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Snippets of FEELIN' GOOD Issue 23/April 2001
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
welcome once more to the surgery that certainly doesn’t cure anybody but for once put the blues back into people’s lives. Since the “Naughty 2000” tour I have received many letters from people who had “lost the faith” in Dr Feelgood but after seeing the difference with Robert Kane they have returned to the surgery (born again Feelgooders). I suppose the great album “Chess Masters” and the hectic touring schedule probably had no effect on their decision. The really good news is that it will happen again this year although it will not be as many gigs but will be carefully selected ones. It will run without a day off from 12th November up to 22nd December and feature John Otway, Kursaal Flyers, Dr Feelgood and Canned Heat.
After the 2000 naughty tour the band relaxed before getting back in the swing of things. There was the Butlin’s weekends at Minehead and Skegness which I attended both and naturally enjoyed both. The quality of the bands booked were excellent and it was great to see members of the Information Service (some even went to both) and also to meet new people who hopefully I will see again at a Feelgood gig or similar weekend again. The next date I will be looking forward to is the Memorial on May 10th. I advertised the wrong price as being £10 as it hasn’t changed since the first one in 1994 but it is now £12.50 (still a bargain at the quality of musicianship and atmosphere created by fans from all over the world). It all goes to charity too.
Gabi continues to host the Feelgood web site www.drfeelgood.de and I thought it may be handy to let people who haven’t got computers know about the recent additions to the Feelgood pages. She has set up a special “Naughty Rhythms” section which contains a picture of all the acts plus reviews from several of the gigs. I placed one myself in the early days of the tour at Morecambe but on seeing the others I thought it would be absolutely great if there could be a review from EVERY single night of the tour!! Maybe you don’t feel you want to compile a full review so how about just a few sentences to let us know your opinions on the night you attended. It really would be unique to have lots of different fans views of their “naughty experience” so come on please send a written copy to me or e mail it to Gabi. I am also looking for any articles about the Naughty tour and even radio/TV interviews happened in the various local media. Gabi also has introduced a competition for fans to suggest possible tracks for the Feelgoods to record and include on the next studio album. I remember several fans wrote to the Information Service in the 1980’s to suggest tracks for “Primo” and some were selected. Dr Feelgood would like to hear what you would like to hear and there will be prizes of Feelgood memorabilia to win. There are even your suggestions on the site and a random selection is “Get out of Denver”, several ZZ Top tunes “Tush”, “La Grange”, the old Stones “Not Fade Away” and a surprise for me was a Prince song “Kiss”.
Thanks once again to all the contributors to this issue. We have news of two CDs from Finland thanks to Teppo Natilla, a review by Ian Fawkes, some comments by Steven Foster in reply to Ian’s last article in Feelin Good, news of related acts to Dr Feelgood and a new contributor in Christine Atkinson who gives a woman’s view of “Help me”.
Next issue will be out in July and already pencilled in are a transcript of one of the radio interviews the band did on the naughty tour, a lyric quiz and hopefully a “behind the scenes” diary of some of the naughty dates. I am as always looking for further articles so please drop me a line, or send an e mail to email@example.com or see me at the Memorial where I’m bound to be found at the bar in the afternoon and at the gig on the night.
on Feelin’ Good
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Kane and Able
Following on from Ian Fawkes's comments in the last issue I thought I'd put pen to paper in praise of Robert Kane and the album "Chess Masters".
Like Robert I've been a Feelgoods follower since seeing them on the Tyne Tees TV programme "The Geordie Scene" one Saturday morning in the mid seventies. I was lucky enough to meet Lee in the early eighties when we recorded an interview for my radio programme. We became friends. I was deeply saddened by his death and was privileged to be asked by EMI to compile the CD box set "Looking Back" in his memory.
Nobody will ever fill Lee's shoes but firstly Pete Gage and now Robert Kane have helped keep the Feelgood flag flying and I reckon the great man himself would applaud their efforts. After a promising restart the current day Dr. Feelgood with Pete on board ended up treading water. The impressive CD "On The Road Again" heightened expectations but for whatever reasons Mr. Gage, always a good ambassador for the cause, and the rest of the group parted company.
