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NEW GIG REVIEWS
December 13, 1995 - Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea/UK
December 29, 1995 - Blues Club, Glossop/UK
May 24, 1996 - Logo, Hamburg/D
June 1, 1996 - Robin Hood R'n'B Club, Brierley Hill, Dudley/UK
December 4, 1996 - The Wheatsheaf, Stoke on Trent/UK
December 10, 1996 - Moorbarns Inn, Lutterworth/UK
December 21, 1996 - The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton/UK
March 29, 1997 - Moorbarns Inn, Lutterworth/UK
November 28, 1998 - Robin Hood R&B Club 2 - Bilston/UK
December 21, 1998 - Corn Exchange - Ipswich/UK
December 11, 1999 - Robin Hood R&B Club 2 - Bilston/UK
March 8, 2001 - The Borderline, London/UK
June 21, 2001 - The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne/UK
Dec. 17, 2002 - Civic Hall, Guildford/UK
May 27, 2005 The Half Moon, London-Putney/UK
more gig reviews provided by the newsletter community, see
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 27: Feb. 23, 2002 - Darlington Arts Centre, Darlington/UK
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 31: May 10, 2002 - 9th Lee Brilleaux Memorial, Canvey/UK
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 30: May 12, 2002 - Bierkeller, Bristol/UK & John's Tourdiary UK Tour Nov./Dec.2002
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 34: Nov. 8, 2003 - Renfrew Ferry, Glasgow/UK
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 39: Sept. 8, 2004 - The Venue, Dumfries/UK
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 41: Oct. 15, 2004 - Théâtre, Abbeville/FRANCE
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 43: Feb. 6, 2006 - Harmonie, Bonn/GERMANY (graphic file)
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 44: May 5, 2006 - Exchange, Sunderland/UK
FEELIN' GOOD Issue 45: July 22, 2006 Linton Music Festival/UK
DR FEELGOOD - December 13, 1995 - Esplanade
GOING BACK HOME
Fives record shop, Leigh on Sea, "two tickets for tonights gig at Esplanade please". After waiting this long to see the new line up I wasn't going to chance trying to get a ticket at the door, "I expect a definite sell out" said the barman at the venue when I phoned earlier. Two tickets, oversized as usual, can't fit them in my pocket, looking more like table mats at a Berni Inn. With my place reserved I make my way back to Romford, "Down at the Doctors" live album playing extra loud in the car all the way home.
"Doors open 7 pm" reads the tickets. We arrive 7.30 to find the Esplanade in darkness, "It'll be opening at eight" said the roadie leaning out the door having a fag, (quite a large fag! "Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll").
We find another pub and have a couple. Inside the Esplanade as predicted by the barman it´s packed, another couple of beers at the bar then we make our way down towards the stage. "Hello are you a personal friend of Lee Brilleaux?" asks this bloke in a Scandinavian sounding accent. It turns out that him and his mate see the Feelgoods in Switzerland two weeks previously and decided to make the journey over to see them again and to catch Meatloaf at Wembley (personally I wouldn't like to catch Meatloaf anywhere, sounds nasty), anyway they were fascinated with my "Dr Feelgood Music Bar" T-shirt and for some reason thought I had a close link with the band. A few more beers, the atmosphere became thick with anticipation, a few questions I had in my head would soon be answered, Will Pete Gage be just a Lee Brilleaux impersonator?, would they still do the old numbers?, would he dare sing "Down at the Doctors" with "8 bars of peeeaano!"?
The band came on stage through a door off the street, all eyes were immediately fixed on Pete Gage, "he's shorter than Lee" came a voice from behind me "and he's got curly hair!". "I can tell", good choice, I hadn't heard it live for quite a while, great! His voice is different, he's not a Lee Brilleaux impersonator, he has his own sound and it sounds good. Roxette, Back in the Night, Milk and Alcohol came and went with loads of feel, enjoyment, and a good harp. The audience including myself had been won over I think after three numbers. "Down at the Doctors" he yelled and yes "8 bars of Peeeano!". Included in the set was a good version of "Down by the Jetty Blues" which Pete dedicated to Lee, this went down very well with the audience. All in all a good set, one encore, Kevin, Steve and Phil playing as though they hadn't been away.
Pete Gage has a lot of bottle, a good voice, stage presence, and plays a mean good harp, a good choice as, not the replacement, but the new singer of DR.FEELGOOD.
Carter (Romford/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 4/July 1996
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FEELGOOD - December 29, 1995 - Blues Club
1994 had been a sad time for Feelgood fans worldwide. Lee Brilleauxs' early death had shocked us all. I'd signed myself to never going to another Feelgood gig again so imagine my surprise when John Butterfield called me to say the band were going back on the road again with a new front man, Pete Gage. I went along to the Stoke gig and to be honest came away in Two minds, 20 years of Lee is obviously a hard act to erase from ones memory but I voved to give them another try - I'm glad I did. The Glossop gig was quite simple on a different plain to Stoke. The band for a start seemed sharper and more comfortable. Kevins' drumming and Phils' bass are as neat and perfect as you could get. Steves' guitar playing reaches new heights (his "Down by the Jetty", dedicated to Lee, strips the paint from the wall). In Pete Gage they have found a more than capable "front man" and given time he will stamp his own style on the Feelgoods sound but for the time being he does the right thing of getting on with the job and not trying to steal the limelight. The set is 100% Feelgood from the 1974 "Roxette" to the more recent "Double Crossed". It´s a tribute to 20 years of Lee Brilleauxs' work. Everyone's having a good time. I'm probably drinking too much but who cares the FEELGOODS ARE BACK.
