Matthew Naqvi on 1 August 2012 in Gig Reviews


Performing on 28th July 2012 @ Northcote Social Club

The Northcote Social Club was the venue of choice for iconic blues rocker, Diesel. The room was packed mostly with people in their thirties who had grown up with his music. This evening was meant to be a two-act performance by Diesel but instead he opted to bring in a young band named Winter York to open for him.

Triple J Unearthed contestants, Winter York,opened the show to a relatively packed room. The rock pop band has a dark indie edge to their music that makes it striking and memorable. The lead singer’s deep, low voice sounded very impressive, piercing the room and the group was very tight, with the drum and guitar working well together.

Some violin added an extra touch of melody and a sense of brooding to the songs, while a few A couple of the songs had a John Mayer vibe about them both musically, lyrically. Overall, this young band has a bright future ahead of them and hopefully we’ll hear more of their music on the radio soon.

The room was well and truly packed by the time Diesel walked onto the stage, and they let him know how excited they were with plenty of whistles and cheers, the performer looked serious with determination to play another impressive gig.

The seasoned professional belted out plenty of songs from his back catalogue, pleasing his fans with some rare live song choices, as well as the hits that have seen him become a great of Aussie rock. ‘Don’t Need Love’ was a fire starter in the middle of the set that got everyone really pumped up, if they weren’t already.

‘15 Feet of Snow’ was also well received by the fans. Diesel was talkative between songs, switching between joking with the audience and explaining the back stories behind them.

He spoke about his father’s good taste in music and how it influenced him, noting ‘things may have ended up very differently if my dad had a collection of German polka music. I could’ve been like Weird Al.” The crowd erupted into laughter, while a couple of brave souls shouted their support for the king of parody.

Diesel’s passionate performance was enthralling to watch; with his powerful vocals and diligent guitar work on display. He added extra bridges to a few of his songs, and quite often, that meant wicked guitar licks. He threw picks into the crowd at a rate of one per song so everyone in the front row went home with a nice memento.

He played some excellently chosen covers; Otis Reading’s ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’ which had many members of the crowd singing along in a harmonic chorus. The Jimi Hendrix classic, ‘Hey Joe’, being another with Diesel’s vocals during his version were top notch; and his mean guitar wasn’t far off either.

‘Tip of My Tongue’ had everyone in the room singing along passionately. Diesel got the crowd to clap along in a 2-4 beat for his poppy ‘Soul Revival’, providing an intimate connection between musician and audience. He made it clear he didn’t want a 1 beat clap, “that’s more suitable for a kids’ song.”

Departing to a few minutes of crowd chanting, Diesel returned to the stage to conclude the evening with the aforementioned Hendrix cover, and his own ‘Cry In Shame’; which had fans singing and bobbing along one last time before he took his guitar off his shoulder, smiled, bowed and made his exit.

- Matthew Naqvi

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