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FEELIN' GOOD Newsletter Issue 40/July 2005
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
Dr. Feelgood Information Service
How to supply to the printed newsletter? Look here!
Red Hot Rocking in Stroud
Well here we are in the centre of summer so it must be time for some red hot rocking blues for all you people who are feelin' good. Since the last newsletter in spring the Feelgoods embarked on a couple of Easter Festivals at Nantwich and Stroud. The first one was Good Friday and after collecting Robert at lunchtime we arrived at the hotel around teatime where the van was already waiting to take the two northerners onto the Nantwich. Two bands on so after the soundcheck it was off for a meal at the nearby Crown Hotel. The actual gig was in a hall with seats around tables and very little room for dancing however due to a few regular Feelgood gig goers the floor soon filled up once the band started with ''She does it right'' followed by ''I can Tell'' and ''Don't start me talking''. The sound wasn't too good to begin with as Robert's vocals could hardly be heard. When the problem was resolved a great cheer went up which considering it was mid song caused some confusing looks from the bemused band members who were blissfully unaware the vocals were being broadcast through the harmonica channel which is naturally lower volume to prevent feedback. A segue of Gypie days numbers ''Baby Jane'' and ''She's a wind up'' before Robert introduces a chess master in ''The Walk'' and then the HIT single ''Milk & Alcohol''. One of my favourite Wilko tunes ''All through the city'', ''Instinct to survive'' before the lengthy ''Down by the Jetty Blues''. Time for the audience to sing along with ''Back in the Night''. More Wilko tunes ''Roxette'' and ''Going Back Home'' before the new number ''Too much trouble'' (well, new to Nantwich!). The clock was ticking and it was soon time for ''Down at the Doctors'' and ''One More Shot''. The encore was ''Route 66'', ''Bony Moronie/Tequila''.
The next morning we were on the road to Stroud and Phil and I went in my car to ensure getting to the hotel in time for the England football match. We had played at Stroud a few years before and looking forward to returning. After the usual speedy sound check Phil and I went for an Indian and a few drinks in the pub over the road - The Queen Vic (where else could Phil Mitchell drink?). I get the pleasure of seeing Dr Feelgood play many gigs (I know, there has to be some perks to running the Information Service) and some gigs are naturally better and more enjoyable than others. It's fair to say that the well organised ones with the right audience, great sound and stage and when the lads are Red Hot then that is a successful formula. Stroud got it right in a hall with 500 people young and old waiting for the band to open with ''She does it right''/''If my baby quits me'' followed by ''Don't start me talking/Roxette''. It really is good to see the possible Feelgood fans of tomorrow and there were a few groups of early/mid teens at the front of the stage and at the side really getting into the Feelgood sound. ''I can Tell'', ''Going Back Home'' and then ''Too Much Trouble'' which segued into ''Milk and Alcohol''. The opening bars of the hit single used to send the crowd surging forwards - well it happened tonight. Steve's anthem ''Instinct to survive'' before the Canvey anthem ''Down by the Jetty Blues''. Before the band left the stage to leave Steve demonstrate why he is classed as one of the great live guitarists, Phil did something he very, very rarely does and broke a bass string. As we went upstairs to the dressing room where Robert was on his mobile, Robert had to interrupt his call as he saw Phil with broken string. It was the first time Robert had ever seen him break one and even Kevin who has played in bands with Phil for over 25 years has only witnessed this rare event maybe 2 or 3 times! In fact Phil admitted it was only the third time in his career. Back on stage for ''Back in the night'' before ''Baby Jane'' and then Robert told the audience about his first ever gig with Feelgood in France where Joe Strummer asked him before they went on if they would do ''All Through the City'' confessing that that was his favourite Feelgood track of all time (he had taste did Joe!). No need to tell you what song followed that introduction! Almost end of evening time as it was the time to go ''Down to The Doctors'' and ''One More Shot''. There was no way the Feelgoods were going to get away without an encore so after what seemed like 5 minutes they returned to ''Mad Man Blues'' and ''Bony Moronie/Tequila'' with Robert venturing off the stage into the crowd at one point. Usually that is the end but again the audience wanted more and more so an absolutely sweat drenched Feelgood came back on for a red hot rocking version of ''Route 66'' before finally having to surrender to the clock curtailing any more music. It was a great gig enjoyed by many (including myself) and it was good to see members of the Information Service there along with hopefully some new members. The Feelgoods were travelling back home after the gig but Robert and I stayed over before tackling the 5 hours drive home the following day.
The Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial concert took place on Friday 6th May at the Oyster Fleet Hotel, Canvey Island. The artists appearing on the night were - Dr Feelgood, Two Timers, Wilko Johnson, Big Figure, Lew Lewis and Pete Gage.