Fawkes (Buxton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 3/April 1996
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FEELGOOD - May 24, 1996 - Logo
NINETY-NINE AND A HALF WON'T DO
Missed the January date together with the rest of Canned Heat and Luther Allison due to working absence from Hamburg me and my wife were very curious to see the new staff and hear some new stuff in one of our favourite clubs, the black-walled and sweaty-crowded "LOGO" in the middle of the university district of my big old home town.
Some sceptic faces in the small but continuous growing crowd, some hard core fanatics seen at every FEELGOOD gig in the last fifteen years (who wears the oldest Dr.Feelgood shirt?), some teenage blues fans in their first live concert ever, the club was dark and dirty as usual and the band appeared in obvious high tension to do the heavy duty of convincing the crowd. No preheating, no compromising, full speed ahead from the first number (was it "I can tell"?) to the fifteen minutes break to let the people recover; then mighty blues guitar and icy harp riffs coming up again as well as stoic and precise drum beat together with the groove of roaring bass lines.
"How do you like the new singer?" "What a big shouter" "Look how strong Steve and Pete are working together!"
"They're as hot as ever!" and other voices from the audience reaching the ears in the short breaks between the well known and the new numbers. Wine, women, whiskey coming fresh and sharp to the ears of an audience astonished and enthusiastic of the loud and straight sound they got for their money.
Two hours of playing time over, but no chance to get off the stage "the crowd called out for more" (Gary Brooker of Procul Harum); and so hundred percent has to be given all the time, and the even working overtime doesn't satisfy the sweating folks right in front.
Telling them with sparkling eyes to be back in October only rouses the fire.
It's Friday, so "I don't mind" my age of 49 or the time of the night neither the chilly winds on our sweaty faces nor the beeping in the ears while driving home in exhausted happiness.
And even no shyness of writing right out of the heart.
THEY'VE DONE IT RIGHT!
Wauker (Glinde/GER) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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FEELGOOD - June 1, 1996 - Robin Hood R'n'B Club
Brierley Hill, Dudley/UK
Easily one of the best gigs of the year - that was my verdict after seeing Dr.Feelgood on Saturday 1st June. Mention should also be made of the Mean Blues Monsters from Bristol who proved to be an excellent choice as support, with their Hendrix/Stevie Ray inspired set.
The new front man with Dr.Feelgood is Pete Gage (ex The Pink Torpedoes, Jet Harris, The Sloane Squares, The Sonny Boys, etc.) who admitted to that "I've never done anything remotely like this (material) before". But the resemblance, both visually and musically, is uncanny - he even plays the harp in exactly the same manner. Anyone familiar with the work and stage presence of Lee Brilleaux will be amazed at the similarity. I've seen the new line-up three times now. In my opinion Pete is remarkable "find" - I can't praise him highly enough. His stage presence is dynamic, he works well with Steve, and there's lots of power down in the "boiler room" thanks to Phil and Kevin. The unmistakeable Feelgood sound has been recaptured to perfection.
A healthy crowd, but not quite a sell-out, were treated to some new songs from their CD entitled "On The Road Again" as well as the tried-and-tested standards from the Feelgoods repertoire. "Back In The Night", I think, was the first of these and how the audience responded. They loved it. Some terrific slide from Steve, and Pete belted out the lyrics just like Lee used to do. "Milk And Alcohol", predictably, went down a storm, and the Robin positively erupted at "Down At The Doctors". Then there was "She's A Wind Up", "I Can Tell", and the always popular "Roxette" which was followed by one of my particular favourites "Mad Man Blues". This was classic R & B. We all shouted for encores and were rewarded with, amongst others "Bonie Moronie" which had everyone "boogie-ing on down"!
I loved the "no nonsense" approach, with loads of effort (and sweat) from every member of the band - they were all dripping by the end of the night. Plenty of smiling faces in the audience - they'd had a great time. This is one of the hardest working bands on the circuit, as well as being one of the best. Let's hope it´s not too long before they're back in the area again.
Dunn (Netherton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 6/January 1997
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FEELGOOD - December 4, 1996 - The Wheatsheaf
Stoke on Trent/UK
"WALKING ON THE EDGE"
On the 4th of December last week caught Dr Feelgood at The Wheatsheaf, Stoke on Trent. I'd phoned earlier about advance booking but was informed it wouldn't be necessary. How right they were. When we arrived, the support band, Route 66 were playing to a very sparse crowd indeed. By the time I had returned from the bar with the drinks my wife was talking to Pete Gage who just happened to be standing next to her. We chatted for a while and I got him to autograph a photo I had taken of the band at the Robin Hood, Brierley Hill a few months earlier. Just then I noticed Steve Walwyn making his way to the toilets so I waylaid him on the way back so that he could add his autograph. The photograph is now framed and proudly on display.
