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6th LEE BRILLEAUX MEMORIAL 1999
June 10th Oyster Fleet Hotel, Canvey Island, Essex
The 6th Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial Concert - once again sold out weeks in advance, once again full of fans from all over the globe and once again a great show!
It started for me after lunch when I get the chance to meet up with old friends who are members of the Information Service. I travelled "down South" with some newcomers to the Memorial but fans of the Feelgoods for many a year Frankie and Jimmy Blair from Hartlepool. We called for a drink in memory of Lee at the Grand Hotel, Leigh-on-Sea but were disappointed to discover it closed for renovation. We headed off for the hotel to check in and had to walk past the function room to our sleeping quarters so paused a short while to listen to the Kursaal Flyers doing a soundcheck/rehearsal or as Will Birch put it "relearning all the songs we should remember". They must have performed the entire short set several times in the afternoon so had to get it right on the night. Lots more meeting up with people (too many to mention here but it was nice seeing everyone there) in the bar before the show started.
First on to open the show was a group of instrumentalists namely Ian Gibbons (Keys), Steve Walwyn (Guitar), Kevin Morris (Drums) and Mike (or Micky) Steed on bass. Mike performed at the very first Memorial with Dean Kennedy, Gypie Mayo and Big Figure in 1994. Who is he? He used to work at the Dr Feelgood Music Bar with Kim and Dean but has trimmed his hair and waistline since - apparently attributed to married life! This bunch of players performed a sandwich of instrumentals - the bread being old Meteors tunes and the jam being the middle tune "Freddie's Footsteps". A great opening act before the return of old friend of the Feelgoods Larry Wallis on miniature guitar with old Redbirds partner Phil Mitchell (Bass) and old Feelgood Big Figure (Drums). The use of the term "old" has nothing to do with age but relating to measurement of time (of course). They had to do some of the classics that Larry wrote so "Going Some Place Else" and "As Long As The Price Is Right" seemed the natural choice. It reminded me what great songs Larry did write - let's have some more! They closed with an absolute storming version of "Police Car" THE Larry Wallis Stiff Record masterpiece made even more spectacular by Phil really playing that bass as if there was no tomorrow. He was really enjoying himself and it showed. Believe it or not the Figure did not even know the song until they were leaving the dressing room and Larry told them what they were playing and consoled him with "you'll manage Figure". Larry did help him by having a long introduction to the song to give him chance to get into the beat etc. As always at the memorials the Feelgoods come on early, so Pete Gage, Steve, Phil and Kevin performed a short set which included "I Can Tell", "If My Baby Quit Me", "She Does It Right", "Down By The Jetty Blues" and closing with "Tanqueray" featuring Ian Gibbons. I apologise in advance for repeating myself but can anyone argue that Steve Walwyn is not the best guitarist around - just when you think he can't get any better he plays "DBTJB" with even more finesse and brilliance. Next up was Two Timers an economical duo which can sound like a trio/quartet and since the last time Sara had aquired another new instrument - a cymbol (Ufip of course courtesy of Kevin). This meant their range of "instruments" included Gordon's acoustic and electric guitars, harmonicas, tambourine, snare drum, bass drum cunningly disguised as a suitcase, and a very powerful voice belonging to Sarah James. They played for about 30 minutes mainly new material from their next CD but a couple of Feelgood classics in memory of Lee namely "Chequebook" and "I Don't Mind" before ending their spot with "Slippin' And Slidin'". The new CD will not be on Grand Records but details can be found on Gabi's website (Note by Gabi: Check out the Two Timers Official Website to stay up-to-date.) and writing to Two Timers at Grand's office. A short break before the Kursaal Flyers who rattled through their hits such as "Pocket Money", "Speedway" and "Little Does She Know". It's always good to see this band again and doesn't Will Birch pull any punches when striking the drums. It's getting late by now so the running order was changed with Nine Below Zero (originally planning to close the night) coming on. Every band on the bill was expected to play a Feelgood number - NBZ played two albeit two from their regular set - "Checking On My Baby" and "Homework". The evening closed with a local band the Bullet Blues band with a Chicago blues feeling - oh they did "Down At The Doctors". Overall the gig was as usual a success but there were several comments made afterwards such as "no one did 'Milk & Alcohol' or 'Back In The Night'" and there were questions asked about the Bullet Blues Bands credentials sauch as "Were they appropriate". I can empathise with Feelgood fans who travelled many miles and would have liked to see more of the Feelgoods or bands with Feelgood links but let's remember all musicians played for no fee and some even turned down a paying gig to help raise money for SCENT and contribute to the annual show in memory of Lee Brilleaux.
As always book up for next year as soon as you can and keep a watchful eye on the website or "Feelin' Good" for the latest news about the Memorial for the year 2000.
John Butterfield - June 1999
(Editor of the Feelin' Good Newsletters)
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