And so twenty years since I first saw the second best band to come out of the City of Death play in London, expectation (and emotion) was high ahead of a 100 Club gig.
DPW and me have got history. I haven’t the time or server space to explain here. Just Google ‘onionbagblog+dieselparkwest’ for the backlog. Four guys from L******er with a West Coast ’60s guitar obsession, and the
East Midlands South London blogger: a marriage made somewhere in the No Man’s Land of Loughborough.
The Thursday night gig was *whisper* a support slot for Big John Butler and the boys. No worries. Five pints of Guinness, my half-life story strummed out in forty-five minutes, and then back in bed in time for Question Time.
Speaking of having history, the 100 Club compares rather well when thoughts turn towards antiquity. You half expect to find Charlie Parker, Keith Moon and Sid Vicious shooting up in the gents.
Instead I found DPW chief strummer, Rick Wilson, having a slash.
“So this is where all the big knobs hang out” didn’t seem appropriate. The last time I had a chat with Rick was in the rock ‘n roll enclave of Putney. I volunteered to step in for a drummer missing in action, somewhere halfway down the M1.
I tapped out a rhythm on the urinal with my urine at the 100 Club, and waited once again for my Fantasy Band invite. But Rick buggered off backstage for a costume change, before I even had the chance to greet him with a traditional East Midlands Ayup!
Ah yes – the costume change. DPW are a sartorial band. Rick emerged in a sharp ’60 suit, trademark hat on head and all ready for a great big “HELLOOOO London!”
The 100 Club name more or less matched the size of the crowd. Texts and tweets were flying back and forth from Oxford Street to the homelands of the East Midlands. The boys I use to run with back in the day were as curious as I at to what DPW were doing back in London on a Thursday night.
Silver Girl surprisingly didn’t start the set, as it seems to have done for the past twenty years. The Girl With No Name (from a rare B-sides album) made a shock appearance.
Apart from that, it was a traditional, high value, low budget DPW set – songs that graced the 50 – 75 position in the charts back in the early ’90s, plus some really rather ace jangly tracks from the albums that were released on minor record labels with a print run of around half a dozen for each disc.
I bloody loved it, back with DPW, back on the booze and back in Sunny Stockwell by 10pm. One last act had to be carried out – the snaffling of the set list to add to the twenty-year back catalogue collection.
I can trace my life story through DPW set lists. If they stopped performing (a real possibility) then my linear life filed away in a DPW filing cabinet back at base would also cease to exist.
But bugger this – having waited two years since the last DPW gig, and with the Great Escape just around the corner, this might just be my final gig. Twenty years of DPW devotion required something of a more permanent memorial than a simple set list.
I took to the stage unannounced, flapping my arms in the air like a demented, deranged, stalker fan. Which of course, I am.
Big JB clocked me stage left, flinched and probably had thoughts of Mark Chapman running through his head. He needn’t have bothered. My weapon of choice was a hug. A great big bloody man hug.
“I f***ing LOVE you,” I bellowed.
I am neither proud nor embarrassed of this.
I don’t think Big JB was either.
“No, I REALLY, REALLY f***ing LOVE you.”
Don’t overdo it, Jase.
But foolishly I continued, with the five pints of Guinness consumed in an hour starting to join in on the rock God love in as well.
“You do realise that you are seriously the BEST f***ing band in the world?” I enquired.
Big JB nodded his head. Ace. He obviously agrees as well.
I went off on some poetic prose about how DPW have been with me for the past twenty years, and they are both my guiding musical and moral star.
Big JB was by now too busy putting his guitar away back in the case, and thinking of buggering back up to the City of Death.
But, yeah – I man hugged the muse of the second best band to come out of L******er. My heart is still pounding. I really mean it, man.