Step forward Robert Kane. What a breath of fresh air he is. Having cut his teeth with the Animals he's added a whole new dimension to the post-Brilleaux Feelgoods. At first I too wasn't sure his style was quite what the doctor ordered but I was won over at the "Chess Masters" CD launch at The Borderline in London. The album itself marked the beginning of an exciting new era for the group and was the best British blues CD of 2000 by a long way. It swings like I've never heard The Feelgoods swing before and apart from "Hoochie Coochie Man" the material is spot on. Steve Walwyn just gets better and better and I love the way he's adapted the Wilko sound on the wonderful rendition of "The Walk". That track would make a great single.
I see The Feelgoods are appearing at Colne this summer. I tell you something. The acts on the rest of the bill need to be at their best because Kevin, Phil, Robert and Steve will win many new friends. A lot of blues fans in the UK have doubted the group's blues credentials. That's always been a nonsense and "Chess Masters" captures the modern day Dr. Feelgood in peak condition. The icing on the cake at Colne would be The Feelgoods with a horn section. That would really get heads turning. With or without horns Dr. Feelgood have moved on. Let's not spoil our enjoyment by constantly comparing new with old.
Steven Foster - BBC Producer and Presenter and a huge Feelgoods fan!!
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A new section just looking at what some related acts are up to.
Mike Sanchez (External link to Gabi's Mike Sanchez WebSite & Mikes own Official Mike Sanchez WebSite) who used to be with the Big Town Playboys (External link to Gabi's Big Town Playboys Archive and WebSite & Official Big Town Playboys WebSite) with Steve Walwyn continues to play solo gigs, band gigs and is even doing some touring as part of Bill Wymans’ band around the UK in May.
He has just finished recording a great new rockin’ album full of everything from Rockabilly to Blues and R’n’B. More details on gigs and record news can be found at www.mikesanchez.co.uk. If you want to order or write to Mike you can do so at Mike Sanchez, PO Box 143, Kidderminster, Worcs, DY10 1YU, UK.
The Two Timers need no introduction to regular readers of “Feelin’ Good”. They are of course ex Feelgood guitarist Gordon Russell and the beautiful Sarah James. They appeared as special guests on the Status Quo tour in November/December and are now back on the road doing their full Two Timers show. They are also at Burnley Blues Festival on the same date as Mike Sanchez on April 16th. More gig details can be found on their website (External link to Gabi's Official Two Timers WebSite). They are also reviewing some of their live recordings with a view to putting out a live CD in the spring/summer. At present they have two studio CDs in “Two Timers” and “Aubrey Rex”. Check these guys out if they appear near you… ...you won’t be disappointed.
The very first Feelgood guitarist continues to play to a wide audience all over the place. His name is of course the legendary Wilko Johnson. He has his own band consiting of himself, Norman Watt-Roy on bass and Monti on drums. The three musicians originally met while playing with Ian Dury and the Blockheads. They tour all over and earlier they returned from their 11th successful tour of Japan. You can find out more on www.wilkojohnson.co.uk or send off for a copy of “Some kind of Hero” the official newsletter to S.K.O.H, 11 Darley Avenue, Farnworth, Bolton, Lancs, BL4 7RU. Please send stamped enclosed envelopes.
Another Southender who will be touring Japan in April/May is Steve Hooker before dates at Salisbury Swinging cat on 12th May and Stroud Prince of Wales on the 19th. Some European dates in France and the Netherlands will keep fans digging the ballroom twang supplied by Steve and the ST’s. Anyone wanting further news and details of the records available can contact 149 Lonsdale Road, Southend, SS2 4LP.
Another dose of Essex rocking but this time a lot faster can be found with Eddie and the Hot Rods (External link to Official Eddie & The Hot Rods WebSite) who are planning recording a live album this year and also supporting Dr Feelgood in Moscow before jetting off to the United States of America for a 6 week tour. What will Uncle Sam think? News of these and other happenings can be found on the link via the Feelgood web site or by writing to Hot Rods Music, 18 Rochford Way, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1QH, UK.
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1.) Feelgood fans will remember the CD “Out of Hours” recorded by Pete Gage in June1977. This CD came about following a radio special with good friend of Pete and the Feelgoods, Teppo Nattila who as well as former bass player with “Jolly B Goode” is a DJ on Radiomafia in Finland. The sound was so good in the radio studio in that January 2nd special live broadcast that Pete was asked to go back and record a whole CD which became “Out of Hours”. Teppo has kindly sent me a new CD called “bluespower!” which is tracks from the Radiomafia Roots evening sessions. The CD features many artistes but for relevance to Feelgood fans there are tracks from ex Feelgoods Pete Gage and Gordon Russell.