The support band finished it's set and, after a interval Feelgood took the stage. By now more people had arrived but even so the place was only about half full. All the familiar numbers were played in the band's usual professional manner - I remember a particularly effective "Can't Be Satisfied" with some wonderful slide from Steve. The rhythm section was rock solid as always, what an unobtrusive drummer Kevin is, and Mr Mitchell's bass just punched the songs along. Pete was in fine form, in fact I get more impressed with him each time. It's amazing how well his singing and harp playing have fitted so well into Dr.Feelgood. But, throughout the gig, and despite all his efforts, the crowd seemed reluctant to respond. Maybe they are suffering from the Pre-Christmas Blues! Even "Milk & Alcohol", usually such a sure-fire winner failed to evoke more enthusiasm. We heard new numbers from the latest CD, oldies like "She's A Wind Up" and energetic version of "Mad Man Blues" when one sensed that, at last, the audience was warming to the sheer effort every member of the band was putting into their performance. "Down To The Doctors" drew the most sustained applause of the evening.
By now it was turned up 11pm, and things were drawing to a close but not before we were treated to a couple of encores. Closing the show with their medley of "Bony Moronie" and "Tequila" they bade their farewells and left the stage. When we were talking with Pete earlier on I asked how the tour was going and he said "It's been going very well indeed until tonight!" At the time I thought he was worrying unduly and that the place would fill up, but it didn't happen. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we always do at every Feelgood gig, but the night had been disappointing for the members of the band who gave so much and received so little feedback from the audience. A "bread and butter" gig, but, a strangely muted affair.
Dunn (Netherton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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FEELGOOD - December 10, 1996 - Moorbarns Inn
THINGS GET BETTER
10th December 1996 at the Moorbarns Inn, Lutterworth will long be remembered as the night Dr Feelgood took the joint by storm. A packed house gave the band the kind of reception they deserve. I bet they wish they could get such feedback at every gig.
And what a difference it made to every member of the group. Pete gave it everything he had and was drenched in sweat at the end of the night, as was everyone else in the band. This was a night to savour and was as every gig should be - hot, sweaty and full to capacity.
We arrived towards the end of the first set which closed with a typical energetic version of "Mad Man Blues". We were forced to enjoy this part of the evening from the end of the room. There was no way we could fight our way any nearer the stage.
During the interval when most of the audience descended on the bar we took up our positions right by the stage. We even managed to have a few words with all the lads as they prepared for the second set. They were a little surprised to see us so soon after their Stoke On Trent gig which took place the previous week.
The second set was incredible, the joint was jumping right from the off. This audience was with them all the way and roared their appreciation at the end of every number. All the Feelgoods favourites were here, they've simply GOT to do "Down At The Doctors", "She's A Wind Up" and "Milk And Alcohol" haven't they, but there were tributes to Peter Green and, of course, dear old Lee.
They left the stage to tumultuous applause and were persuaded back to do an incredibly rocking "Route 66" followed by their now-customary "Bony Moronie","Tequila" medley.
We thanked Kevin, who was packing up his kit on stage and then noticed Steve coming towards us. He introduced us to his mother, she must be so proud of him. On our way out we encountered Pete who was surrounded by fans. We thanked him for a wonderful night's music and promised to see them all in a couple of weeks at Wolverhampton.
Dunn (Netherton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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FEELGOOD - December 21, 1996 - The Wulfrun Hall
"Are you ready for Christmas?" Pete Gage asked. "I've no idea" I replied truthfully, "I hadn't thought beyond tonight!" It was 21st December 1996 and the venue was The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton. Pete just happened to be the first person we saw when we arrived - he was just inside the entrance talking with Kevin Morris.
The set started around 9.30 and it immediately became clear that Dr Feelgood were on top form. This gig came at the end of a gruelling three months on the road which had taken the band to Switzerland, Germany and to all parts of the United Kingdom. After tonight, they would enjoy a short break for Christmas, then two more gigs in late December before a well-earned fortnight's rest.
They all seemed in fine spirits and the audience made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in numbers. The Wulfrun is a large venue, capacity probably around 800 whereas only about 250 fans had turned up on the night. The band were SO tight and reeled off most of the Feelgood repertoire we are all familiar with. Pete Gage's blue-sodden voice is eminently suited to such classics as "She Does It Right", "Baby Jane", "Back In The Night", "Route 66", "Can't Be Satisfied", "Down At The Doctors" etc. etc.
Not one of the best Feelgood gigs I've ever attended, it would have been great to have had the place full, but the boys in the band gave it everything they had. This rhythm and blues of the highest quality and, as a fan remarked to me "What a WICKED night!" Yes indeed.
Dunn (Netherton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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- Thursday, March 29, 1997 - Moorbarns Inn
Hadn't seen the band since just before Christmas, so we were both in need of our "Feelgood Fix". Everytime we had been over to The Moorbarns we'd had a great time, it's a good scene - invariably packed and loads of atmosphere. Tonight, however, things would be different.
We arrived about 9.30, and the first band sign was that we parked easily, very unusual at The Moorbarns despite those huge parking facilities. Our worst fears were confirmed when we walked in the joint - acres of space, hardly anyone at the bar, and not many people around. I wondered if I had got the right night!
We bumped into Pete, "Where's all the punters?" he asked. I was as surprised as he was, it had always been a reliable gig. "Maybe we'll get more in later" I ventured. We did I suppose, but not many. Such a pity because those who stayed away, or were unaware of the gig missed a great night. Like the true professionals they were they gave us a terrific show.
