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DR FEELGOOD
REVIEW
9th LEE BRILLEAUX MEMORIAL 2002
 

 

Date: May 10th, 2002
Place: Oyster Fleet Hotel, Canvey Island, Essex
Event: The 9th Lee Brilleaux Memorial
Reporter: Gabi from Germany (your webmeister :o))

The ''starting to get famous'' Canvey Walk was repeated in the morning, again lead by Feelgood manager Chris Fenwick. 28 people were marching all along the Canvey seawall to explore the beauty of Oil City and its memorable Feelgood places. After the experience of last years walk I was glad ínstead to be in an aircraft on the way from Hannover to London at the same time, being a lousy walker...

The afternoon saw the pub of the Oysterfleet quickly been flooded by Feelgood fans and friends from everywhere. The U.K., Holland & Switzerland (''The Haakie Gang''), France, Germany, .... ''Dr Feelgood Newsletter Man'' John Butterfield didn't know whom to welcome at first, also me was delighted to meet many ''Feelgoodies'' again. It was nice to get the chance to ''put faces to email senders'' whom I've met this year for the first time. About 15+ fans took the chance to fetch a glimpse onto a recent Dr Feelgood show on video in room No.42 (with no additional charges by the Oysterfleet management for this inofficial performance, just kidding!). Kevin and Robert, who suddenly attended this private party, hardly could believe their eyes seeing a good bunch of international Feelgood maniacs crowded toe to toe in one small room!

After dinner I had a chat with ex-Feelgood tourmanager (and my favourite ''late-night ice-cream munching sessions in front of the telly while watching music videos'' partner) Dean Kennedy. Also a pleasure to meet again was ''Knight of the pen'' - Christopher Somerville, who introduced me to his wife. Afterwards in the dressing room I forced Johnny Guitar to sign various of my treasured Dr Feelgood items (this completed my collection of autographs of all Dr Feelgood members past and present. YEAH - YEAH - YEAH!!! I still can't believe my luck!). Finally I could talk to Larry Wallis (for unknown reasons I've always missed doing so at recent occasions) and received a free cd from him :o). Heard two of the tracks earlier that day and straight liked them. During the show I was crashing into Mark Salkeld to - like usual - have a good laugh with about old memories. A big big hug I shared with Dr Feelgood merchandiser Pete ''Baldrick'' Timms, whom I haven't seen for a long time. Some years ago we visited Stonehenge, using japanese language guides, pretty useless for us but they provided real fun! Kursaal's frontman (and best graphics designer I know) Paul Shuttleworth was available for a proper chat which I truly enjoyed, as it was an exchange of honest and wise words about the music biz. Of course, the ''souls of the Feelgood office'' were present too, which are Mark, Ann Adley (and husband Jerry) and manager Chris Fenwick. Surely I have forgotten to mention many people, sorry for this - my memory went lower with any additional input of alcohol containing liquids...

To list all the fans here is an impossible task, just to mention a few would be not fair, so I only want to say ''IT WAS NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!!''. One exception has to be made: A special thanks goes to Mark Fielder, who not only gave me a lift from London - Gatwick to Canvey but also was a true pleasure to meet in person (he was one of the first 10 people who emailed me after I opened the Dr Feelgood website in 1996!).

