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FEELIN' GOOD Newsletter Issue 29/Oct. 2002
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
Dr. Feelgood Information Service
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The last newsletter of the year and as usual dates of the Feelgoods autumn UK tour which is a return to the traditional Feelgood tour commencing on the 21st November visiting some old favourites but also some new towns and venues. It's been a busy year with Dr Feelgoods making welcome returns to many countries across the world including a return to Japan. Prior to the naughty tour in 2000 the band played some selected dates with The Hamsters and John Otway to get a feel for it. This year at Ipswich they will be playing an acoustic and electric set following on from an experience in Norway. earlier this year. If this is successful the concept may be played in other areas in 2003.
Grand Records having achieved their aim of releasing all the Feelgood vinyl albums on CD are now concentrating on projects such as compilations and new stuff. This issue gives news of two new compilations. Firstly as a sequel to Grand 22 "Live at the BBC 1974-1975" and Grand 24 "BBC Sessions 1973-1978" comes a CD version of tracks from the Live "In Concert" series.
Secondly Grand Records thought it apt to celebrate the great guitarists of Dr Feelgood past and present by releasing the "Finely Tuned". Both CDs will be released on 14th October.
Regular readers of "Feelin Good" will recall some issues ago the mention of a live CD featuring Robert. Since then plans have progressed to include the recording of various shows on the Autumn UK tour (although which ones are not known at this time).
I can confirm a couple planned at the end of January 2003, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st January at the Rock Bar (formerly the Rock Garden), Easington, County Durham.
A limited number of tickets for the Rock Bar shows are available for members of the Information Service before the venue advertises the shows to the general public. Tickets will be £8 each night and can be ordered by sending a cheque (paid to John Butterfield) and stamped addressed envelope along with phone number/email address to the usual box number. I will then enter names on a list and send the tickets when printed (likely to be December). It is important to order now but if you can't send a cheque right now, that is okay and I will still enter you on the list but we do need payment by the end of November otherwise the venue will have the right to sell the tickets.
It is worth mentioning at this point that there is no guarantee that any recording will appear on a future CD due to numerous factors beyond the Feelgood's control.
The venue is also seeking out suitable accommodation for travelling fans so anyone wanting more information on this should request details when ordering the tickets.
Anyone planning to visit Butlins for the "Festival of Rock and Blues" should be aware that Dr Feelgood are playing on Saturday 1st February.
Dr Feelgood have always been very much a people's band in that many fans all over the world are accustomed to not only seeing the band live but also meeting them (usually in the bar), before or after the gig. As the Information Service is for fans "Feelin Good" has always welcomed fans comments, articles etc - sorry I can't meet everyone for a drink though!!! This issue, therefore, sees what hopefully will be a series of new features wrote by fans.
The first one is an idea from Ian Fawkes (who I have managed to have several drinks with him in the Burton area). Ian has been a member of the Information Service for as long as I can remember and is the singer with Route 66 (a very fine R&B band who have supported the Feelgoods severaI times). He suggested a feature called "On the Couch" where fans can ask one of the Feelgoods a series of questions and the answers are printed here. A gem of an idea and he picked Steve to be the first "patient" to be "On the Couch". For future issues it would be great if fans can either select up to six questions aimed at one particular Feelgood, send them to me via post or e mail and I will get the answers to include in a future issue.
The second idea came from me and was probably subconciously started off by Ian as when he told me about "On the Couch" it brought back personal memories of when I had met Ian whilst on the road with Dr Feelgood. This in turn led to me thinking about all the times they have played in my local area which obviously have some added memories to just the actual gig. I then thought it would be great if fans from different areas would be willing to share their memories with everyone else. Who could start the ball rolling? Well I remembered Steve Foster compering a festival that Feelgood appeared at in Mildenhall in the 1980's and remembered taking Robert to the gig that celebrated Steve's 40th birthday.. As there will be a special gig in Ipswich this tour I thought it would be logical to ask him to kick off. This item I have called "Doctor on Call" appears later in the issue (see below). Once again anyone else is encouraged to share their Feelgood tales by posting or e mailing to myself.
The Butlin's Festival of Rock & Blues weekend seems to be missing many of the Southend acts such as Eddie & Hot Rods, Wilko, Steve Hooker and also mates Nine Below Zero, John Otway etc but sees the return of the Blues Band, The Hamsters etc.
Next years "Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial" will be on Friday 9th May. More details in the next issue of "Feelin Good" due the first week in January (2003).