Kicking off at 9.45 with "She Does It Right", just the right song to establish the mood they followed with another Feelgood classic "Tanqueray". The small audience had congregated on the dance floor within arms-length of the band leaving vast open spaces in the rest of the (fair-sited) pub. Pete was introducing a feature for Steve on slide - "Can't Be Satisfied" that Muddy Waters classic that just bounced along - encouraging the dancers to do likewise.
Then we had "Back In The Night" and, surely, they don't come much more SOLID than this. Another oldie "Roxette" and then Pete was telling us that "This year celebrates 25 years of Dr Feelgood and that a couple of members of the band have been with it for 14/15 years. Can you believe it!" (He was referring of course to Phil and Kevin).
"She's A Wind Up", at a frantic followed before Pete introduced "one from last year's CD. It's our tribute to that marvellous guitarist Peter Green and it's called "The World Keeps Turning" - a slow, bluesy kind of thing with an outstanding vocal from Pete and a blistering solo from Steve.
They closed the first set with three very well-kwown numbers from the Feelgood repertoire starting with everyone's favourite "Milk And Alcohol" then "Riot In Cell Block No 9" and finally "Mad Man Blues" whipping up a storm before the interval.
Only a 20 minute break we were off again. If the first set had been great, the second was incredible. They restarted with "Instint To Survive", a good rocking opener and followed with "If My Baby Quit Me" at medium pace.
The tempo was increased on "Baby Jane" before, for me, the highspot of the evening - simply marvellous "Wine Women And Whisky" a boogie, reminiscent of "The Heat" at their best. Great harp from Pete, some dazzling stuff from Steve, and a superb rhythm from Phil and Kevin. "Going Back Home", in similar vein, followed.
"This next one", Pete was saying "is dedicated to EVERYONE, but especially to Lee Brilleaux". This was a lengthy feature for Steve Walwyn, the bluesy "Down By The Jetty", with a growling, rasping vocal from Pete Gage. Things were hotting up on the dance floor where I noticed that Steve's Mum was boogie-in' on down with the rest of 'em. She must be so proud of her talented son.
We'd waited for, we'd shouted for, finally we got it - the imitable and inevitable "Down To The Doctors". What an enduring song this is and one we never get tired of hearing. "Route 66" dated back a lot farther that "Doctors" but here it was being given a new lease of life as the band played their socks off. Old warhorse indeed, it sounded fresh enough to me.
Earlier on I'd been singing the praise of the band to Phil Mithell who shrugged and said "We just do what we do". True enough, but does anyone do it better? I think not.
"I think we've got time for two more haven't we?" Pete was enquiring. "Yeah" we shout, and their familiar pairing of "Bony Moronie" and "Tequila" followed.
The proceedigs closed with a simply frentic version of Jerry Lee's "Great Balls Of Fire". With every member of Dr Feelgood soaked in sweat, they made their farewells. Special mention must be made of the powerhouse rhythm section of Phil Mithell on bass guitar and Kevin Morris on drums whose support to front men Pete Gage on vocals and harp, and Steve Walwyn on lead guitar never wavered, and provided a rock-solid foundation throughout. It was almost midnight, and it had been a great gig, but what a pity there were so few people there to enjoy it. But it was a rare opportunity to see this great band at close quarters and to witness the enormous effort they put into everything they do. I suppose it was like a small party, like someone had decided to throw a party at a pub, invite a few friends and invite Dr Feelgood!
Dunn (Netherton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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FEELGOOD - November 28, 1998 - Robin Hood R&B Club 2
Just back from an extensive European tour, Dr. Feelgood played the new Robin R&B Club in Bilston (Robin 2), just outside Wolverhampton, on 28th November. Robin 2 combines all the excellent features of Robin 1, but with a couple of "extras" of its own. There's "Noddy's Bar", (this is Noddy Holder territory after all), and "La Creperie", a first-class French Pancake House that has already attracted praise in the press. The premises have been extensively, and expensively been converted - the previous nightclub on the same site disappeared from the scene over three years ago.
The band blasted on stage dead on time, and within seconds, the floor was filled with enthusiasts, rocking and boogie-ing to such classics as "She Does It Right", "Goin' Back Home", "Back In The Night" (Pete asked for help on this, and got it) and "Milk And Alcohol". Some blistering solos from Steve Walwyn, on fine form, complemented by the dynamic presence of lead singer Pete Gage, whose raspy, full-throated vocals and excellent harp playing was driven along by the rock-solid rhythm section of Phil Mitchell on bass guitar, and Kevin Morris on drums.
The healthy-sized crowd warmed to the musicianship, sheer effort, and full-belt R&B they were hearing, and each number was greeted with roars, shouts and whistles. An early highlight for me was the infectious, "Wine, Women and Whisky", a great boogie, and so reminiscent in parts (especially the intro), of Canned Heat at their peak.
"Roxette" was another that went down very well, as was the extended version of "Down By The Jetty Blues", a feature for Steve, whose "full-tilt", right between the eyeballs solo, was lapped up by the near capacity audience. During this, Pete, drenched with sweat from his sterling efforts, left the stage to his lead guitarist, who proceeded to play his socks off!
