Duke Special is a songwriter and performer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A piano-based songwriter with a romantic style and a warm, distinctly accented voice, he has distinctive long dreadlocks, eyeliner and outfits he describes as "hobo chic". His live performances have a theatrical style inspired by Vaudeville and music hall, and often incorporate 78s played on an old-fashioned gramophone, or sound effects from a transistor radio.
He is most often accompanied by percussionist "Temperance Society" Chip Bailey, who plays cheese graters and egg whisks, a Stumpf fiddle and a Shruti box, as well as the more typical drums and cymbals.
Other musicians who perform with Wilson from time to time include Paul Pilot, Réa Curran, Ben Castle, Ben Hales, Gareth Williams, "Professor" Ger Eaton, Dan Donnelly and Serge Archibald III.
His albums include Adventures in Gramophone, Songs from the Deep Forest, both of which were nominated for the Choice Music Prize, I Never Thought This Day Would Come, Little Revolutions, The Silent World of Hector Mann, Mother Courage and Her Children, Under the Dark Cloth, Oh Pioneer, Look Out Machines! and Hallow.