The Dukes (Australian band)

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The Dukes
Also known as Sean Kelly and the Iron Dukes
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres R&B/ Soul/ Funk
Years active 1991–1994
Labels Sony Music
Associated acts The Models
Absent Friends
DD Smash
Website The Dukes
Past members Sean Kelly
Geoffrey Stapleton
Peter Willersdorf
Tony Georgeson
Mark Dennison
Kevin Dubber

The Dukes were an Australian rock band active from 1991 to 1994. Initially called Sean Kelly and the Iron Dukes, they were formed by Sean Kelly (ex-Models, Absent Friends) on vocals and keyboards; and Geoffrey Stapleton (GANGgajang, Absent Friends) on keyboards and guitar. They were soon joined by Michael Armiger (Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls, The Go-Betweens) on bass guitar; Michael King (Absent Friends) on guitar and backing vocals; and John Mackay (Absent Friends) on drums and percussion.


The band were originally called Sean Kelly and The Iron Dukes, but were renamed shortly after to The Dukes.[1] The band was formed by Sean Kelly (Models) and Geoffrey Stapleton (GANGgajang) following their return to Sydney in 1991 after the completion of a European tour, supporting INXS, with their previous band Absent Friends. The original members of the Iron Dukes were Kelly, Stapleton, Michael Armiger (Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls, The Go-Betweens), Michael King (Absent Friends) and John Mackay (Absent Friends).[2] Other band members were bass player Peter Willersdorf, drummer Tony Georgeson, Mark Dennison (DD Smash) on saxophone and occasional keyboard and Kevin Dubber (DD Smash) on trumpet.[3] In 1992 they signed with Sony Music.

They released a number of singles, with "Gonna Get High" and "Faith" reaching #60 and #28 respectively on the Australian singles charts.[4] In December 1992 the band released its debut and only album, Harbour City, it was co-written and co-produced by Kelly and Stapleton. Stapleton providing paintings for each song for the album booklet and the art work for all of the single and album covers. Harbour City was nominated for an ARIA Award in 1993 for the category 'Best Breakthrough Artist - Album'.[5]

In 1993 they released the EP, I Fought The Law, three tracks from which also appeared on the 1993 soundtrack for the Yahoo Serious movie Reckless Kelly.[1][6]

On 23 September 1993 The Dukes performed "Faith" to 250,000 people at Circular Quay, minutes before Sydney was announced as the host city for the 2000 Summer Olympics. The band disbanded in early 1994.


  • Mark Dennison - saxophone (1991–1993)
  • Kevin Dubber - trumpet (1991–1993)
  • Tony Georgeson - drums, percussion (1991–1993)
  • Sean Kelly - vocals, guitar (1991–1993)
  • Geoff Stapleton - keyboard, guitar (1991–1993)
  • Peter Willersdorf - bass (1991–1993)



  • "Gonna Get High" - Sony (August, 1992)
  • "Faith" - Sony (December, 1992)
  • "Joyeux Noelle" - Sony (1992)
  • "Nothing Can Bring Me Down" - Sony (1993)


  • Harbour City - Sony (December, 1992)
  • I Fought The Law EP (1993)


  1. ^ a b "Where are they now? Sean Kelly". B 2006-02-06. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  2. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "Sean Kelly". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 19 September 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "The Dukes". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holgrem). Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  5. ^ "ARIA Awards: The Dukes". ARIA. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Reckless Kelly Soundtrack". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 

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