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Snippets of FEELIN' GOOD Issue 20/July 2000
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
Send for the Doctor
Lookin back over the last few months there has been a mixture of good news and sad news. In April it was the 6th anniversary of Lee’s death and this year saw the departure of two others connected with the Feelgoods in some way. Everyone will have probably read/heard of Ian Dury’s death on 27th March. There are many links with Dr Feelgood from the early days as Kilburn and The High Roads and there is no doubt that Lee helping fund “Stiff Records” meant that Ian Dury’s music was delivered to a much wider audience. Wilko Johnson played with Ian on many occasions leading to his meeting with Norman Watt Roy whos became Wilko’s partner in crime in the Wilko Johnson Band. Get yourself a copy of Will Birch’s new book “No Sleep till Canvey Island” for loads of interesting snippets about Ian. He is a blockhead who will be sadly missed. There is a book of condolences on the website www.iandury.co.uk and it was interesting to read a message from Simon Kidd asking Ian to “say hello to Lee Brilleaux and get a band together”. Another departure at the beginning of April was Heinz Burt who died in hospital. The Feelgoods prior to turning professional played as his backing band regularly including their London debut which was not in a pub as many people think but was at Wembley Rock & Roll Festival which was filmed and Heinz/Feelgoods feature in one song. Heinz at one point asked the Feelgoods if they would change their names to the Tornados but they declined. Good job too as we wouldn’t have known them as they are today.
The merry month of May cheered us all up tremendously with two great releases: The first was a book simply called “No Sleep till Canvey” penned by feelgood friend Will Birch. The book was not simple though as it includes oodles of interesting snippets about the bands and people responsible for that phenomena known as the pub rock scene which shocked the United Kingdom in the 1970’s. It is just so incredibly well researched which provides evidence to justify why Will is the Godfather of the Canvey Island music scene! It is of course available from all good book shops or by mail order from Grand Records. The second release was the new offering and debut recording of Dr Feelgood featuring “Chess Masters”. The album as mentioned in the last “Feelin’ Good” has 14 classic Chess tracks recorded in the inimitable Feelgood style but demonstrating one of the new aspects that Robert gives to the band. People who have seen him live will know he has settled into the band very well but this some tracks on this recording have been described as “erotic” (just witness “Suzy Q” and “Help me”) - could the Feelgoods be a mature “boy band” (don’t be silly). No honestly it has meant that there is something new for the ladies as well as the sexist stuff that Dr Feelgood love singing about! The album has gone very well and some reviews will appear in the next issue but I am still looking for more fans’ comments (either of the whole album or favourite tracks).
Also in May we witnessed a spectacular Memorial Concert on Canvey Island. These shows are always good and I find myself each year thinking they cannot get better but this year the Feelgood and guests spot was the best I have ever seen. It was magic to see Wilko and Figure do a spot then Robert with Wilko and Steve. Sparko and Bronzie contributed too but the highlight for me was seeing Wilko who not had a great gig but looked as if he was enjoying it! It’s always nice to meet up with fans from near and far as everyone gets into the spirit of remembering Lee and enjoying a great gig.
The evening before the Memorial saw Dr Feelgood play a very rare “acoustic” set at Border’s Bookshop in London. The band rehearsed a few numbers in Germany the week before then on the day of the show itself. An acoustic set isn’t simply a few songs played quietly as some artistes may have done on “unplugged” specials but a chance to hear familiar songs done in a different way using acoustic instruments. Poor Kevin had to leave his Premier drum kit at home and relied on a “box”, Phil and Steve had acoustic guitars while Robert had an acoustic voice! An intimate gathering and “Don’t Start Me Talking” opened the proceedings followed by the ONLY time Dr Feelgood have played “Send for the Doctor”” and “Susie Q”. The final “Chess Master” was “Gimme One More Shot” before the classics “Down at the Doctors” and “I can Tell”. A rare show enjoyed by all who were there. Back in Germany though they tried an interesting version of “She does it right”!
On the morn of the Memorial a special walk around Canvey Island took place. The participants were Christopher Somerville, Chris Fenwick and Dave Bronze. A report of the walk appeared in the “Daily Telegraph” beginning of June but too late to include in this issue. Chris Somerville has very kindly given permission for it to be in a future issue of “Feelin’ Good” - watch this space!