''Pink Fairy'' Larry Wallis opened the show to offer some well-known bits from the past as well as material from his brand new cd ''Death in the Guitarafternoon'' (a special feature on this album will follow), backed by his regular bass player Big George Webley and Dr Feelgood drummer Kevin. Definately worth to mention is Larry's excellent taste in fashion: He was wearing a black shirt with about 100 skulls holding roses between their teeth. Really cool!
John Crippen, aka ''Johnny Guitar'', well known from the Count Bishops, flew over with his pretty wife Debra (Deborah?) from Florida/U.S.A. to join Dr Feelgood for a jam. Regulars of the memorials will remember he was on stage at the 1st one, way back in 1994. How quick time flies by... He's a nice guy, by the way.
Expected to attend the show was The Big Figure, who now lives in France, unfortunately due to urgent family commitments he couldn't make it. Luckily his rhythm-section partner Sparko was prepared to keep up the flag, and joined the Feelgoods for quite a long time, which was highly appreciated especially by the many ''old'' fans. Good to see his injured fingers obviously don't make too much trouble anymore.
Dave Bronze took over the bass at some point, he also will produce and record the next album of Dr Feelgood, by the way.
As mentioned in the first announcement for this memorial, Gypie Mayo also wanted to return this year but was in California/U.S.A. doing recordings and several gigs with The Yardbirds (bad timing, Yardies ;-)). Also eager to come but unavailable was ''Playboy'' Mike Sanchez, he's busy touring the UK with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings currently. Well, I am quite sure both of them will play at a memorial some other time.
I have to admit, the person I've missed the most was Wilko, whom - how I believe - would have belonged to complete Lee's 50th birthday bash. Until the end I silently prayed, he would attend the show. Let's hope it was nothing serious which kept him away. Just for the record/statistics: No one of Eddie & The Hot Rods was there this year either. Maybe they still suffer from Gary's broken leg at last years memorial ;-)
Many of us Feelgood folks hoped that Lew Lewis would find his way to the Oysterfleet, unfortunately he didn't. It is amazing, how many people still think on him, after he hasn't released any record since ages. After the response to the message board I set up for him when he was in hospital last year, I stay impressed! Some rumour went he sits in a wheelchair now, which I hope it may stay only rumour! Last ''Lew news'' I heard via Wilko was, he has bought a harmonica and guitar to then disappear to some unknown place. Maybe he works on a new album, who knows what this inpredictable guy is up to next?!
Surprise guest was Gordon Russell, in these days duetting with the gorgeous Sarah James as the ''Two Timers''. Sarah didn't hit the stage though, saying ''noone wants to see a girl on stage tonight'' (wrong thought, I tend to say).
The place was packed and rocking, nevertheless.

Hard to believe, but when first publishing this report, I actually forgot to say something about the Feelgoods appearance! Only thing I have to offer as an excuse is the fact, that to me it is such natural and clear Dr Feelgood are the dam*ed best band on the planet, it didn't seem to need another discribtion. How wrong I was has shown an email I received just minutes after the report was on the net! It says: ''Liked your review but how about complimenting the guys on a fantastic gig?! My friend and I both thought Steve's playing was stupendous.''
It was. Yes, that guy is absolutely right with what he says, but also the rest of the band was great, weren't they! ''My'' Feelgoods, Steve Kevin Phil & Robert always ARE BRILLIANT, that's one of the reasons why I love them so much. In all the years I never saw one of above delivering a poor performance, no matter if a venue was packed or not. Many people wonder how Steve gets it managed to top himself again and again. This ''miracle'' probably is made possible because of the perfect combination of people in the band. They all are reliable, experienced and proper musicians who can trust each other. No egomaniacs there, that's what makes them so powerful. Like a cake made from the best ingrediences you can get. A good foundation, filling and topping. Each part of it tastes delicious on its own, but together it's perfect and it doesn't crumble when you bite it :o)
Since Robert is in the band I enjoy it even more (if that's possible at all), 'cause he has brought back the fun and good kind of crazyness which always was an important part of Dr Feelgood (until 1994, but I don't want to get ''political'' here...). Just let me add this: The past of Dr Feelgood will always stay a part of myself and I'll be grateful for all the memories until eternity. Even sad things bring you forward somehow, make your wiser - as long as you use any input in a positive way. What counts is the present, and I'm simply more than happy and pleased about & with the actual line-up. The ones who still enjoy to weep about this or that change in the bands line-up history may continue to stay stuck in the past - I only share tears about Lee.

Personally I want to speak out some extra THANK YOU's to:
The Feelgoods - Kevin, Phil, Robert, Steve - and Chris, for making my trip to Canvey and the following 2 Dr Feelgood shows possible and in this way to have provided the only therapy that always works on me (you already know that I .w. a. l. y.!!! (Now guess what that means... - If you can't get it, scroll down to the very end of this page. [NOTE: This is for Kevin, Phil, Robert, Steve and Chris ONLY!])
To John Butterfield for sharing the room with a woman who learned bitterly that beer and wine is a killing mixture (...).
To Kim Kennedy for offering accomodation and continuing demandless friendship (you're the coolest woman I know!).

Gabi - May 14th, 2002

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