By Adriana Rubio

Punk Rock Band From England
Photography by David Apps & Bob Monk

“Life Says NO, but Music says YES”

The Duel is the UK purest and most sincere punk rock song writing partnership of Tara Rez and Andy Thierum, who met 10 years ago. Andy was looking for a singer while Tara was going round with some local musicians writing songs. Tara Rez, a real passionate-punk-sound singer, auditioned for Andy with his manager present. There was an immediate connection between these two and within the first 30 minutes of meeting they started writing songs together.

The musical combination of Tara and Andy was by far thrilling and a bit unpredictable at first, but after working on some sound adjustments, The Duel was born. The Duel began gigging in 2001 supporting acts such as; Utah Saints Also played at some Garrisons, after a song called ‘No Fury’ was play listed on BBC World Service by the late John Peel.

 “It’s all about the songs and the unique sound we have”

The Duel Debut Album “Let's Finish What We Started” was released on their own label FFR UK in 2006. The band gained a well deserved recognition with many new fans jumping on board and some great reviews in the music press. However, the music scene was not just a five stars hotel for The Duel over the years. Their first steps started in times when it was hard to even get a gig, as MySpace was born, the band saw their popularity go up tremendously in a new way and despite a demising music industry that could offer no support, it was always the music what really mattered for them. The happy faces and unity of the people at shows.

“It’s life! It’s energy! It’s everything! It’s what we’re alive for!

THE DUEL line up:

PUMPY – Drums

They wrote loads of tunes and much of it is still unreleased.
They’ve always had a no rules approach to the sound they make. The musical vision they have for The Duel is described as “free spirited”. But punk rock is definitely what has inspired them to do what they do and pushed them forward even in times where things turned really ugly to the point of thinking if they should give up.

“Life says NO but music says YES”

Guitarist Thanos is originally from Greece. He was looking for a band in Camden and auditioned for The Duel when they needed a second guitar, and it was his slick tight lead guitar playing that got him that position. Bass player Chris used to be in “The Darkness”, played and written songs with a number of bands.  Having jammed with him, Chris’s bass buzz was definitely what The Duel needed so he joined. Drummer Pumpy played in the UK Subs & Vice Squad. He’s been The Duel drummer for 4 years now and as they say “his drumming is like his name…pumping!”

Although The Duel experienced bad times, they keep going and going together. The love and high level of respect they feel for “Ramones” and “Dead Boys” are what helped The Duel to hang in there no matter what. They learned the lesson the hard way and no one can tell them different.

“We have to take care of this not walk away from it”

The Duel played with numerous bands such as: Angie Bowie, Peter Hook, Buzzcocks, Chelsea, The Slits, UK Subs, Sham 69, The Vibrators, The Adicts, TV Smith, Slaughter & The Dogs, Menace, Angelic Upstarts, The Business, Drongos For Europe, Vic Goddard, Los Mondo Bongos (with members of The Alarm & Joe Strummers Band The Mescularaties),London and Steve Dior of London Cowboys.

The Duel also played for Shows Parties such as Polysterene Xray Specs After Show Party 2008, International Download Awards 2009, London Tattoo Convention 2009 and Primal Scream & Skunk Anansie After Show Party in 2010. Additionally they’ve played the “Rebellion Festival” in Blackpool for the past 4 years including Vienna, Venice & Amsterdam. And as for touring, The Duel visited and played a vast number of clubs nationally and internally where they received tremendous positive feedback. To mention a few, they performed in the US (2006) in some punk-rock clubs including New York’s CBGB, Finland (2007), Switzerland (2007), Holland (2007), (2008) & (2009), Spain (2009), Czech (2009), Germany (2008), (2009), (2010), Paris (2010), UK since 2003 and 2008 & 2009, 2011.

The artists The Duel received inspiration from are Ramones, Dead Boys, Clash, Sex Pistols, Blondie, Iggy & The Stooges, Patti Smith, UK Subs, The Vibrators and The Damned among many others.

The Duel Discography:

“LET’S FINISH WHAT WE STARTED”. Released in 2006

“CHILDISH BEHAVIOR”. Released in 2008

“ALL ABOARD THE CRAZY TRAIN”. Released in 2011

SUMMER 2012)

The band acquired a remarkable music status over the years and still receiving great reviews in magazines such as Viva Le Rock and Big Cheese. Despite unhappy beginnings, they are also getting respect and admiration from fellow artists while increasing their fan base. With a classic punk sound The Duel band members spread the message out in modern times.

“Forget yesterday and tomorrow. Enjoy each day now. 
Make the most of each moment now. 
Lay down all prejudices and unite now. 
Live your dreams now and don’t forget who you are. 
Don’t be a fake. 
Don’t forget your ID and roots.  
Stay free!”


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