The evergreen "Down At The Doctor's", another Feelgood classic, drew sustained applause, but, in no time at all, or so it seemed, Pete was introducing "our last number of the evening", the "Tequila/Bony Moronie" medley, and we rocked and clapped and shouted for more as the music came to an end, and the band left the stage. "Do you want anymore?" asked the sound engineer - of course we did, so, back they came and we were treated to the popular "Route 66". The applause for this was so sustained that the Feelgoods went straight into "Great Balls Of Fire", another rip-roaring epic that drove the dancers into a frenzy of jiving and general "leaping about". This really was the end, and we clapped, and shouted our heads off. Another marvellous night with Dr. Feelgood, and you can't get any better than that when they're in this kind of form. They invariably give everything they've got, and that amounts to the cream of British rhythm and blues.
Most of the crowd dispersed, but the diehards hung around to congratulate the members of the band. Soon, CD's were being signed, hands being shaken, and I managed to have a few brief words with each member of the band.
What a gig! There's nowhere else I'd rather have been that night, a crackin' night's entertainment, great atmosphere, enthusiastic audience, and Britain's finest on top form - and at a well appointed new venue that appears to have taken off very well, in a comparatively short time. Let's hope we can welcome them back as soon as their extensive touring schedule permits.
Dunn (Cradley Heath/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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We witnessed the gig at Ipswich Corn Exchange on 21st December, and it was an absolutely stormin' performance by each of the three bands.
Seeing "Two Timers" for the first time (with no idea what to expect), was a revelation in itself and they put on an amazing opening set. After their version of "Whole Lotta Love", the place was rocking, and anyone who has seen their female vocalist perform before will know the meaning of "love at first sight". I'm ashamed to admit that I've forgotten her name, but she is a sensational performer (right down to her spoons!). Literally anyone who appreciates pure talent should see these two.
The DF boys received a warm welcome, and were clearly enjoying themselves and, as we would expect, they played and sang their little hearts out. The set seemed disappointingly short, but we were treated to a specially extended version of "Down By The Jetty Blues" with a mindblowing virtuoso guitar solo.
"Nine Below Zero" got well into the groove after a couple of numbers, and finished off the night in great style. Their harmonica player deserves a special mention.
Apparently, this is all planned again for next year- so make sure you recommend this gig to everyone within 200 miles, because they won't be disappointed.
Axman/UK - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 15/April 1999
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DR FEELGOOD -
December 11, 1999 - Robin Hood R&B Club 2
THIS NEW MAN IS SOMETHIN' ELSE!!
Didn't think so at first though, it took a few numbers to get used to his stage presence; he was just so different to what we've been used to. But - he got us in the end. It was Saturday 11th December last year, and we had gone along to see Dr. Feelgood at Robin 2, at Bilston, near Wolverhampton. I was more than a little apprehensive at seeing the "new man" for the first time, and my fears were very soon compounded, because the first person we bumped into as soon as we got in the club, was master drummer Kevin. "What's the new singer like?" I asked him. He thought for a moment, then said, "He's different!". Oh great, I replied, "that's just what we don't need. I hope he's not too different!".
As it was a Saturday night, there was a healthy crowd, not capacity but not too bad at all. The lads took the stage on time, and off we went - Robert's slight figure grabbed the mike, and started with a Chuck Berry number. Wearing trendy shades, he cavorted and pranced around the stage, more like Jagger than Brilleaux, and I stood there, more than a little bemused and confused.
I noticed our hard-working Editor (Note by Gabi: John Butterfield, editor of the Feelin' Good Newsletters) come out of the dressing room, and take up a position on the dance floor right in front of the mike, so I went over and greeted him, and we shook hands. "What do you think of the new man?", he asked me. "I'm not sure yet, the jury's still out - ask me later", I replied.
As the evening progressed, I began to warm to him, albeit slowly at first. He's a worker, that's for sure, and his love and appreciation of the music became more and more evident as the evening wore on. "Down By The Jetty", for example, was a tour-de-force (Steve was incredible on this one) and "Back In The Night", "Tanqueray", "Goin' Back Home", "She Does It Right", etc., were all delivered in a manner faithful to the music. I paid particular attention to the ever popular "Milk And Alcohol", and "Down At The Doctors" just to see if he was doing his job right. He was !!!!....
By now I'd become used to Robert's highly individual interpretations of the Feelgood Songbook, and the band were noticeably harder, and swingier than they had been for quite a time. I was a big fan of Pete Gage, and thought he did a terrific job in the difficult Brilleaux spot, but Mr. Kane is a revelation. The crowd thought so, and every number received great applause.
"O.K.", I told John, "I'm convinced. He's got it".
They finished the set to great applause, and by yelling and shouting a lot, we persuaded them to come back and give us an encore. It was "Mad Man Blues", like I'd never heard it before, and it was terrific. And the audience loved it, everyone was cheering, and it was obvious that Robert had passed the test with honours.
A great night then, and it was nice to meet up with John again. We talked with Kevin, Steve and Phil. I told the latter how well Steve had played, and he said, "He always does". He's right, you know. But they were all on top form, and had given us a night to remember.
So, despite my reservations at first, the "new man" convinced he was right for the role. He took up the challenge with relish, and stamped his not inconsiderable talent on the music. He made his presence felt from the start, and if anybody can kick Feelgood into the new Century, Mr. Kane can. I believe he'll get better, and I think he's just the man to bring Feelgood to an even wider (younger?) audience. The future for the band looks very rosy indeed.
