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FEELGOOD 2000
"READY FOR THE NEW CENTURY"
 

 

By Gabi

INTRO
                         
When I started getting together the first pages for this website in 1996, I remember me was sitting at the computer same like I do right now - endlessly thinking about how to find the right words to type. At that time the theme I was writing about was the sad loss of Lee Brilleaux in 1994 and how Dr Feelgood (Kevin, Steve and Phil) carried on since 1995. It is not easy to write about something like this when being touched deeply because it's concern of people who mean a lot to you.
It's September 1999, and again I'm breaking my head about words and how to stay diplomatic (something which is hard for me when it comes to Dr Feelgood because all I wish is them to be happy, always and ever). One big difference to 1996: I'm not crying while typing, in fact I am relieved from a pain which I've felt for the Feelgoods during the past months. In the meantime I've learned some fans feel different, but to me it's always the complete band which counts. Just mentioned this for making the following stuff easier to understand (hopefully).
FACTS In 1995 the fans did accept Lee Brilleaux's successor Pete Gage and things were going well for the band. An album was released, named "On The Road Again", countless shows have been played all over Europe, various TV and radio appearances happened. In addition to this came some solo work of Pete Gage who played gigs on his own in Finland as well as released an album with piano blues tunes, showing his talents on the black and white keys. Sounds all good, doesn't it? It could have gone on like this forever, but suddenly - out of the blue - some personal problems switched the internal Feelgood factor down close to zero. All of them tried to return to the level where everyone in the band enjoyed to play and ''live'' with each other (and that's exactly what you do when being on the road almost constantly) - unfortunately it did not work out. For not becoming one of those bands who only stay together to make money but never speak a single word to each other, to not lose the respect for each other, the Feelgoods had to find a solution. Trust me, they did not take it easy, and a lot of water ran down the Thames before they decided to take another important change in the line up which would enable them to keep going on in the Feelgood spirit.
Remembering a singer who has impressed the Feelgoods since the very first time they saw him. From times way back when Lee was still alive, they sometimes played festivals with the Animals II. There is nothing special to say about the reunion of some original Animals members, but they have had a singer with an incredible stage presence: Robert Kane. A kind of "Mad Man" on stage and a really nice person off stage. Hard to describe, sometimes you have to see something to understand. Of course, he adds something new to Dr Feelgood, something different and special, just like any new member in the history of this band. I most appreciated the fact, Robert did not at all try to imitate or impersonate Lee. Anyway, there is something Robert has in common with Lee Brilleaux: a strong personality, self-confidence (without being arrogant) and an awful lot of charisma. Don't get me wrong, I sure don't want to praise Robert as the ''new Lee'' - this would be as silly as to call The Hamsters' guitarist Barry Martin a new Jimi Hendrix (this does not change the fact Barry is an experienced guitarist). No person that I know ever ordered someone to transform into someone else...
FEELINGS To me life always is at its best when I'm on the road with a band of people I like, and - of course - Dr Feelgood are the first on my list because they not only play great stuff but we also are good friends. It is sad to see such people parting from each other, but for one who cares a lot for ''the family'' during the last year of the 'Pete Gage era' it was getting harder and harder to feel good. I believe can judge this, as I spent quite a long time on the road with them. They always played great gigs, but after the show was over it was easy to recognize they did not feel comfortable. How to describe? Well, I've always enjoyed the lightness and fun which went on between the members of the band. Must be a mixture of respect and confidence, some kind of love. Dr Feelgood anytime was a band which made it impossible not to have a good time with. They easily blew away any bad mood, whenever I had one. Now I was constantly worried when we were not together. Asking myself, do they feel good? Are they ok? (How) Can they stand the pressure? WHEN WILL THEY BE HAPPY AGAIN? Each one of them. I know how hard all of them tried to move things back to the good, it did not work out. It is impossible to fix a cup if the broken handle will not stick, isn't it?! It may work for a while but the whole thing fells into pieces sooner or later, for sure. So better go and get a handle that fits the cup. Some things have to be done.
I am aware not everyone outside is happy with the situation now (I feel sad for those) - nevertheless only thing relevant for me is: The Feelgoods got back their smiles on AND off stage. The Feelgood spirit is all around and I can feel how much they enjoy themselves again - together! That's how it should be. That's what makes Dr Feelgood so special. Being a bunch of musicians who stand as a union for what they are doing. No matter what others say. Down at the Doctors makes you (and them) feel good all night (and day!). To continue without the feeling of being united would have been a lie. It would have made Dr Feelgood just a band like many others. I know some fans will not agree but I'm convinced the band has made the right decision. Call me selfish, I do NEED the Feelgoods to be happy, and never will understand how some people are able to reduce Dr Feelgood to just one person. Such kind of measure only can fail because each member of the band adds his personality and musical talents to make Dr Feelgood what it is.
THOUGHTS What's left to say? A band that survived the split from the unique Wilko Johnson, the leaving of the great rhythm section Big Figure & Sparko, the split from one of the biggest guitar talents Gypie Mayo and last but not least the loss of the one & only, the brilliant Lee Brilleaux - a band like this surely also survives the split from Pete Gage. No question, same as all the Feelgoods in the past he has left a note in the Feelgoods Book (that's how I call the Dr Feelgood history in complete). He will not be forgotten and hopefully we will hear good news from him in the future. Nevertheless it's time to keep the eyes on Dr Feelgood and the new frontman now. I am looking forward to the new album, three years have passed by without new stuff to listen to... Hope we also will get the long promised new live video some day (much luck to those who will have to film Robert. I've already had the pleasure, it's like trying to fetch a hurricane with a net for butterflies collectors!). With him Dr Feelgood are well prepared to take the step into the next century.

