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FEELIN' GOOD Newsletter Issue 44/Sept. 2006
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
Dr. Feelgood Information Service
to supply the printed newsletter? Look here!
Intro: Repeat Prescription
The week before the last issue of fg was released I found myself making that familiar trip up the A19 to collect Robert and make a welcome return to Warrington (this time by kind invitation of the Warrington Blues Club). We made our customary refreshment stops to eat tarts and drink tea before arriving at Alford Hall just after 5pm shortly before the van turned up with Phil and Kevin who had picked up Steve en route from Southend. At 6pm Robert and I were checked into our hotel the Holiday Inn watching the end of FA Cup semi final between Chelsea and Liverpool. The rest of Dr Feelgood were returning home after the gig. Doors opened at 7.30pm so not a lot of time but Kevin and Phil came to the hotel to chauffeuer us to the gig and also to have a drink and catch up on stuff. One of this catch up was to talk about the special edition release of ''Down by the Jetty'' which managed to make fg 43 thanks to Andy C taking out the Dic 'n 'arry article ''M'' (this feature will appear in the January 2007 issue now). On the way to the gig I heard the new version of ''Milk and Alcohol'' and it sure does sound different!! Later in this issue will be full details of the other tracks featured on the new CD. The gig was a success but as I was selling the merchandise in the hall foyer I am unable to list the songs played (sorry!).
Steve Hutchinson also contacted me to tell me of a new band called the Rock Animals featuring three of the Animals II members, Steve Hutchinson, Martin Bland and the singer that replaced a certain Robert Kane - Tony Liddle. They are joined by ex Fist drummer Harry Hill (who used to own the Rock Garden where part of the ''Speedin' thru Europe'' CD was recorded) and ex Saxon members Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson. Steve tells me they are not an Animals tribute band but do up to date rocking versions of animals classics. They describe themselves as the Animals meet Saxon. I have not seen them yet but think they are worth checking out if in your area. Their web site is www.therockanimals.com [External link*].
Good news for Eddie and the Hot Rods' fans when not only a new CD ''Been there, done that…'' released but also the much awaited live DVD recorded August 2005 in London. Copies available at gigs from the 4th September (see Buddy Buddy Friends) or by mail order from www.eddieandthehotrods.com [External link*]. More news on the new CD later in this issue. A report was sent to me from a fg reader telling me that Mick Green (Honorary member of the registry of guitar tutors) has been teaching pupils in schools. Mick said in the article ''it is great to put something back after 40 years in the music industry. I love working with children, teaching them something that they really want to learn''. Given that Mick was a major influence on Wilko Johnson's choice of guitar playing methods I wonder whether he will meet any up and coming Wilko Johnsons! Maybe he asked Wilko for tips in how to teach pupils given that Wilko used to be a teacher before giving it up for Dr Feelgood!
Soon it was May and time for the 13th Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial. This year it formed part of a trio of gigs so once again its up the A19 to Robert's house at lunch time before the first gig at Kettering. Prior to leaving sunny Sunderland Robert played me a recording of a song he had wrote 16 years ago whilst in The Alligators. He had decided to give the track ''Tension'' to Eddie and the Hot Rods although he was going to suggest a different chorus and title to suit the Hot Rods sound. On the way out of Sunderland we stopped off at the newsagent to collect a copy of the ''Sunderland Echo'' as a preview of the following week's Sunderland gig was featured. The Kettering gig was the 900th gig with Robert as front man and harp player with Dr Feelgood. Immediately prior to the gig we found ourselves once again sitting in the van listening to the start of the Paul Jones radio show as he introduced the tracks recorded in the studios. I only managed to hear the opening track ''All through the City'' and would be very pleased if anyone who recorded the whole session could supply me a with a copy. After the gig we headed off to the Oyster Fleet to be our base for the next three nights. Arriving at just before 3am it was straight to bed to awaken refreshed ready for the Memorial gig.