Media watchers will have noticed several articles on the Feelgoods in 2005 instigated mainly by the release of the "Going Back Home" show at Southend on DVD after many years. Wilko was THE person to talk to about this release so magazines and newspapers battled their way to the great man for interviews etc. I reported in the last issue of the Independent feature who referred to Wilko as the Rhythm Doctor with the looks of a Brueghelian assassin (I had to ask Johnny Green to explain that word). The rest of the original Feelgoods were described as resembling "the staff of an Essex second-half car dealer dealership on a loss making away day at the bookie's". The author got a little carried away when he likened them to a "beacon of economy, cogency, elegant scansion and grimy suiting" with "paranoia and sexual jealousy" running in the songs like aphetamine. It did debate Lemmy's recalling of events which led to the parting of the waves of Wilko and Dr Feelgood and other losses that Wilko suffered on the way including people to cancer such as Lee, Ian Dury, Charlie Charles and Irene. The Times produced a Top Ten of great British guitar heroes and at number 4 is Dr Feelgood with Milk and Alcohol above people like Brian May, Johnny Marr, Mick Ronson, Dave Gilmour. Unfortunately The author of the piece whilst celebrating the guitar riff to "Milk and Alcohol" stated the "the good Doctor's Wilko Johnson woke a generation of guitarist up to the sheer power and energy of the instrument". Whilst I agree with the statement I wonder how the person with the pen identified Wilko as playing on "Milk and Alcohol" . Number one funnily enough was Jeff Beck with "Shapes of Things" where alongside Clapton and Jimmy Page was one of 3 guitar gods who served time in the Yardbirds. Can I suggest another guitarist from the Yardbirds (up to 2004 anyway) - a certain Gypie Mayo who did actually co-write "Milk and Alcohol".
Whilst in guitar mode, who noticed an ex member of the Feelgood camp auctioning Lee's cream guitar on ebay for £857.77? Someone was also selling the famous jugs from "Let it Roll" days.
Confirmation came too late to include in the last newsletter (literally by hours) the news of a gig called "The Monsters of Pub Rock". This very special gig at The Astoria in London on 20th August will be Dr Feelgood along with Eddie and the Hot Rods. It will be special as there are plans to record the performance for a future release on DVD. I get many letters asking if there are any plans to release a new DVD and I am pleased I can answer that one now. Get yourselves there and be part of Feelgood history!!!!
As regular fans will know the Information Service has been operating for 20 years this year and in order to commemorate this I have commissioned a very limited number of silicone bangles or wristbands in Red or Blue with the words "Feelin' good" and "FEELGOOD" embossed. They are very limited and available at a cost of £3.00 each or 2 for £5 (including P&P). Anypne with a large family or lots of friends (that could rule Johnny Green out) can order 4 for £10. Please send cheques to "J Butterfield" to the PO Box number stating which colour you would like.
The last issue broke the news about an exciting tour happening later this year with the label "The Mad, Bad and the Dangerous". The tantalising publicity material invites people to choose which is which from the artists. The western style posters stake claims to be "raising hell in a town near you" and "Wanted - for Rhythm and Blues Murder". Full details of the tour can be found on www.madbaddangerous.co.uk [External link] and on later pages of this issue.
Later on in this issue is a review of Red Hot Racking Blues, the latest offering by Wilko but also in the recording studios are Eddie and the Hot Rods who has just signed a deal with Universal Records - more details in the next issue of "Feelin' Good".
That's it for this time, thanks to Andy Collinson for the usual design and printing and Pete Amys for the Putney review, and here's hoping you all have a red hot rocking summer and until next time -
In the meantime - Keep on Feelin' Good
current e-mail address from John is available here
- please keep you address books up-to-date.]
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CD Review: Wilko Johnson - Red Hot Rocking Blues
Earlier this year, a 2003 release originally on Trippin Elephant was reissued on Jungle Records (FREUDCD083) with the title suggesting it contained "Red Hot Rocking Blues". It sure did with 15 tracks from the Wilko Johnson Band of Wilko, Norman Watt-Roy and Monti. Most of the tracks were cover versions with no less than 4 Van Morrisson songs, a brace of Bob Dylan tunes, interspersed with Chuck Berry, Sonny Boy Williamson, Ray Charles, Leadbelly et al.
The front sleeve featured a mad, bad or dangerous looking (or perhaps all three) Wilko Johnson with a backdrop of the Saarfend marvel the Kursaal. The title track is followed by a Bob Dylan song "From a Buick Six" the tale of the girl who don't talk too much and likes Bo Diddley (sounds like Johnny Greens' type of gal). "Goodbye Baby" before the Leadbelly song "The Western Plains" with a riff sounding vary like an early Wilko/Feelgood track. The Van Morrison songs are "He can't give you none", "Ro Ro Rosie", a great version of "Brown eyed girl" before the closing track weighing in at a lengthy 8 minutes 50 seconds "Listen to the Lion".
Songs familiar to Feelgood fans are "Help me" with some great organ by Tim Vine, yet another version of "Talking About you" and a reworking of a song previously done by Wilko - "Casting my spell on you". More girls' names with "Hello Josephine" and the Bob Dylan song "To Ramona" with accordion by Slim who played at the Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial the other year. The latter wouldn't sound out of place at a Pogue's concert. Keyboards feature heavily on Ray Charles's "I got a woman".
The new tune is "One Time" and wrote by Wilko, Monti and Norman it is an instrumental but not just an album filler as it lasts almost 6 minutes.
Glad it's been re-released and I was surprised to find it at www.amazon.com for only £7.99. No guarantee it's still available but if not order it form your local record shop!!!!!!!!!
It sure is Red Hot Rocking Blues.
Following parts of this newsletter have been added to other sections of this website:
May 27, 2005 The Half Moon, London-Putney/UK went to Feelin' Good - New Gig Reviews
to Newsletter Issue 41/Nov. 2005
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