The two Gage tracks did not appear on his own solo CD so they are a collectors item here. Pete with just voice and piano plays two tracks “Sometimes I Wonder” and “Going Down Slow”. Gordon Russell and Sarah James (Two Timers) were also recorded before a live audience at Pedro’s Cantina, Helsinki on 6th September 1999. Wish I had a copy of the full broadcast but on this CD we’ve got “Red Hot” and the old Led Zeppelin standard “Whole Lotta Lot”. All in all there are 19 tracks on “bluespower” but the very last is a bonus with the spoken words of such famous blues persons as BB King, Bo Diddley, Wilson Pickett, John Mayall, Johnny Winters and even Mr Lee Brilleaux.
This CD is subtitled Volume 1 and a limited amount are available at £10 each (Info from April 2001).
2.) Doctor’s Order
Doctor’s Order (External link to Official Doctors Order WebSite) is a trio, whose recipe is naughty kind of rhythm‘n’blues and rock ‘n’ roll. They did their first gig in October 1998 in a private party and then Pete Gage was handling the vocal duties and harmonica as a special guest. Since then the band has toured all over Finland where they are based. Drummer MadMan Vaatainen and bass player/vocalist Teppo Nattila used to play with legendary Jolly B Good. They are joined by Arto Hamalainen on guitars and special guest on some tracks Ensio Takamaki on harmonica. This is their first CD which was recorded in 2 days in September 2000 and is titled “Doctors in Disguise” comprising of 11 own songs plus 3 covers. What have you got then? 14 songs and 42 minutes of naughty rhythm‘n’blues and mean rock‘n’roll that should be enjoyed daily and always very loudly!! So with this in mind I put it on and being a fan of Jolly B Goode was pleased to see there were similarities but this seemed a lot smoother than Jolly who were pretty raw and faster more like a hybrid of early Pirates/Dr Feelgood. Throughout the CD the influences of Dr Feelgood are apparent with even lyrics from Feelgood songs slotted inconspicuously within. “So it is” has a great harp opening and the mention to John Lee and the Mad Man Blues. “Drinkin Wine Spo-dee-o-dee” reminded me of an early Pirates gig, “You betrayed me baby” is their version of “Upset me baby” telling the tale of a woman who has uspet her man and now he doesn’t want to ever see her again. It features some great slide guitar work. “Telephone Operator” with Arto sounding like the Whirlwind himself and spot the hidden lyrics “see ya later alligator”. Teppo has been a friend of myself and the Feelgoods for a fair few years now so it is fitting that he has wrote a song called "The Guv’ner Himself - A Tribute to Lee Brilleaux” starting with the line “In 1975 I heard something that saved my life” going on to say “what a man, what a voice”. More reference to “the Wolfman calling out his name” before the surprise ending which did, I admit, make the hairs stand up at the back of my neck! The guitar playing on this track just sounds so much like Steve Walwyn. “Doctor’s Order Boogie” has an opening riff just like a track from the Feelgoods “Doctors Orders” and if I close my eyes it’s Gordon Russell. “Talkin ‘Bout You” the classic Chess Master but in my ears I prefer the musical arrangement of this version better than the Feelgoods. It just rocks and rocks and rocks. “The Meanest of the Mamma’s” is a bluesy tune and “Red Shoes” is back to Lew Lewis before the longest track at just under 5 minutes “Can’t be satisfied”.
Anyone wanting a copy it’s £10 to DocOrder Records, Aleksis Kivenkatu 4-8 D84, 00500 Helsinki, Finland (Info from April 2001).
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Michael Straker, 51 Long Acre, Fryerns, Basildon, Essex SS14 2LW, UK asks:
"Where can I get hold of a copy of the 1970’s 7 inch single “She does it right”?"
Dave Cox, 13 Alexandra Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham, UK asks:
"I have a very wobbly and crackly video recording of a “Meltdown” concert in the mid to late 80’s with Gordon Russell on guitar. Do you know of anywhere I could get a decent copy?"
Any genuine Feelgood fan is welcome to use the “Open Surgery” page to find Feelgood stuff so if you can help Michael or Dave, drop them a line.
PARTS OF THIS ISSUE
Winding Wheel, Chesterfield, Oct. 19 2000 to the Naughty Rhythms 2000 Page
Go to Newsletter Issue 24/July 2001
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