Was a little too tired (and unfit) to tackle the walk but did manage to say hello to the walkers (a now annual event where Chris Fenwick leads a batch of Feelgood fans for a walk around Canvey taking in sites important to the Feelgood story). I arranged to meet the group at one of these sites, the Canvey Club which featured on the cover of ''Sneakin' Suspicion'' with a name change for the day to the Alibi Club. Amongst the walkers this year were Alan Finney, Graham Burgess, Veronique & Laurent Daurces, Christer Apelquist, Dave Bullock, Pekka Kunelius, Bob Parks, Bob McManus, Frankie Blair, Gordon McNeil, Dennis Lee, Malcolm Davis and Christopher Somerville who told me the BBC are doing a sequel to ''Coast'' and he will be writing the accompanying book. Apologies if I missed anyone out!
The rest of the afternoon was spent meeting, greeting and sharing a drink or two with the many Feelgood followers from far and wide. It was great to see everyone, some old friends and some new ones. As always the Memorial gives ex Feelgoods a chance to get together and it was great to see Big Figure all the way from France, Gordon Russell and Sarah and for the second year running Pete Gage who proudly showed me his bus pass. I was surprised but Pete did remind me it has been many years since he fronted Feelgood and he was in his fifties then! We had lots to catch up - he is still playing sometimes fronting the Pete Gage band and in July when his regular guitarist was unavailable Gypie Mayo guested at Frome. Another ex Feelgood is Wilko Johnson and I was asked if I could take him home to collect his amplifier. During the journey which took an hour return we chatted about lots of things including some personal stuff about when he parted from the Feelgoods and the death of Irene. One memory we shared was when after Lee's funeral Wilko got up on stage with Figure and Sparko to play about 20 minutes worth of songs at the Dr Feelgood Music Bar. I can still remember it as if it was yesterday and Wilko admitted to being quite emotional as he had not played with the Feelgoods for many years. He also confirmed who the songs ''Don't let your daddy know'' and ''20 yards behind'' were about as most of his songs were biographical. There is no room to list all the songs played at the Memorial other than to list the acts as Doctor's Orders (A Dutch tribute band), Eddie and the Hot Rods, various Feelgoods. Next issue will hopefully feature the songs along with the many different configurations of ex and current Feelgoods.
Eddie and the Hot Rods played a great set and Barry announced he was celebrating his 50th birthday. We had a good chat in the dressing room and afterwards Richard and I stayed up drinking till some unearthly hour along with some others who didn't have a home to go to (they were staying at the Oyster Fleet also). Pete Gage had very kindly donated a Mandala which he had specially painted to include a Feelgood theme (see cover pic [on printed issue]). This painting was auctioned for £750 - Chris Fenwick did a sterling job as auctioneer to ensure even more money was forwarded to Fairhavens SCENT. Thank you Pete for offering and providing the work of art. All the Western Mandalas are hand painted by Pete and based on original Tibetan ideas but without the religious or ritualistic meanings - could be described as pictures that are nice to look at! Pete will produce a Mandala and mount and frame it. There are 3 sizes 22'' x 15'' - £300 (+ £50 for frame and mount, if required), 15'' x 15'' - £200 (+ £40 for frame and mount, if required) and 9'' x 7'' - £100 (+ £30 for frame and mount, if required). Pete can be contacted on 07790 694235 for more details.
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Pete also features on the latest Doctor's Order CD ''The Doc Pack''. Thanks to Teppo Natilla whose band from Finland keeps music live and all CDs have some reference to the Guvner Lee Brilleaux. The sleeve notes on this one retells the story of when Lee's favourite Guild slide guitar was damaged seconds to walking on stage in the USA. Why does it tell this story? Well, the actual guitar not only appears on the sleeve notes but also on the CD on three tracks ''Tanqueray'', ''Down at the Drs'' and ''Live like a Lord''. A big thanks to Roland Jost for the notes, great pic of the guitar sharing it's case with a bottle of Tanqueray (what else) and Brilleaux Toby Jug. Listening to it on ''Live like a Lord'' did indeed give me goosebumps. The two tracks that Pete sings and plays harmonica on are ''Tanquray'' and ''Sweet Disposition''. Copies are £10 or 15 Euros including P&P. Check out www.doctorsorder.net [External link*].
