Sunday Lunch - Diz and The Doormen
Diz "Honey Bear" Watson is one of the British greats when it comes to barrelhouse 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 as he launched his latest album, ‘Diz-Connected’ last Autumn and marks the 35th anniversary of the acclaimed ‘Bluecoat Man’ album released on ACE records in 1981.
UNDER 16s admitted FREE - Please let us know how many children will be attending in the Comments Box section of the booking form.
"Diz is great, you can't fool him. He really can play that piano" Dr John
"Diz is one of the rockiest piano players in the world." Lee Allen
Diz and the Doormen, capture the spirit of the Crescent City, influenced by Doctor 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 l948, 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 rock-a-billies, punks, purists and ska-heads into their gigs across town. The release of ‘Bluecoat Man’ (featuring American giants Lee Allen and Walter Kimble) built on their fanbase. And with critical acclaim for the album, the band toured with Chas 'n' Dave, opened for Madness and backed up Dr John on the Nighttripper 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.