DIAMOND DADDIO'S - UNCUT & READY TO ROCK!
Released on Diamond Discs Reviewed by Kate 10th May 2023
Diamond Daddios are:
Dave Diamond - Drums, backing vocals John O’Malley - Lead vocals, bass, guitar, piano, organ.
All songs written by Dave Diamond.
There’s exclusives and mad sell-out rushes for releases, and then there’s the Diamond Daddios. Back in 2020 the first Diamond Daddios EP, ‘Vauxhall A-Go-Go’ sold out three different vinyl runs in four days, and for their second outing, ‘Uncut + Ready to Rock’, both the extremely limited blue and green slipcase CDs are all sold out. “After announcing in early April that I would be doing a new individually numbered Diamond Daddio's (blue cover) release, all hundred copies were snapped up within three days and that was before anyone had even heard a song! I had over twenty people on a reserve list in case people didn't pay, so I made the decision to do a re-press (green cover) and these have also now sold out!” Dave Diamond, mastermind behind the Diamond Daddios and the Boomerang Club, tells us. If you want to hear this slice of musical history, you either needed to be in the know, know someone in the know, or be ready to find a reseller. So why take on a new album three years later? “The very first Diamond Daddio’s release was back on the 29th April 2020, and since then I have written more self-penned tunes. I decided with Susie [Mrs Diamond] that the time was right to release another new edition and collaborate with a new Daddio, but this time instead of only four songs I decided to go with six originals and an instrumental version of Who Put The R from my first release.” This collaboration features John O’Malley, a rockin’ name who brings his talent and dulcet tones to the project. “I've known John O'Malley for many years on the Rock 'n' Roll scene and saw him play with The Nitros back in those halcyon days at the Klub Foot Hammersmith on 25th July 1987, and most recently in Mark Keeley's Good Rockin' Tonight and The Rockets. The Diamond Daddio's was the first time we had worked together and just like friends I had the best time, and working with him was a real blast!”
So, does ‘Uncut + Ready to Rock’, inspired by ‘Neo Rockabilly, Vocal Harmony groups, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and The Joe Meek Sound’, give us the same catchy vintage pop joy that ‘Vauxhall A-Go-Go’ did? You can bet your turn-ups it does.
Done N Dusted - Kicking off with a sample, there’s a bass slam that gives you an instant caffeine rush as we revel in moving on from a toxic relationship over a red hot guitar solo and a popping candy beat. There’s an infectious charisma in the revelation that the relationship is done.
I’m Trapped - Sweetness tempers the struggles of the protagonist who’s stuck indoors, but never fear: wild screams, blues guitar licks and peppery piano sprinkles give him the freedom to shout it out. If you broke the law and help a sock hop during the lockdowns, this would be the soundtrack.
What Goes Around - The great thing about these songs is that they could slot in anywhere, from a DJ set in a dive bar to a long drive in a Cadillac to going to show on the tube with your hair held high. The backing vocals on this number are everything, and the tight staccato delivery from John never tries to outrun Dave’s razor-sharp drumming. The buildups and drops add neo drama to a really catchy chorus. For vintage instrument aficionados (and I suspect there’s more than a few of you reading this), you don’t get more authentic than the kits Dave used on this release: “I currently own 29 full drum kits that range from the 1940's through to the 1960's ranging from Trixon Drums (i am the second biggest collector in the world) , Top Hat & Cane (Ludwig 90th Anniversary special only 5 made) Slingerland, Deri, Meazzi Hollywood President.”
Star Above - "We lost our beautiful Dixie (Susie's sister) in 2021 and the inspiration for 'Star Above' is taken from this,” reveals Dave, and honestly, this song is the best dreamy fifties pop that was never written at the time. Its simplicity is deceptive behind layers of harmonies and a gently drifting guitar. It deserves a place in a movie about summertime heartbreak, and the a cappella moment makes it my favourite track.
Who Put The R - Taking it back up to eleven, this is a song that needs to be put in a movie under a drag race. This version (from the first cd release with Zac) takes off the lyrics and adds a layer of surf to the lead guitar to temper the delightful fuzz on the bass. Someone needs to jive to this as soon as possible.
Playing The Tunes - Dave tells us that “'Playing The Tunes' is written about D.J's on our rockin' scene who play all our favourite songs to get us up dancing and outta our chairs!“. Our’ DJ buddies deserve the love, especially if they drop this musical equivalent of a Mexican jumping bean. It hops, it drops, it’s got a touch of the tropics and whisks you on the dance floor with a smile.
You’ll Never Know - Sometimes inspiration for a song can arrive out of the blue. “‘You'll Never Know' was actually written during a 4 hour journey to a gig , when the melody just came into my head so when we pulled over and I videoed myself and jotted down the chorus.... when we got home the following day I finished all the verses..,” said Dave, who currently tours with the Hi-Fis and Thee Escapees. If a song from this album will get stuck in your head, it’s this one, and the chorus is so inescapably adorable that the clash of the drums is needed to prevent it giving you a sugar headache. It’s two minutes of pure retro loveliness.
There’s a reason that Daddios releases sell out so incredibly quickly. Those with a taste for the finest of vintage rock n roll knew that one of these little coloured CDs contained fresh, zesty and incredibly catchy good times compressed into seven songs. While the Diamond Daddios are a duo, not even two men are an island, and without the help of a whole team, Dave’s second release may not have made it’s popping way into the light of day. “I’d like to thank Susie for all her support in all my musical projects, John O'Malley for bringing my tunes to life, Pedro my music publisher at Bucks Music Group, Guido Neumann at Crazy Love Records, Holger Engels for all the music video's, and to everyone for their continued support,” explains Dave, and luckily, this is not the end of the Daddios project by a long shot: “I still have another five more songs and literally have just written another so watch this space, daddios!”