Review: Diesel at the Northshore Tavern, Perth, 16 February 2018
The Northshore Tavern was the place to be on Friday night as Australian music veteran Diesel brought his 30 Year Thang tour to the Hillarys venue. Dining tables were cleared of fisherman’s baskets, chicken parmas and dragged away to reveal a dance floor, while potted palms on casters were rolled away to provide a clear view of the stage from the bar.
A two-piece cover band warmed up the crowd with some Springsteen, Foo Fighters and Fleetwood Mac and had the vocal cords of the very happy locals in full swing.
Diesel, aka Mark Lizotte, hit the stage to the delight of the excited crowd and delivered an hour-and-a-half master class in the art of blues guitar and singing the blues. Opening with an achingly soulful version of ‘One More Time’, Lizotte had the immediate attention of swooning ladies and with the introduction of his sparkling Gretsch guitar for ‘My Babe’, he had the attention of guitar god wannabes, too.
The agenda tonight was to strip back all the rock/pop hits from Lizotte’s 30-year career to their bluesy bare bones – and it was a successful formula.
‘Soul Revival’ was slowed down and given a laid-back overhaul, while ‘Don’t Need Love’ was given some filthy slide guitar treatment.
‘All Come Together’ included an awesome percussion solo by Lizotte who used the body of his acoustic guitar as a drum, before hitting the loud button again for ‘Love Junk’.
The 1989 hit ‘Cry In Shame’ along with ‘Can’t Stand the Rain’ ended the night, with Lizotte wringing the neck of his vintage Flying V.
Lizotte’s live shows are all business from go to whoa. He has no time for small talk or useless breaks in performance to induce the inevitable encore. The 51 year old (wha?) tears up the stage with the vitality of a teenager, and looks as fit as hell. He hasn’t aged one bit. In fact, we’re not convinced he isn’t a vampire. Come to think of it, has anyone seen him in the sun?