Dieselpunk & The DecoDance
Just as the word ‘Steampunk’ was first coined in 1987 to describe a genre of fiction, the word ‘Dieselpunk’ was first coined as part of the marketing strategy for a role-playing game in 2001. And just like its slightly older cousin, Dieselpunk has become something much bigger and broader over time, a mixture of style and counter-culture, based around the time period from the Jazz age up to the 1950’s.
The ‘Diesel Era’ refers to the period between the wars up to the 1950’s, but Dieselpunk takes inspiration from the styles of the period, mixing in more modern and whimsical elements, rather than attempting to slavishly reproduce them. It has never been restricted to formal dress or military wear, taking just as much inspiration from the Art Deco period and all manner of other styles from the 1920’s through to the 1950’s.
The Music of Dieselpunk
Where Dieselpunk really gets interesting, however, is when you consider the music of the reference era. Whereas Steampunk music is partly ‘music that steampunks like’ and partly music that conjures up the steam era through carefully created lyrics, ideas and sounds, the diesel era was when much of the most popular music of all time was created, including jazz, cabaret, swing, ragtime, blues and big band music, many of which styles are as fresh and exciting today as they ever were.
The word Decodence was coined some years ago as a mixture of [Art] Deco and Decadence, but ‘DecoDance’ was dreamed up at a Ministry of Steampunk New Year event in Leicester a few years ago, as the name for our Dieselpunk-inspired evening event at the Asylum Steampunk Festival.
The DecoDance is a music-based evening which takes as its inspiration the styling of the 1920’s through to the 1950’s and couples this with an evening of fabulous music that reminds us of bygone days, but with a punked-up modern twist.
In 2023 for our fourth DecoDance on Friday evening we have the amazing Retrobates playing for us. Like Postmodern Jukebox they take modern songs from the 1980’s and beyond and reimagine them in period styles from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. This means that you can enjoy their wonderful musicality, bathe in the period styles of the music, makes some shapes on the dancefloor and at the same time say to yourself ‘I know that song!’
But what do you wear to the Ministry's DecoDance? The choice is entirely yours; you can come in steampunk or dieselpunk-inspired outfits, or absolutely any style from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. The images above and below are from past MoS DecoDances and show some examples of outfits worn previously.
More information about the 2023 DecoDance can be found on the Friday evening events page using the button below, including information about the Retrobates and the link to buy tickets for all of the events taking place at The Drill for Asylum XIII