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Snippets of FEELIN' GOOD Issue 24/July 2001
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
Firstly thanks to the contributors to this Feelin Good (John Rigg for the cover photo etc), but I have had to produce a condensed version in order to ensure a speedy delivery. I intend to add the extras to a special "Naughty 2001" Feelin Good due out in October so watch out for a bumper newsletter.
The Memorial as usual was well attended and it was great to meet up with old friends again. The gig itself I did not write down details to review so anyone who has done so please can you send it to me for a future article. I do remember how Wilko turned up to play with The Big Figure, Phil Mitchell and Steve Walwyn for several songs. Their "Back in the Night" version was different as Steve had to play in a different key (G) to accompany Wilko's vocals. The Kursaals showed gave everyone a taster for their "Naughty" set later this year but unfortunately Will Birch and Vic Collins are unable to commit themselves to the 40 date tour. Eddie and the Hot Rods guitarist ensured the gig made the front page of the "Southend Echo" when Gary Loker crashed off the stage resulting in a trip to hospital and a broken leg. We all wish Gary a speedy recovery. Warren Kennedy jumped on stage to allow the Rods to perform their set whilst attention was given to Gary at the side of the stage. The Feelgoods had other guests apart from Wilko namely Carl from the Flyovers with "Take a Tip" and Mr Canvey Island Dean Kennedy with "One More Shot" and Richard Holgarth who will be back with John Otway on the naughty tour. All in all a great night but let's hear how you found it if you were there!!
The next day we drove off to Portsmouth for a gig on the P&O ferry to Cherbourg. The ferry itself was geared up for stag and hen night parties but the Feelgoods did their bit and then hit the bar to take advantage of double gin and tonics at special prices. In fact I think even Johnny Green was seen to buy a few! There were several fans aboard who has also attended the Memorial. A hot Saturday morning and we were driving for 5 hours to Brittany where a gig near Brest took place. This gig is memorable for two reasons; firstly Robert fell off stage due to someone moving the cabinet he had been standing on prior to the encore but also the dressing room conversation where it was confirmed that Dr Feelgood will be recording their next CD later this year. Will the CD be different to "Chess Masters"? Yes as it will contain some Feelgood classics they play in their live set, some songs suggested by fans and also some new songs wrote by or for Dr Feelgood. It will also have the Feelgood factor provided by a live audience. No, it is not a live album but will possibly be recorded at The Grand Hotel, Leigh on Sea with a small audience of specially invited Feelgood fans who will hopefully ensure the Feelgoods new CD sounds as live as it can be without the problems of live concert recordings. There are also plans to invite ex Feelgood personnel to play on some tracks but no guarantees!! It will surely be a chance to take part in a chapter of Feelgood history and the great news is that Kevin has asked me to invite members of the Information Service so that means YOU!! Obviously this is a very limited offer so if you are interested contact me as soon as possible as there is a limit to how many people can attend. When the dates are known I'll be in touch again if you've contacted me [Email John Butterfield at email@example.com].
Alan Reid sent an e-mail to me with some snippets for "Feelin Good". They are: First up TV soundtrack's - the 'Lock stock and two smoking' etc CD has "No Mo Do Yakamo" on it. Whilst the 'Grimley's' CD contains "Milk and Alcohol" (it was set in the 70's after all). Any more articles etc can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org [Please send also a copy to Gabi!].
This issue features the dates for the sequel to the Naughty Rhythms tour starring John Otway, Kurssal Flyers, Dr Feelgood and Canned Heat. With 40 dates in the UK planned they are sure to hit a town near you. It is advisable to book your tickets early.
It will be sometime before the next Feelgood CD will be relaesed, but in the meantime why not send off for the brand new Two Timers CD "Lucky Dip". Billed as the next best thing to seeing them live, it's a collection of 13 live tracks. Whilst appearing as very special guests on the Status Quo tour last year, Francis Rossi suggested to them they cover the Quo song "Gerdundula" which they have duly done so. You can order a copy of "Lucky Dip" from Credo Records, PO Box 58, Crowborough, TN6 2ZT, UK by cheques for £11.5o (UK), £18 (Europe for equivalent). Orders now being taken - just mention the Dr Feelgood Information Servive when ordering. [Note by Gabi: Visit the Official Two Timers WebSite]
Before I go, Gary Loker has asked me to say thank you to all the well wishers who've asked about his health since the Memorial accident, Gabi and myself have had over 50 e-mails sent! Apparently he'll be up and about in a month or so after he broke his tibula in 2 places and his tibia in 1. Whilst Gary's not around, Richard Holgarth is playing in the Rods.
The next issue of Feelin Good will be out in October so make sure you have your saes up to date.
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Naughty but nice!
I get many letters asking all sorts of questions about life on the road and each band member. Here is a look at some of the days spent on the road during the Naughty 2000 tour exposing the seedy glamorous side of being in Britains Premier R & B band Dr Feelgood.
