Fri 10 - Sun 19 November 2017
Diz Watson and the Doormen
2 Empire Mews
New Orleans piano boogie and R&B from Diz "Honey Bear" Watson, one of the British greats when it comes to barrel house piano and New Orleans boogie.
Credited by Ben Waters as an early influence and heralded by some of the finest New Orleans' musicians of all time, Diz continues to delight audiences across the world.
'Diz is great, you can't fool him. He really can play that piano' (Dr John)
Diz and the Doormen capture the spirit of the Crescent City, influenced by Dr John, Professor Longhair, Huey "Piano" Smith, Amos Milburn and James Booker as well as the more expansive palettes of Tom Waits and Ibrahim Abdullah. Diz was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1948, and at the age of 12 the family moved back to Yorkshire, England.
Diz formed a friendship with the legendary "Champion" Jack Dupree, who had settled in Halifax a town not far away. 'Jack really inspired me to the more prehistoric rolling sound of the piano and also the way to phrase the blues poetry'. After a spell in the Merchant Navy, Diz found himself playing in a variety of bands before forming his own combo - the "Commissionaires" (on account of the uniforms they wore "donated" by a head porter at a London hotel), soon to become Diz and the Doormen.
This line up soon had a cult following packing audiences into their gigs across town. The release of Bluecoat Man bought critical acclaim for the album and the band toured with Chas 'n' Dave, opened for Madness and backed up Dr John on the Night Tripper Tour (culminating in the Glastonbury Festival). Further releases on Ace records followed with Rhumbalero in 1984 and Tonky Honk featuring special guest Big Jay McNeely in 2009.
UNDER 16s FREE see booking page for details.