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Dr Feelgood, Promo 1999
Kevin Morris - Phil Mitchell - Robert Kane - Steve Walwyn
Drums - Bassguitar - Vocals+Harmonica - Guitar
PROMO SHOT 2001

GOING ON In early September 1999 I took the chance to see the new line up of Dr Feelgood at two shows in Holland. When I've heard the band would take Robert Kane as the new singer I was curious on whom he is, how he sings and how he is looking, so I straight went onto the internet to get some information. Was glad to find some soundfiles of The Animals II to check out his voice. I straight liked it because he knows how to sing and adds his own style even to well known Animals songs. Surely that isn't easy because Eric Burdon always was (and still is) an outstanding singer. On photos of the Animals II Robert did look ok but not especially interesting, the man alive blew this opinion of mine straight away when he took the stage! He looks younger than he is but is not too shy to dance and jump around. It's obvious how much he loves what he's doing and that he enjoys to sing the good old (and new) Feelgood tunes. Also he brings some fresh air into the band -- not that they would have needed it, but it is a true pleasure to see Robert on stage. Not only does he fetch the ears and eyes of the audience but also brings much fun to his bandmates. You never know what he's doing at next. A crazy guy, in all its good meanings. That's how it must have been in the early days when the Feelgood rule was born, ''All we want is the audience and the band to have a good time''. This may not serve anyones wants, it definately satisfies mine.
ROBERT KANE

Robert - Sept. 3, 1999
Oude Biltzijl / NL - September 3, 1999

- was born in Sunderland at December 6th 1954, anyway his age is close to the ones of the other members of the band, although Phil worries about to be the oldest in the band now, while Steve still stays being the youngest. That's life, boys!
- was an actor under a pseudonym, Robert Coyle, in "Spender" with Jimmy Nail, as well as had done some theatre work.
- lives up in the North of the UK, in Sunderland.
- played in Mania, The Showbiz Kids (1976 - included "Down At The Doctors" and "Milk & Alcohol" in the set), Well Well Well (1981), The Alligators (1989 - named after the Feelgoods version of "See You Later Alligator") and The Animals II (1994-July 1999) before he joined Dr Feelgood in August 1999.
- played his first gig with Dr Feelgood in front of 20,000 people at a festival in France at August 14th 1999.
- takes guitar lessons (surely Steve now can show him some interesting licks!).
- names The Beatles as his musical influence (Robert is a dedicated fan of the Fab Four, he adores John Lennon).
- is (or is it "was" now?) a Feelgood fan (Fave tracks: the early ones such as "Roxette", "Back In The Night" and "Down At The Doctors").
- is a vegetarian.
- is practicing yoga and enjoyed to run (how else he could bounce around on stage like he does?!?)
- likes to drink red wine and black tea with honey.
- likes good jokes.
- wears trainers and sunglasses on stage, no ties.
- is a soccer fan, supporting "Sunderland", of course.
- is the first fair haired one in Dr Feelgood (howI believe).
- has started playing harmonica after he joined the Feelgoods.

More about Robert in the Feelgood Dick'n'arry

Soundfiles of The Animals II (Robert Kane on vocals)
(Sorry for the sound quality, I've fetched the files like they were from the Official Animals II Website a while ago.)

Believe me, I really do love Eric Burdon and am absolutely sure noone else ever will be able to sing like he does, nevertheless I was pleasantly surprised about the following stuff because of the vocals and interpretations:
Bring It On Home To Me (99KB / RealAudio / mono)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (115KB / RealAudio / mono)
House Of The Rising Sun (225KB / RealAudio / mono)

I Need Your Love So Bad (241KB / RealAudio / mono)

At the moment I haven't got more details of Robert but as soon as possible will ask him to fill the Feelgood Questionaire for getting more info and trivia for the ones who are interested.
More live photos like above one are to find at the Fans Forum.

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ACTUAL
SETLISTS
                           
Hellendoorn / NL - Sept. 4, 1999:

Talking 'bout You
If My Baby Quits Me
She Does It Right
Sneakin' Suspicion
I Can Tell
Baby Jane
Instinct To Survive
Down By The Jetty Blues
Break
Talk To Me Baby
It Hurts Me Too (New addition, a great Burdon song)
Back In The Night
Milk & Alcohol
Roxette
Tanqueray
She's A Wind Up
Down At The Doctors
Heart Of The City (Back in the set!)
Encores:
Mad Man Blues
Going Back Home
Route 66

Oosterhout / NL - Sept. 5, 1999:

Talking 'bout You
If My Baby Quits Me
She Does It Right
Sneakin' Suspicion
I Can Tell
Baby Jane
Instinct To Survive
Down By The Jetty Blues
Break
Back In The Night
It Hurts Me Too
Talk To Me Baby
Milk & Alcohol
Roxette
Tanqueray
She's A Wind Up
Down At The Doctors
Heart Of The City
Encore:
Mad Man Blues
(They had to stop because the Police arrived, no joke!)

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For more info about our boys have a look at the
Dr Feelgood Questionaires and the Feelgood Now page
in THE FEELGOODS section and the
Personal Info page of THE NEWS - Newsletters section.
 

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