Diesel Therapy @ Friday Night Live, Friday 8th April

by DT Admin on in Review

If ever there was an appropriate titular epithet, it is surely the word ‘Therapy’ in the name of this band. In a world of manufactured, over engineered and studio enhanced performances, bands like Diesel Therapy are a rare treat. From the first caustic witticism from frontman Jim Hornsby, ‘Welcome to the Coalition Club’ you just know that this is going to be an interesting evening. Jim, Danny, Chris and Duncan have reached that stage in their various musical careers at a serendipitous moment, that means we can all benefit from the ease and pleasure that they obviously find in playing together. Such is the reputation of this bands live performances, that the ‘Coalition Club’ was packed to capacity, way beyond its usual audience for the Friday Live programme.
Opening with ‘Starting Tonight’ penned by Jim, an instrumental which leaves no-one in any doubt of the musicianship on show, Jim and Danny’s guitar playing pirouettes around the melody in perfect synthesis, despite distinct differences in playing style. Chris and Duncan providing exactly the right level of rhythm support to bring the whole together like the pieces of a particularly satisfying jigsaw puzzle.
A number of popular favourites follow, and judging from the number of audience members singing along (with or without the ‘Jim Sheet ‘) these songs are known and loved. ‘Listen to the Wind’, ‘Ballad of Billy’, ‘Don’t Wake Me’, all written by Jim in his trademark narrative style with a ‘killer hook’ (to borrow from someone or other). The achingly celtic melancholy of Danny’s ‘Web of White Stones’ followed a sensitive rendition of the Townes Van Zandt song ‘Harm’s Swift Way’, unusual for the Diesels to do covers, but this is very much their own version. There is also a tender and delicate take on the Bob Dylan/Roger McGuinn song ‘Ballad of Easy Rider’ that kept the audience in rapt silence, not easy in a room with a bar. Danny and Jim’s ‘Losing My Rag’, and Danny’s’ Mad Dog Boogie’ had the crowd whooping and yelling for more.
The second half opened with another old favourite ‘When Friday Comes Around’ followed by the laid back and atmospheric ‘Memphis Moon’. Then Jim and Danny engage in some lightning finger picking in the fast and furious traditional instrumental ‘Beaumont Rag’. A couple of Danny’s beautiful instrumentals, ‘The Heel’ and ‘Tomar’ both of which sound as if they were inspired by remote and beautiful places, provide the perfect counterpoint to one of Jim’s new songs ‘Wasted River’, a worthy inclusion on the long awaited new cd The Salters’ Road.
The set closes with the song that, in Danny’s words, epitomises the philosophy of the band, ‘That’ll Be Enough’
It would be wrong to leave unsung, the matchless rhythm section. Chris’s wonderful electric and double bass (my personal favourite, you can feel it to your toes), and Duncan’s understated, insistent percussion, so much more than timekeeping (although he performs that function with excellence).
Diesel Therapy is a band that has come of age. Four guys who love what they do, and more importantly for us, the audience, love what they do together.

Diesel Therapy Friday Night Live Friday, 8 April, 2011 - 20:00 Kate