The next day after the Memorial and it was off to the Big City for the Mean Fiddler gig where following the usual drink in the nearest pub the show commenced with Eddie and the Hot Rods, then Dr Feelgood and ending the night, Wilko Johnson. Each band had to play a shortened set due to time constraints. The Rods opened with an absolute blistering set of ''Interceptor'' (sounds like a great name for a beer Mr Rigg?), ''Teenage Depression'', ''Bad Time Again'', ''Why should I care?'', ''Life on the Line'', ''Look at Me'', ''The Power and the Glory'', ''Yeah, Yeah'', ''Quit this Town'', ''Do anything you wanna do'' and ''Born to be Wild''. Dr Feelgood followed with ''Riot in Cell Block number 9'', ''She's a Wind up'', ''Baby Jane'', ''Milk and Alcohol'', ''Don't start me talkin''', ''Jetty Blues'', ''99 and a half'', ''Down at the Drs'' and ''One More Shot''. Wilko closed the show but being honest it was hard for Wilko to follow the energy of Eddie and the Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood. Next year there will be a similar show following the Memorial but maybe there will only be Eddie and the Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood so that both bands can play their full sets. We all managed to get out by 10pm and back at the Oyster Fleet for last orders!
The next week it was three dates in a row up north but I could only make the one due to me being on a family holiday. The Sunderland one is reviewed later and I made it to the Richmond Cricket club where enough people were asking Dr Feelgood to play the Richmond Festival I hope a return is on the cards.
Managed to catch a few gigs over the summer so again a big hello to all the people I spoke to at those gigs.
The ''Down by the Jetty Collectors Edition'' was released in June as mentioned in the last issue - if anyone fancies reviewing it for inclusion in a future issue please feel free and either send it to me at the PO Box or e-mail.
The new album ''Repeat Prescription'' is planned to be released in the coming months and can be purchased at gigs on the UK tour. Review of this CD later in this issue.
One date on the UK tour is the St Albans Beer Festival on September 30th. Good news for Feelgood fans who like a drink of real ale - I wonder if there are many out there reading this? A one off special brew for the festival is a milk stout rather aptly named ''Milk and Alcohol''. Regular readers of fg will know I am a proud member of the Feelgood Brewery Support Club led by master brewer Mr John Rigg from Teesside who whilst has nothing to do with the brew ''Milk and Alcohol'' has brewed liquid excellencies such as ''Paradise'', ''Roxette'' and even a ''Brilleaux''. There is a rumour that the Rods may well be attending his bar when they appear in the North East next in order to sample his hospitality and excellent ales.
The good old Royal Mail have revised their pricing structure for letters etc so it is very important that people send the correct size envelope for fg. I have consulted with the Royal Mail who confirm that fg in a A5 envelope will be classed as a LETTER so will be the cheapest price. Please do not send A4 and above unless you put on extra stamps. People from outside the UK also need to use A5 envelopes from now on.
Next issue I am hoping to include a feature known as ''Open Surgery'' where people can write, e-mail questions to myself and I will ask whichever member of Dr Feelgood on your behalf printing the answers in ''Open Surgery''. This feature (just like ''Back in the Night'') will only work well with audience participation so please fire your questions at me.
It's time to say bye for now so a big Thanks for contributers to fg44... Andy Collinson for the design and printing, John Alderdice for the Wilkosongword, Alistair Robinson and ''Otis the Great'' for the gig reviews.
Issue 45 due in January and as always in the meantime
Keep on Feelin' Good
current address and e-mail address from John is available here
- please keep your address books up-to-date.]
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Late Than Never
CD-Review: Eddie & The Hot Rods - Been There, Done That
Barry Masters still keeping on keeping on but with a young band of Richard Holgarth (Otway's foil who has wrote several tracks for this CD), Dipster, Simon Bowley and Chris Taylor. A guest harmonica player was enlisted by the moniker of Robert ''the Molecatcher'' Venables.
I have been a fan of the Rods since the early days - yeah I've got the early Island singles and of course the ''Live at the Marquee'' where a nod and wink are given to Whitey and Lee Brilleaux. I, therefore, look forward to any new release by the band. One of my favourite new Hot Rods songs is the opener ''Why should I Care'' with the gentle sounds of guitar before a riff that leads into Barry singing ''Last night I dreamt I died…….''. Definitely no peace for the wicked when the rest of the band kick in and a chorus with Barry asking the title question. Having seen the Rods perform this Holgarth song a few times the audience tend to sing along with Barry a la ''Do anything you wanna do''.