Dunn, Cradley Heath/UK - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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- March 8, 2001
The Borderline, London/UK
In previous reviews I have commended the Royal George as a fine public house, and convenient for many of the best London concert venues. Its proximity to The Borderline is not in dispute. Indeed, the Borderline is possibly the best small venue - housing about 250 - and host to many big bands in the 80s and 90s. I saw the Electric Boys there. OK, they were nearly big. I digress, back to the Royal George. I got there early (no surprises there) ahead of "always late" Nick, "Butt F*cked" by South West Trains Danny and a celebrity appearance by Rupert.
Basically the George had transformed into the beer equivalent of Monty Python's Cheese Shop. The pub was devoid of beer, and had but a surly youth as its sole employee (mind you, I'd be surly if I ran out of beer). I almost expected him to be called Mr Grolsh.
A hasty departure to the (beer serving) Borderline, and the support act was a chick playing the blues. I said the support act was a chick playing the blues. The third line of each song was then different. The support act was a chick playing the blues..... I'm sure you get the picture, she was quite good.
Dr Feelgood gave us a shot of rock n roll in our arms at about 9:15. First time I'd seen 'em since the untimely demise of Lee Brilleaux in 94, but the new singer/harmonica (Robert Kane) was very good. They did all the old classics - Talkin' 'bout you (actually a bit of Chuck Berry), If my baby quits me, She does it right, Down by the Jetty Blues, Back in the night, Milk and Alcohol, Roxette, She's a wind up and (of course) Down at the Doctors.
The deserved encore was Mad Man Blues, where the guitarist (Steve Walwyn) showed us all why blues should only be played on a Fender. He was excellent.
On the bass was Phil Mitchell (seemed to have recovered from a recent shooting!) and drums were Kevin Morris. They were excellent - classic rhythm and blues with a hard edge - easy to see why the 70s Punks liked 'em.
An excellent night. Made me feelgood allllllll night. Didn't have any milk with my alcohol though. Please share this gig with us - view the picture!!
Concert Rating : 8.5/10 Totty Rating: 3/10 Kebab Rating: A Dionysus special 6.5/10
Comment for any music journalists. You sad f*ucks. Think up a new acronym - R&B was, is and always will be RHYTHM AND BLUES.
(Thanks to Bonerock who kindly gave permission to reproduce this review he featured on his website www.bonerockfever.co.uk.)
Published also in FEELIN' GOOD Issue 25, October 2001
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FEELGOOD - June 21, 2001 - The Witchwood
A shot of Rhythm and Blues
These were the symptoms, a feeling of routine, I was edgy, there was the same trash on TV, The Bill, Big Brother, Survivor, you get the picture. I was desperate for a remedy, a pick me up of some kind, but it's 7pm on a Thursday and all the local surgies are closed, I try the late chemist, but it's no help (you gotta help me) at all. I close the curtains and sink back into my sofa my mind is racing, irrational thoughts cross my mind, I decide to search the phone directory for an alternative medical practice for a............ well an alternative I guess and then having nearly given up I spy an advert in a half open newspaper, and there it is a one off surgery (Private Practice) this very night I check my watch there is still time the surgery is in Ashton (Manchester) I gun the car and with palms sweating and head throbbing I set off in search of a cure for my ailments.
I reach the town, and scour the streets, getting more agitated and shaky (case of!) and then I see it..... ahh yes.... Johnny Green (I think it was him) slipping in a side door (He's never been known to pay yet) and I knew I was there. Inside the building and I realise there are many more, young and old have travelled far and wide with a variety of ill's (the blues etc.) the atmosphere is tense, after all the gathering are here for a miracle of some kind.
The lights all of a sudden go dim and then, not one but four medical men make their way to a stage at one end of the room. The men don instruments, this cure relies on rhythm (and blues) and an infectious feel(good) drifts across the room. The quartet tell us stiries in song form of previous cases "Roxette" text book case of a cheating partner, "Milk and Alcohol", a tried and tested cure, "Instinct to survive" something even the most hopeless case must have. Then 3 of the partners leave the stage, the one left is alone to perform a delicate operation (Down by the Jetty) there is sweat on his brow as his hands perform this intricate surgery. A hush goes around the room as the delicate work continues five, ten minutes and then in a flash it's over, it's a success, people punch the air and cheer, the other three practice members rejoin the surgeon to celebrate his good work.
One man in the throng (A sallow figure, was it Johnny Green?) rushes forward to the GP in dark glasses and shakes his hand "Thank you, Thank you" he says but we've no time to stop, the operation must be completed. By now people around me are delirious, clapping their hands, smiling and drinking medicine by the pint load and although the temperature in the room is high mine has strangely stabilised. "Down at the Doctors," an autobiography type tune about the four, "One more shot", pushing medicine further! and then "Mad man Blues", their practices most difficult case ever. And then all to soon it's over.... it's complete a total success! The people cry for more but this team of medical men have to pack there instruments away and urgently leave as they've many more patients to see around the world. I leave the surgery clear headed, relaxed but most importantly Feelin Good!
Fawkes (Buxton/UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue
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FEELGOOD - December 17, 2002 - Civic Hall
On a very cold evening in Surrey, it was Guildford's turn to host the Feelgoods! On obtaining my ticket I got asked if "Do you want to sit on the balcony section or go standing in the hall?" I ask you, what sort of question is that to a hardened R&B addict!
Quite quickly the first act began, this bloke Joe Durso played acoustic, and there was talent, probably best described as a rockin' Harry Chapin and we applauded. Then followed the Mickey Kemp Band, they tried, they really, really gave it some, but just couldn't get the "standers" going, let alone the "balcony sitters". One song should have turned into "Rockabilly Rebel" but didn't……polite applause.
