hope stretched to breaking point set against a kaleidoscopic backdrop of cults, puppet shows, music hall, apocalypse fantasies, blank sex and junk technology. Despite excellent reviews in the national press the album was overlooked and Duels parted company with their label and management shortly afterwards.
Recorded and mixed by the band in a self-built studio on the wind swept north coast of England, Duels second album was released digitally in February 2008, with a physical release following via the This Is Fake DIY label two months later. The brooding experimentalism of The Barbarians Move In, mastered by John Davis (Led Zeppelin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), marked a definite progression from the debut album and saw the band defiantly steering further away from the charts.