The Dualers: delivering a summer of ska

Photo: Masaya Tanikawa

Loved for their energetic street performances in and around London, The Dualers have gathered a dedicated following from people of all ages. It’s also the very same fan base that propelled their 2004 single ‘Kiss On The Lips’ to 21 on the UK Singles charts, an impressive feat considering the complete absence of advertising or publicity.

Consisting of Croydon-based brothers Si and Tyber Cranstoun, they took their busking charms to the Indigo2 stage backed by a full band (bass, electric guitar, drums, percussion) complete with a three-piece brass section made up of trumpet, trombone and sax. Their last show at Indigo2 was completely booked – both the standing and seating sections were spilling over with die-hard fans who knew the lyrics by heart.

The stage curtains revealed the band 15 minutes behind schedule, followed by the brothers decked out in slick suits; greeted by deafening cheers from the crowd, Si started off the night singing solo before melting into ‘Wonder Girl’ with Tyber. There was great energy from the start – the audience was clapping and bobbing along to the reggae-meets-ska beats. The brothers showed off their remarkable skills at dancing in complete synchronization, occasionally breaking off and slinking around the stage.

Photo: Masaya Tanikawa

The Dualers have an intimate relationship with their fans, and it shows – before the next song, Tyber grabbed hold of the mic and declared “I’ve got some dedications I should read out, we have some birthdays to celebrate tonight.” The squeals of the lucky birthday girls could be heard even as the band fired up their next song ‘Enjoy Yourself’. Additional dancers poured onto the stage, adding to that festive atmosphere as Ty shouted “Sing it for your mothers…Louder, louder…I can’t hear you,” followed by roaring solos from the horn section. The guitarist was particularly impressive, dishing out wicked Hendrix-style solos.

Photo: Masaya Tanikawa

At times the percussionist would spring up from his corner and run around the stage, maracas in hand. To the surprise of many, Tyber asked a lucky fan to come up on-stage and dance with the band: “There’s no favouritism here, we just want one girl to come on up! Come on, what’ve we got?” The fan was ecstatic, linking arms with the brothers and comfortably dancing around the stage. Afterwards, The Dualers took a moment to thank the fans: “It’s a dream come true to see 2500 fans looking at you. It’s so fun being on this stage. Honestly you treasure the moments, this whole night is dedicated to you lot. Please keep coming because we love you – you’re all family.” Turns out their actual family was here tonight; their parents were briefly spotlighted as they greeted the fans.

The highlight of the night was their rendition of The Specials’ favourite ‘A Message To You Rudy’. Saved for their second-to-last song, the entire crowd (seated section included) was up and dancing after the brothers screamed “We’re going to get you singing and dancing along!” The incredible night came to a close with each member of the band being introduced in the middle of their last song, playing short little solos that built up into an explosive finish met by roaring yells and cheers from the fans.

Visit their site for details on upcoming gigs. The Dualers are a resident band at The Amersham Arms, and are scheduled to play on the 5th of August.


  1. LYN July 24, 2010
  2. Paul "Harry" Harris July 24, 2010
  3. Alex August 1, 2010

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