Enter the Feelgoods, they blew the house down as usual. They kicked off with "Best in the World", rattled out 12 numbers in the main set, filled with all the tunes you expect from a classic performance. "Going Back Home" still gets a massive reception and is as fresh as when it was first sung. A certain Sunderland fan somehow resisted stating how his team won 2-1 a couple of days before, and had just enough puff for his harmonica solo in the three song encore of "Mad Man Blues", "She's a Wind up", and "Route 66". Top Draw stuff. One question always comes to mind every time I see yet another excellent Feelgood performance - with the speed and application Steve puts into his guitar playing, how come his fingers don't get any shorter?
So happy, it was back outside to scrape the ice off the car, could I hear the engine running? Not likely, and that's when you know it's been a good loud evening!
Pete Amys - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 31/April 2003
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- September 8, 2004
The Venue, Dumfries/UK
Here I go again, back on the M74 heading south to see the best R'n'B band in the UK, Dr. Feelgood. This time my travels are taking me a bit further than The Renfrew Ferry in Glasgow, yes 100 miles further to Dumfries where for one night only, (let's hope not) two major big time Feelgood fans (John Moffat & Neil Morgan) have joined together to form ''Madman Promotions'' and bring the good Doctor and his crew to The Venue in the heart of Dumfries. The last time Dr. Feelgood played in Dumfries was in 1983 when Phil Mitchell had not long joined Lee & Co. on the road. Strangely enough it was the same venue that they played all these years ago. Phil remembers playing there but can't remember the exact date but he reckons it was probably part of the annual Autumn tour.
The dirty deed (contract signing etc...) was done at The Rheged Centre in Penrith in February and this then left John & Neil seven months to arrange everything to ensure a great night for everyone.
On arriving in Dumfries at about 5pm, it was off to a local hotel to meet up with another ''far traveller'' from Aberfoyle and have a beer and something to eat before moving pubs to join up with the rest of the ''Dumfries 5'' and then on to The Venue.
A great sense of excitement and anticipation hit you as you climbed the stairs and entered what turned out to be a very busy bar area. A crowd of almost 300 people meant it was nearly a sellout which must have been very pleasing and confirmed that John & Neil had done the right thing.
First up was a local band put together from two bands and ''trading'' under the name of The Doug Carroll Band. A six piece outfit lead by oddly enough - Douglas F. Carroll with his wife Mary who fronts her own outfit, The Mary Barclay Band. There was a brilliant harmonica player in the group whose name I didn't happen to find out. They kicked off the night with an instrumental number called ''The Loop'' before heading off into ''Homework'', ''Working Man's Blues'' and ''Can't Hold On'' before Mary came on take over lead vocals from her husband on ''It's Over''. Another couple of numbers ''Door To Heaven'' and ''Frederica'' before two surprise guest musicians are on stage helping out on ''All My Whole Life''. John ''Madman'' Moffatt on drums and ''Big'' Neil Morgan on bass. Great stuff and don't the crowd just love seeing their two promoters up there. The Doug Barclay Band finish off with another couple of numbers - ''Another Kind Of Love'' and ''Tired Of Talkin'''. If what I heard is true then this band should continue playing. Story goes that this band had only rehearsed three times in the two weeks leading up to tonights show and they had never all played together before. An excellent start to a great night out.
9.45pm and it's showtime! A quick ''hello'' and straight into ''Heart Of The City'' followed by a relatively new song ''Too Much Trouble''. Hope this one ends up on a new CD whenever that might be along with ''Evil'' and ''Slowdown'' neither of which are actually played tonight. ''Take A Tip'',''Don't Start Me Talkin''' and ''Baby Jane'' up next before a cracking version of ''Milk and Alcohol''. The acoustics in The Venue are excellent, low ceilings, good crowd and top notch sound equipment making for a rich sounding bass, crystal clear drumming and ear piercing guitar all of which come together on ''Roxette'' (fantastic playing Phil). One of my own personal favourites ''Instinct To Survive'' is next before the crowd pleasing ''Down By The Jetty Blues''. Having been at Canvey three times (and back again in 2005) I can relate the words in the song to Canvey Island and its surrounds. Close your eyes and you could almost be there (roll on May '05), eighteen minutes or so of classic R'n'B and then another crowd favourite ''Back In The Night''. The crowd love it, the band love it, what a night! Robert throws in a little extra number ''Sneakin` Suspicion'', he tells the crowd ''we aint played this one for a while''. Certainly doesn't sound like it to of all of us. Three more to go, ''Going Back Home'', ''Down At The Doctors'' and ''Gimme One More Shot''. Sadly that's the end of the show but not according to the assembled masses! They want more, we want more and thankfully the band want to give more. Encore time and it's ''Mad Man Blues'' - First up on stage is Steve with some blistering searing guitar playing, then Robert on harmonica. This guy must be putting in hours of practice as every show his harmonica playing gets better and better (not that I'm in any way biased whatsoever!!!). Phil (Mr. Rock Steady) and Kevin on drums both join in and all hell breaks loose. They finish off with ''Bony Moronie / Tequila''. Everyone loves this as the grand finale because when Robert sings the finishing notes of ''Tequiiiiiiiiiiiiillaaaaaaa'' it makes the heckles on the back of your neck stand to attention.