We all know the Queen Bee of web sites is Miss Gabi Schwanke who is responsible for the official Dr Feelgood Web Site at www.drfeelgood.de but I’d also like to tell you all of a new R & B discussion circle run by Steve Melton. This site is free to join and includes articles on Dr Feelgood, Inmates, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Lew Lewis, Pirates etc etc. It gives fans of all R&B a chance to “have their say”. I log in on a regular basis, why don’t you? Just send an e mail to ?????????
The next issue will be a bumper one and it will be out sometime in September (earlier than usual) to inform everyone of the bumper 60 plus concerts Dr Feelgood will be playing under the banner of “Naughty Rhythms 2000” tour. On the bill will be Eddie & The Hot Rods, John Otway and The Hamsters. Hopefully it will be at a town near you! Full details in the next “Feelin’ Good”. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this issue - we value everyone’s input so if you feel like writing a piece then please do so.
next time - Keep on Feelin’ Good
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Black Man Rhythm with a White Boy Beat
An album by The Bluebones and what an album it is. Recorded live in one day in April 1988 at Duisburg, Germany. As you may guess from the title,15 red hot rhythm “n”blues tracks that certainly are, very much inspired by the Feelgoods.
The Blue bones are:
Torsten Peters (vocals and harp), Frank Peters (lead/rhythm guitar), Pee Oelinger (Fender bass), Ralf Persin (drums).
The band were formed in 1990 and like all the best bands have a few lineup changes through the years with Torsten being the sole member from Day One. He says he saw the Feelgoods for the first time in Edinburgh in 1980 and was really electrified about the idea of playing in a band. He has done this now and the next plan is to produce another CD in 1999 with an even mix of covers/originals. But on this album they are all familiar tracks beginning with a track that the Feelgoods have opened their live shows with many a time.
I can Tell
Where were you when the lights went out?
Some Kind of Wonderful
Talk to You
Tin Pan Alley
Instinct to Survive
Treat her Right
Guys don’t wear White
Milk and Alcohol
The studio was small and the combination of hot bodies and hot music meant the air got very wet and sweat was running down the walls and more beer down the throats. The very first time The Bluebones had played in a sauna! The whole CD is dedicated to “The Roadrunner” (thanks lads) and members of the information service can buy a copy for £11 (includes p&p) from Torsten Peters, Styrumerstr.43, 47138 Duisburg, Germany. Recommended by Johnny Green who says “somekind of f**kin wonderful to boogie too and I challenge anyone to listen to this and not spill the drink they are drinking!”
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Three of the Best
Saturday 12th February 2000 is the first of several Feelgood evenings we have experienced this year. Back in January I had spotted that my favourite RnB band would be playing in Abertillery, Wales. Combine that with a weekend away with good friends and the bikes and you have a very exciting venture ahead. Having previously seen the band in Bristol and Painswick with Robert Kane, we knew it would be a top night out. Robert Kane is ace - he is completely different from the previous frontman (whom we must never forget helped get the group back on the road). This factor is definitely in his favour. He injects such vitality into the songs, and has such an expressive voice. He is fab. The gig in Wales was in 2 parts and the setting of a traditional theatre made for good acoustics….and also very good to watch on a proper stage. A whole variety of people turned out to watch and the St John Ambulance were there in case anyone fainted from excitement. The mixture of songs covered all aspects of the Feelgoods, right up to date with the new “Chess Masters” album. As always the rhythm section of Phil and Kevin is “so tight” and drives the music along.
“If my Baby Quits Me”, “Down at the Doctors”, “Down by The Jetty Blues”, “Mad Man Blues”, “Roxette” an aural feast, accompanied by liquid refreshment, and some vertical exercise….. what more could I ask for.
The next time was April 27th at the Borderline, Soho, London. I felt the stage was slightly too small for Robert’s antics, and the ceiling was too low, but never mind. The band were good… very good… promoting their new . Then of course the Memorial concert on May 4th. My van took me and my bike to the Oysterfleet Hotel, followed closely by Mike and Denise. What a great evening, and some interesting people to drink wine with. Another musical feast, a quick spin round the island and a return to reality... what is reality? It will be quite a while before the next Feelgood factor but I have my new CD and photos to keep me smiling. As you can see I am absolutely bowled over by the energy and rhythm of this band, as are many other people. It must be good for you!
Ann with the van
PARTS OF THIS ISSUE
Chess Masters to Album Reviews section
Go to Newsletter Issue 21/Sept. 2000
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