Oct 28th - More than three weeks into the tour and all teething problems sorted out. All venues were booked by John Hessenthaler but accommodation was booked by each band. Dr Feelgood, Eddie/Rods, John Otway tended to stay at the same places preferably those with a bar. The travel arrangements varied but usually it was the two guys with the PA (The tour used the same PA/Crew throughout as it was felt that it would be easier for regular guys to produce the correct sound for each band at different theatres along the way instead of using local Pas). They travelled in their own van as they needed to be at each venue first. The Hamsters and The Feelgoods had their own vans although Steve sometimes took his car and I took my car. John Otway & Richard hitched a lift in the Hot Rods Space Cruiser which practically fell to bits during the tour! The hotel at Morecambe was only 5 minutes walk from the venue, a converted railway station called "The Platform" so no one needed to drive tonight. It had a bar too so some time was spent there in the afternoon before going to the gig and then checking out the pub next door. After the gig we all stayed up till about 3am having joined in a hen party at the hotel (think it was the manageress that was getting married). It was great just to have a few drinks in front of a real log fire whilst the storms that were thrashing England at the time raged on outside.
Oct 29th - As I mentioned in a review I did for the website, Dipster and I didn't take advantage of an extra hours kip in bed due to British Summertime ending but at least we got extra breakfast as I had another one when everyone else had surfaced. Robert travelled with me today as Robert was taking advantage of having the next day off and managing to go home that night in my car. We leisurely drove to Peterborough stopping off at the usual pit stop McDonalds for a cup of coffee (Robert drinks black coffee and finds that all McDonalds taste the same and are reasonable priced!! A plug for McDonalds there). The theatre itself was completely different from last nights as there were fixed seats and a dance floor. It was a good audience and a good gig and then it was into the cold wet night for a 4 hour drive to Sunderland stopping off at York for a much needed cuppa though.
November 6th - Billingham Forum, a local gig for me and the show tonight did not feature The Hamsters due to Barry suffering from some illness. We called at the Wok & Bucket to sample some real ale from the Feelgood Brewery as detailed in Issue 22. The gig itself went down really well with all acts being able to perform practically a full set to cover for the Hamsters absence. At the end of the Feelgoods spot Steve threw his guitar up into the air and could only watch as it flew across the stage towards Phil who managed to duck out of the way as the guitar crashed onto the stage (oops). The encore saw all three bands doing "Born to be Wild". Otway asked me to video it so I did and it was just madness to follow through the camera lens.
November 10th - picked Robert up at his house before a drive to Hull. We were supposed to arrive by 2pm so Radio Newcastle could interview Robert at the BBC studios before the whole band were due to play a few acoustic numbers live at 3pm. There were evil forces at work attempting to sabotage our plans though as floods, road works, diversions and the lack of a map and failure to understand the one way system on which Radio Humberside was just behind battled with us. At 2pm we knew the studio was near but could not find it so Radio Newcastle telephoned Robert on his mobile and I pulled over and the interview was conducted there and then. If you have ever heard someone talk to someone on the phone you will appreciate it is strange trying to figure out what the conversation is about. Anyone out there got a copy of the Interview?? I'd love one if you have. We managed to get to the studios at 5 minutes to 3 and Robert dashed in, was given a cup of coffee and straight into the interview and first song. Next stop it was the City Hall where the band were playing. A lovely building but far too large for the Naughty Tour and it had to start at 7.30pm as the venue had to close by 11pm. This meant poor John Otway had about 20/30 people in a venue with a capacity of 1600. It started to fill up later but nowhere near enough to create a feelgood atmosphere. No surprises that Hull City Hall will not be on the 2001 tour. Hull by the way was Roberts UK debut with Dr Feelgood in 1999. Once more after the show I drove off into the night and back to Sunderland then to my own bed before dawn.
November 11th - the van had also drove to St Trinians in North Yorkshire home of Jeffrey (seen on the merchandise for most of the naughty tour) so I had arranged to pick Phil up in the morning and go to Carlisle FC to see them host Southend United. As always happens I have to get the tickets up north so Phil doesn't have to speak and give away the secret that he comes from the South! Phil and I then went to Peterlee Leisure via Sunderland to pick Robert up. The Leisure Centre was a much better venue absolutely packed and a large stage with seated tables on a very large dance floor. The dressing rooms were close to our own bar too and the staff looked after us handsomely. The Hot Rods dressing room doubled up as a playgroup so Dipster had fun trying out the tricycles. Otway told us that he gets through 8 shirt buttons a night so the tour would see him losing over 500 buttons leading Barry Masters demonstrating his mathematical skill of reciting pi. These rock stars do have some strange conversations. After the show a party was held in the bar before going back home. November 12th - the car now knows the way to Roberts by itself as I collected him and off we went back past Hull towards Newark. The Palace Theatre was a lovely place but no dance floor and the seats were practically touching the stage but the acoustics etc were brilliant. The dressing rooms were below the stage and I remember there were very low beams and door frames which caused problems for the giants of the tour Dipster and Barry Martin. The bar did not sell Guinness though so most of the bands hit the pub nearby and paid regular trips back there throughout the night. A long drive back home after dropping Robert off as the 13th was a gig free day.