I have changed by e mail address to email@example.com so please update your address books.
Until next time - Keep on Feelin Good
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Doctor on Call
Ipswich's Feelgood Factor
Very soon Dr. Feelgood will be performing their first unplugged gig in the UK. They've chosen Ipswich which has long been one of their favourite places to play. On Thursday 21st November they'll be performing an acoustic set followed by an electric one at The New Wolsey Theatre. Compere at the show will be Stephen Foster who in 1995 compiled the Dr. Feelgood box set "Looking Back" and more recently put together the two BBC compilations. At the time of writing he's working on two more CDs...."Finely Tuned -The Dr. Feelgood Guitar Album" and "Down At The BBC 1977/78". Stephen's association with the group goes back to the early eighties. He's been looking back at the history of Dr. Feelgood in Ipswich.
These days it would be hard to imagine a Dr. Feelgood UK tour without a date in my home town but in the seventies and early eighties visits to the Suffolk capital were few and far between. I'd not long left school when The Feelgoods played at The Gaumont Theatre. That was in the Spring of 1977 and the place would have been packed had it not have been for the Wilko factor. His shock departure hit ticket sales but those of us who kept the faith were rewarded with a lively set featuring the then unknown Gypie Mayo.
The people of Ipswich had to wait another eight years for the band's next visit. By now I'd landed my dream job in radio. One of my earliest interviews was with Lee Brilleaux at his home in Leigh-on-Sea. We met up at his local - the legendary Grand Hotel - and over a pint we mulled over the fact that the group hadn't performed in Ipswich for many years. On my way home I decided to put that right and in March 1985 Lee, Gordon, Kevin and Phil played at The Suffolk College in a show I promoted. It went so well that Ipswich became one of Dr. Feelgood's regular places to play selling out The Corn Exchange every Christmas until Lee's illness forced the band off the road. Before each show I'd meet up with Lee for a chat and a beer at a local hostelry. Prior to what turned out to be his final Ipswich appearance I took Lee and his wife Shirley to a pub round the corner from the venue and no word of a lie Lee bought every Feelgood fan in the place a drink. He was, of course, great company and I think many people were surprised just how friendly he was. He cut a menacing figure on stage but away from the spotlight he was the perfect gentleman who is sorely missed.
After Lee's death it was difficult to contemplate Dr. Feelgood without him. After much soul searching Kevin, Phil and Steve decided to keep the flag flying and I had the pleasure of promoting one of the first gigs with Pete Gage on board. It was at the Lion's Den, a somewhat smaller venue than The Corn Exchange but one ideally suited to the band. Pete was no stranger to Ipswich having worked as a nurse there in the eighties. Before the show Pete bumped into many old friends in a nearby bar. They included former colleague and big Dr. Feelgood fan John Goodchild. John was surprised to see Pete and asked him what he was doing back in Ipswich. "I'm in the band" replied Pete!!
The next Dr. Feelgood show in Ipswich was back at the Suffolk College when they were joined on stage by ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor. The following year it was a return to The Corn Exchange to share the bill with Nine Below Zero and special guests Two Timers. The place was packed and was undoubtedly the most successful Feelgoods gig I've promoted in Ipswich.
In 1999 I celebrated my 40th birthday and did so in style with Dr. Feelgood providing the live music. My 150 guests at The Manor Ballroom thought Christmas had come early. It was one of Robert Kane's first outings with the band and it was clear from the outset that he was the man to help take the band forward and ensure the group's continuing success. A fine singer and frontman and a bloody nice chap into the bargain.
So, after more gigs at the Corn Exchange, it's over to the all seated New Wolsey Theatre for an unplugged set. Listeners to my weekly blues show on BBC Radio Suffolk already know what to expect. When "Chess Masters" came out the band recorded an acoustic session for the programme and last December The Feelgoods came back for more only this time they were joined by Canned Heat to grace the airwaves with joint versions of "Back In the Night" and "Let's Work Together".
There's always a warm welcome for Dr. Feelgood in Ipswich.
Following parts of this newsletter have been added to other sections of this website:
thru' the Years - Biographies page
CD (P)Review Down at the BBC - In Concert 1977-78 - Albums page
CD (P)Review Finely Tuned - The Guitar Album - Albums page
On the Couch with Steve Walwyn - Interviews page
From "I Can Tell" to "Ice" - Feelgood Dick'n'Arry
to Newsletter Issue 30/January 2003
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