This has been one incredible evening put together by two guys (John Moffatt & Neil Morgan just in case you've forgotten) who had a dream of booking their favourite band to play in their local venue. The time and effort spent in making this dream a reality deserves a very special word of thanks from everyone who attended on the night. The local ''Joe Public'' came out in force to support John & Neil on their big adventure (others came a bit further!), and they both must be very pleased with themselves. A word of advice though guys, please don't make this a ''one-off''. Madman Promotions must be kept alive please don't let it be another 21years before the best R'n'B band in the UK (at least) appear again in Dumfries.
Next stop Glenrothes in Fife, The Renfrew Ferry in Glasgow, Skegness in January and then the big one in May - THE LEE BRILLEAUX MEMORIAL SHOW AT THE OYSTERFLEET HOTEL IN CANVEY ISLAND.
McNeil - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 39/April
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FEELGOOD - May 27, 2005 - The Half Moon
Red Hot in Putney
With no Guildford Civic hall venue available, where were the Feelgoods going to be play around this neck of woods? Then, there it was, the Half Moon at Putney. What a superb choice, a venue really steeped in history of famous bands playing there and now it was to be the Feelgood's turn.
I got tow musically aware friends to come along. We booked tickets as the venue is not exactly huge and just as well because on the night it was packed. On the evening I dragged myself from my sickbed with determination. I was not going to miss this. It's funny how much better you can feel after a few beers, isn't it? With a couple of minutes to the off I turned and told my friends, "get ready, you are about to be blasted by the best rock r'n'b outfit going". And that's what happened, the Feelgoods were red hot!
They kicked off with a blistering pace salvo starting with "She's a wind up" through to "Milk and Alcohol". The crowd were enjoying it and so were the band, even Kevin who was blissfully unaware, despite Roberts' gesticulations to the desk to turn up the volume, that he was drumming virtually unamplified! The grins on my two friends faces certainly told me they were impressed. The band then rattled out a new tune "Too much trouble" followed by "Instinct to survive" and "Down by the Jetty Blues". I nodded to my friends and told them to watch for the guitar break! Little did they know the fantastic guitar solo Steve was about to deliver. He quite rightly got a huge ovation for it.
The stream of numbers flowed on "Back in the night", "She does it right", "Going back home" and then a new rendition. "Slow down" and all wrapped up with a great delivery of "Down to the Doctors". By this time one of my friends had really got into it and was dancing away at the front.
We were treated to encores of "Mad man blues" and "One more shot". The Half Moon had a few minutes to last orders, so it had to stop there or we would all go home thirsty! Both friends agreed, what a superb band and sound. We all went home smiling. Thanks Feelgoods.
Amys (UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 40/July
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FEELGOOD - July 22, 2006 Linton Music Festival
My wife Sarah and I felt like the proverbial children in a sweet shop. Dr Feelgood our favourite band were playing on our doorstep, here they are playing in Linton which is the next village to where we live. Normally to catch the Feelgoods we have to do a round trip of a least 60 miles or the 400 mile round trip to Canvey for the annual Lee Brilleaux memorial concert.
Linton is a small village in the Herefordshire countryside situated 4 miles from Ross-on-Wye. The Festival has been running for about five years and is held in the grounds of the village pub, the 'Alma Inn'. For the last few years we have been pestering them to book the Feelgoods and at last they have listened. What is even more exciting for us is that this July we have celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and have just had a wonderful Mediterranean holiday and have arrived back in time for the festival which we said is like a climax for our celebrations. The 800 crowd which is a full house for the festival were swelled by many of our friends and family, some of whom had never seen the Feelgoods before and had come to see if they were as brilliant as I tell everyone.
The day of the festival fell in the middle of the summer heatwave and was lovely and hot. The festival is an ale and music festival so with plenty of good beer and music available, what else can a man want? The festival site is a natural amphitheatre and slopes down to a permanently erected stage, straw bales are supplied for seating and a large beer tent is erected at the top of the field. Feelgoods were the headline act and followed 'Trafficker', 'Moondogs' and the 'Marcus Malone Band'.
The Feelgoods arrived with little time to spare having travelled back from a previous nights concert in Norway. We had a quick chat with Steve and Phil telling them how good it was to have them play at our local venue. Sarah and I even had a photo taken with the band which was kindly taken by Chris Fenwick and is a nice memento.
The set started with 'Riot in Cell Block # 9' and the crowd were up for it straight away having had an afternoon consuming plenty of beer and listening to some good music. I think this is one of the bands' better opening numbers and gets the gig off to a flying start. The band covered all the classics at a fast moving pace all the way through to the last encore song 'Route 66'. My favourite is 'Down by the Jetty Blues' and I never tire of seeing it performed and always marvel at Steve's guitar solo. 'Back in the Night' followed which seems to be the regular play order and gets the gig back on to a fast pace, Robert loves to give the crowd plenty of participation during this ever popular favourite. I also love the new songs that have been gradually added in the last few years like 'One More Shot' and 'Mad Man Blues'. The band responded to the party loving crowd which all added up to a memorable day in the Herefordshire countryside.
Another first for us was seeing the band play an outdoor gig and I can only sum up the gig and atmosphere as truly brilliant and must start pestering the Linton festival committee to rebook them.
Andrews (UK) - Source: FEELIN' GOOD Issue 10/January
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