December 7th - Newcastle Opera House. Two memorable things about this gig. Before the gig started Robert had threatened to put a Sunderland Football Shirt onstage but the rest of the band thought they'd talked him out of it. Robert showed his mischevious side by coming back after the encore for the Feelgood bow indeed wearing the dreaded red and white shirt. The cheers suddenly turned to boos and a terrace type chanting from the boxes to the circle area. Newcastle are very passionate about their Football and Sunderland are classed as rivals. I asked Robert why he had done it and he just said he'd always wanted to but tonight gave him the chance. Let's see what happens on the 2001 Naughty tour when we hit Newcastle again. The other thing was my car water pump fell off taking several other parts with it.
December 8th - Panic stations as I struggled to find a garage to quickly repair the car in the morning as I was due to collect Robert as lunchtime. With minutes to go we soon found ourselves travelling back down the road towards one of my favourite gigs that I hold memories from the 80's Norwich University. This gig was really packed and what a crowd. All the acts went down well and it is no surprise it is to be repeated this year.
December 9th - A change of passengers as Eddie and the Hot Rods had gone back home last night so John Otway and Richard needed a lift. As Phil and I were going to a football match Richard decided to come with us. Off we went stopping off for breakfast at a roadside caravan and had for the first time an egg and bacon sandwich (it was Duck eggs). We caught up with the van somewhere near Leeds and tried our hardest to catch up to it as it sped off into the distance. We texted Kevin to say "slow down" and he texted back "where are you?". We replied "behind you". The van slowed down and we drove past showing a poster we'd bought at a service station. Otway was videoing this episode and we probably had a lot of strange looks from other motorists. What was on the poster? Don't worry it wasn't pornographic but a clue I can give would be Carlisle which is our destination. We left the van though as they were going for lunch near Ripon whilst we were cutting across country to see Preston play. After parking up and walking across a muddy field we found out it was ticket only so no football for us today. Phil suggested we call in at Mo Withams who lives near Kendall. We last visited Mo over 10 years ago and stayed at his house then. Mo and his wife Kelly greeted us and told us what he's been doing etc. He and Kelly perform at clubs etc in the area but had just returned from a long spell in Saudi. He is a great guitarist and told us he was looking to join a band so to spread the word. He recounted the tale when he came home once to find a car outside his house containing Lee, Whitey, Sparko with a crate of beer. They told him Kelly wouldn't let them in. After some smooth talking Mo managed to get them into his house and they proceeded to ask him to join Dr Feelgood to replace Wilko Johnson. He didn't but he was the first choice. After a cup of tea we left for Carlisle and checked into a Travel Lodge and waited for the rest of the band to arrive. At the gig we met up with some fans who'd been to several other shows and some fans of Otways who I spent most of the gig in the bar with. They invited us to a nightclub after the gig where Bad Manners were playing. After the show we had to go back to the travel lodge and in the end only Maitland the Naughty stage manager and myself got a taxi back into the city centre. Bad Manners had finished their set but Buster Bloodvessel invited us to join him at the bar and the nightclub let us all stay in after it shut. Buster was daring anyone to slam tequilas and then he would shake their heads whilst they were sat on the bar stool and see how long they could stay seated. Not long and I didn't fancy 24 stone getting me in a headlock but some people did and promptly fell over. At 4am we got into Busters tour bus and went to someones house for a party. After many a drink and a damn good chat I left at 10am. Buster was still sat with a bottle of Carlsberg in his hand and they were due at Glasgow that night. WE however only had 70 miles to travel but first went into Carlisle where Phi and I found a pub showing a live football match and it gave us chance to get some late Xmas shopping. The gig on the 10th was Ulverstone Coronation Hall and I checked into a hotel as I knew I couldn't drive home tonight due to lack of sleep last night. The band were travelling half way down the county to break up their journey to the Isle of Wight. As usual we found a very welcoming pub where all the usual drinking crew of Feelgoods, Otway/Richard and the Hot Rods congregated near the bar and real coal fire. With 10 minutes to show time Otway was commandeered back to the venue to open the show. Once more a brilliant show and a surprising amount of people considering it was Sunday night.
December 20th - rejoined the tour at Bridlington Spa where the Rods had checked into the hotel and found the bar at 12 noon and by 7.30pm Barry and Dipster were slightly the worse for wear. Barry decided he didn't want to play the usual set and wanted to leave their anthem "Do anything you wanna do" but was talked out of this. He was even spotted down the front of the stage dancing during the Hamsters set!!
December 21st - Leeds Irish Centre another one of my favourites and this year it was absolutely packed. Getting there early in the afternoon saw myself, Otway/Richard and the Rods in the Irish Centre social club part before a trip to the usual takeaway for a curry. Phil and I went for a drink in the pub at the back which had sadly changed hands and wasn't as good as we remembered it. Back into the venue where it wasn't just packed it was real hot and sweaty. The band rocked and rocked and then it was time for me to say adios amigo and make my way back home having enjoyed the time on the Naughty tour and looking forward to doing it again later this year. It was great to meet many people (new and old fans), some of whom went to more than one show. In fact one couple went to a dozen shows!
Go to Newsletter Issue 25/October 2001
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