I have seen Diesel Park West before. I remember them playing at the Simon Says festival. But, I saw them for the first time in 2011. That was also at The Musician.
Diesel Park West is an alternative rock band, from Leicester, that started in 1980. Signed to Food Records, they have had several chart successes. The members today are John (or Jon) Butler, Rich Barton, Geoff Beavan and Rob Morris.
They are part of a group of bands that had success in the 1980s and are still playing today; Crazyhead, Cornershop and Gaye Bikers on Acid.
It was clear from the turnout for tonight’s show that this band still has a loyal following. Much like some of the other old-time bands from our city, people are still keen to hear them. DWP performed at the Charlotte in 2006. The band shared a record release in 1989 with Crazyhead and Jesus Jones. They played at the Simon Says festival in 2016. Many other memorable appearances could be added to a long catalogue of the band’s gigography.
Guardian writer Dom Phillips said of them, in 1999, ‘Their ragged, bluesy rock is driven by rock-solid, muscular rhythms, grungey riffs and piercing solos. It tips its hat to blues, country and West Coast rockers, but it’s a sound that’s more pub rock than stadium filler.’ By 2005, the Guardian was singing from a different songsheet with Adam Sweeting saying that the band’s album – Shakespeare Alabama – ‘felt like an instant classic.’ Originally released in 1989, was later re-released. The band has released around sixteen singles and a dozen albums.
I went to this show because I knew that this was one of the great bands of Leicester. Part of our city’s musical heritage. That attracts me because I am writing about Leicester’s music history.
It was good that Ferris was chosen as the support band. This is one of the city’s longest-running bands. They started in 1999. Only a few other bands are still around that set up in the 90s. Skam and The Fazed. Oh. And Kasabian of course.
Still, with the same lead singer – Scott Grocock – Ferris now have an extensive back-catalogue of songs. The band’s latest album is out now. Revolution came out in 2018 and has twelve songs which capture the style and genre of the Ferris sound. Tonight, they played some of the tracks from it. Tuneful songs laden with ear-pleasing melodies. A band that has consistently delivered good music.