''Go Drive It'' actually sounds similar to ''Do anything'' until the vocals come in. Most of the songs are originals and this one is by Dipster and Barry. ''Gotta give it up'' sounds like the Rods were influenced a little by our mutual friends the Hamsters with the ZZ Top style guitars and is the longest tune on the CD coming in at just under 6 minutes. It's the story of someone who enjoys life but has to face the consequences - I've never been the state this song describes (lol)!!!
Avid readers of fg will recall I said that a tune called ''Pete the Meat'' would be included on the new CD. Attendees of the Memorial may recall an instrumental where Barry left the lads thrash out a tune which was going to called ''Pete the Meat''. Was going to be? I hear you ask! The story is that Richard Holgarth came up with the tune and suggested it for the live set. It went down so well, this Holgarth compostion was recorded. The path to rock and roll heaven does not go smoothly though and at one gig a Hot Rod fan after saying how great the show was (that goes without saying!) they added that it was great to include a Whitesnake track!!! Whitesnake, the band led by ex Deep Purple singer David Coverdale, were obviously a band that Richard had heard in the old days of the 70's and the tune had been stored away in the portals of his mind only to reappear and be reincarnated as ''Pete the Meat''. So once the ''real'' title was identified the track listing was changed and so we have ''Belgian Tom's Hat-Trick''. Tip for the Rods - keep in the set when you play Redcar Bowl in Autumn as David Coverdale came from the area originally (he may even be there?). No problems with the next track ''Hole in the head'' a true Holgarth song with some excellent harmonica playing and Barry telling the story of how he stays cool.
A certain Phil Mitchell contributed a track ''You should have been there'' and this one is played live at regular gigs. Phil wrote the song some time ago and it didn't suit the Feelgood sound so he gave it to the Rods - not sure whether a pint or two changed hands first. Some great guitar work on this one and very solid drumming from Simon. ''All I want (is all I see)'' a Holgarth/Bowley composition and once again a catchy sing a long chorus. How many times have blokes thought they met the girl for them and went along with things they did or said? ''All this time'' is about this phenomena as people get on their bikes and leave saying they would never be back again. Guitar solo reminded me of Brian May from Queen.
''Really Happy Now'' makes good use of the two guitars of Chris Taylor and Richard Holgarth. It's also a new favourite of mine having heard it several times as part of the live set.
An autobiographical song maybe in ''Yeah, Yeah, Yeah'' before ''Look what she's doing'' about a girl sucking the life out of her guy. Yes another song about guys meeting the wrong girl, falling apart and looking for someone to give them lessons in how to find the right girl.
Some slow bluesy harp playing on ''Stop'' and some great vocals from Barry with backing vocals that don't sound out of place in this ballad. Like it, Boys!
No need to describe the closing tune as you will all have heard it before. It's Otway's favourite track ''Born to be Wild'' without Otway anywhere in sight. They always say start an album on a high and finish on a high. Eddie and The Hots Rods have done it right on this CD. Go out and get it now!!!!!!
PS: Credited on the CD for useful comments and feedback is Mr John Rigg (now where have I heard that name before?).
[Visit www.eddieandthehotrods.com - External link*]
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Live Review: 11.05.2006 - Dr. Feelgood, Quayside Exchange, Sunderland / UK
Dr Feelgood's Exchange gig marked a triumphant return to the Sunderland stage for frontman Robert Kane. The former lead singer with the Alligators gave an electrifying performance with the veteran R&B outfit. It was the first time I'd seen the band without founder and leader Lee Brilleaux, and I was very impressed with the way the Sunderland singer fills the post. He's a first-rate frontman - putting everything into every song, and his voice really is his instrument: he gets a great range of sounds out of it.
None of the original Feelgoods is in the current line-up, but the fans were not complaining. The band played the old favourites - Back In The Night, Milk And Alcohol, and Roxette among them - with the gritty conviction of the founders. The show also featured no-nonsense interpretations of R&B and rock'n'roll classics. Of the instrumentalists, guitarist Steve Walwyn was particularly impressive. He dazzled on his party piece - a long showcase for his blues technique, running through every trick in the book.
