The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
DIESEL Live Australia Perth February 2013




16th FEBRUARY 2013





Tonight is the perfect night in the Perth hills, and for anyone that hasn’t visited the Mundaring Weir Hotel it’s a great venue that is well worth the drive. The hotel itself is nestled in the bush and provides a great setting for live music. John Starr has been bringing great rock music to Perth for countless years and tonight is the perfect night for those that have made it to let their hair down and enjoy the countrified blues of local act Blue Shaddy and the more soulful blues of one of Australia’s finest – Diesel. It may be many a year since we saw Johnny Diesel, as he was then, back in Sydney in the nineties but tonight he is on fire assisted by a flawless sound provided by DC Productions who revel in events like this.



Blue Shaddy Mundaring weir 2013



 By the time Blue Shaddy hit the stage it’s clear that the crowd has come to get ‘up close and personal’ with the open unseated area in front of the stage already full; and as the night progresses the patrons push forward to dance and make their voices heard.
Blue Shaddy are a band you simply have to see, there’s an energy about them that makes you want to get involved, and while at times it’s hard to tell if they want to be traditional blues, moonshine-fuelled hillbilly country or simply ZZ Top they are pretty irresistible.
It’s early when the first request comes from the gathered throng – ‘Mr Willy Wagtail which introduces some nice harp from Neil Young look-alike Graham McClelland brother of singer Jim, who we are told is an undiagnosed hyperactive with hair like Jesus and who turned his parents kitchen into a moonshine distillery when they ventured on holidays.  



We then veer off into some real hills-friendly country a hoe-down, moonshine music with some mad extended harmonica and from there on its fun all the way both for the band and the crowd who are affectionately dubbed hillbillies. The highlight of a great set for us is ‘Walk a Mile’ that is both intense and memorable, before drummer Callum Kramer shows us some Chicken box (literally playing percussion on a box made for chickens to lay eggs in). The song written for Jim and Graham’s mother ‘Frying Pan’ gets the audience further involved, entangled in its loose string bluesy roll.




Before the set is through those that weren’t convinced or only casually acquainted are all on-board and between some nice bottleneck, some dirty steel guitar  and a full portion of southern fried sounds you realise the value of elemental music like this that just can’t help but make you feel good.



Diesel Mundaring Weir 2013


Diesel is another matter entirely with a huge back catalogue of hits and regularly charting albums he seems to have burned his way into our collective consciousness over the years. Mixing up some traditional blues and with an early Muddy Waters track under his belt, Diesel has everyone on side from the off with his distinctive brand of blues-infused soul.  




But it’s a night that is measured by the soaring and soulful vocals, in a laid back set provided by an accomplished three piece who mix up the hits like ‘Tip of my tongue’ and  ‘Never miss your water’ with some lesser known gems. There's guitar percussion to keep the crowd clapping along in the intro the soulful ‘All come together’ and it’s surprising how easily Mark hits the sweet notes.



At times the funky bass is almost reminiscent of Prince at his rockiest, and driven along by some great guitar, it’s a sight to behold to see the crowd clapping in unison to ‘Man Alive’ with its great guitar crescendo. But we do get dirtier and significantly bluesier with ‘My Babe’ (originally by Little Walter and featuring a recent visitor to our shores - Charlie Musselwhite).  



Diesel Mundaring Weir 2013 02


All in all tonight is pretty much perfect, a great venue, a wonderful night and an artist that doesn’t put a foot wrong. It’s nights like these that you cherish and are glad you made that hour plus drive.



all words and photos by Mark Diggins