Diz Disley Benefit Concert with Shagpile

Live Review | The Rock, Maltby | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Originally organised by drummer/photographer Bryan Ledgard, this benefit concert for the late jazz guitarist Diz Disley came at a confusing time.  When the news broke that Disley was extremely poorly, friends such as Dave Swarbrick rallied around in aid of the ailing musician and tonight’s concert was thought of as South Yorkshire’s helping contribution.  Since organising the concert though, Diz sadly passed away on March 22 and it’s quite possible that those who pledged their support were unaware that the concert was still going to go ahead as planned.  Swarb had pretty much organised and paid for Disley’s funeral and it seemed only right to see that the concert went ahead to ensure everyone’s endeavours would help in some small way to ease the expense burden of this unexpected and shocking end to one of the countries much loved characters.  In the spirit of a memorial concert, Shagpile’s appearance at The Rock in Maltby did go ahead despite the poor turn out and Dave Burland and Co provided a couple of hours of classic rock and roll; the three minute variety that makes the hairs stand on end.  The band, made up of guitarist/singer Dave Burland, sporting his legendary sunburst Gibson, Dave Fisher on keyboards, Bryan Ledgard on drums, Chris Baty on lead guitar and Robin Garside standing in at short notice on bass, took to the stage at the Rock and gave those of us who could attend a memorable night of nostalgia and fun.  I guess it’s hard to feel cheerful when we lose our friends but tonight’s concert was taken in the spirit of a Wake and all the classics rolled out one after the other, with the two Daves (Burland and Fisher) alternating between the Chuck Berrys and Little Richards and the Fats Dominoes and the Jerry Lees with a whole lotta shaking going on in between.  In all fairness the shaking was kept to a minimum due to doctor’s orders.  “That’s done me blood pressure no good at all” Burland quipped at the end of “I Hear You Knocking”.   Peppered with Diz Disley anecdotes and assorted memories, the concert featured the likes of “Long Tall Sally”, “High Heel Sneakers”, “Staggerlee”, “See You Later Alligator”, “Flip Flop and Fly”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Mystery Train” and “Teddy Bear” to name but a few.  Probably the most contemporary song of the night came in the form of the classic Little Feat number “Dixie Chicken”, which re-visited that band’s classic Waiting For Columbus take on the song.  I was just willin’ the band to go straight into “Tripe Face Boogie”.   Dave Burland declared at the end of the night that the gig would’ve tickled Diz.  I’m absolutely certain it would.  I look forward to seeing Shagpile again in happier times and with a slightly larger audience.