The Exchange wasn't exactly packed to the rafters, but there was still a creditable crowd which responded enthusistically throughout, calling the band back for three encores. This is the third big name gig on the trot at the Exchange. I hope it is not the last.
~ Alistair Robinson (Sunderland Echo)
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CD-Review: Dr Feelgood - Repeat Prescription
During the making of this CD Whitey [Chris Fenwick, manager of Dr Feelgood] told me people would either love it or hate it and wonder why some of the songs were re-recorded. Robert has always wanted to put his voice on the classics but didn't want it to be note for note hence the different versions in some cases. So what ya got here is not only the first studio versions of Robert, Steve, Phil and Kevin but some pretty dramatic changes in some of the songs Feelgood fans love.
Everyone should know that ''Milk & Alcohol'' was inspired during an alcohol fuelled trip to see John Lee Hooker when the Feelgoods were touring the USA so it makes sense that they record a new version in the style of the great man 'imself. The result is an opening riff that sounds like ''Mad Man Blues'' and Robert's haunting harp howling before he starts singing. Harp on Milk and Alcohol? Sounds okay and not out of place but can you get used to not hearing the familiar chorus of ''Got him on Milk & Alcohol''? You better as the famous lines don't appear until after 2 and a half minutes and only as a reprise. No guitar solo either? Plenty of harp which is really cool considering Robert could not play harp prior to joining Dr Feelgood. Yea I like it but perhaps the reprise could be shorter?
Johnny Green's favourite classic ''I Can Tell'' shows what a great drummer Kevin is as he hits those drums with vengeance. Not too different from the original as is the new recording of ''Baby Jane''. People who heard the Paul Jones studio recording will recognise ''All Through the City''. One thing I did notice is the way all the words are sang clearly but do miss the growling, gruffiness of Lee's original vocals. The guitar solo is very much ''The Whirlwind'' way rather than the Wilko Johnson style. Another Wilko song pretty much laid down the same style as the current Feelgood's live rendition of Johnny Green's favourite girl ''Roxette''. Close your eyes on this one and it could be Lee playing harp! Glad to hear the song have a proper ending rather than a fade out.
After several Wilko songs it has to be time for some Gypie era tunes with ''Lookin' Back'' and ''She's a Wind up''. A slow version of ''She Does It Right'' with some laid back guitar and jazzy vocals of Mr Kane. Brand new guitar solo which is very bluesy - like it, you should do! Johnny Green said he could even smooch to this version - any ladies wanting to take him up on this offer please send to the usual address.
What song would not sound right without slide guitar? It is ''Back in the Night'' and thankfully the slide is still there along with the steady rhythm section of Phil and Kevin. It is slightly slower than the live version and without the audience participation but worthy of a repeat prescription to capture Mr Kane on vocals. ''Take a Tip'' follows - another song to feature Johnny Green. Mickey Jupp did not like the Feelgood's version of his ''Down at the Dr's'' but maybe he will approve of this one with again a slower version with chorus sung in harmony, more harp, great fret work by Steve. No mention of ''8 bars of Piano'' on this track though so maybe Mickey won't approve 100percent.
Always a crowd pleaser for an encore is ''Route 66'' and nothing different about this recording except you can hear the names of the towns along that famous highway. Anyone who read Steve Foster's review of this CD which appeared on Gabi's website will recognise the last track as being the possible Dr Feelgood Xmas hit single? Recorded for the first time is Dr Feelgood playing Chuck Berry's ''Run, Run Rudolph'' with some boogie woogie piano (maybe Juppy will like this one?).
Hopefully fans will love this repeat prescription. Only way to find out is get a copy as soon as you can, listen to it more than once (some tracks may need to grow on you) and why not let me know your comments.
Wilko songword was added to the
Feelgood Puzzles page
Same happened to the Solution to the puzzle from issue 43
Not added was the live review from the Adur Festival, Shoreham/UK on 10. June 2006
to Newsletter Issue 45/January 2007
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