Hello BTP readers and welcome again to another blog post! We are approaching 30,00 website views a massive amount for our website which is approaching 2 years old later this year! Over the next few months (until the start of July) we won’t be posting as many posts as we did last year due to myself and BTP Liam having exams and a lot of work to do however we will be doing at least 2 month for you. Things will be back to normal at July and we have some exciting plans for the east half term and also the 6 weeks that we have off before starting college/6th form.
Most adults will know who Dr Feelgood are and those that listen to the Castle View Radio (CVFM) would have heard me talking about them on Tuesday. Dr. Feelgood are a British pub rock band formed in 1971 originating from Canvey. Hailing from the island they are best known for early singles like “Back in the Night” and “Roxette”. Although their most commercially productive years were the early to mid 1970s. They continue to tour and record to this day with them coming to the Oysterfleet this weekend! The group’s original distinctively British R&B sound was centred on Wilko Johnson’s choppy guitar style.
Like many pub rock acts, Dr. Feelgood were known primarily for their high energy live performances, although studio albums like Down by the Jetty (1974) and Malpractice (1975) were also popular. Their breakthrough 1976 album, Stupidity, reached number one in the UK Albums Chart which was their only chart topper. But after the follow-up Sneakin’ Suspicion, Johnson left the group. He was replaced by John ‘Gypie’ Mayo. With Mayo, the band was never as popular as with Johnson. Down by the Jetty is a very iconic song by the group and a very interesting one for us! The album cover can be seen below with a Canvey Jetty in the background.
The band then suffered an almost career-finishing blow, when Brilleaux died of cancer on 7 April 1994 however their memory never died. Every year since Brilleaux’s death in a special concert, known as the Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial, is held on Canvey Island, where ex and current Feelgoods celebrate the music of Dr. Feelgood, and raise money for The Fair Havens Hospice in Westcliff-on-Sea. Fans attend from all over the globe, and the 17th event was held on 7 May 2010. Although still based in the UK, Dr. Feelgood continue to play across the world, with concerts in 2010 including, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Switzerland
A film by Julien Temple about the very early days of the band, Oil City Confidential, premiered at the London Film Festival on 22 October 2009, and received a standing ovation. Guest of honour was Lee Brilleaux’s mother Joan Collinson, along with his widow Shirley and children Kelly and Nick. All the surviving members of the original band were present along with manager Chris Fenwick. Reviewing the film for The Independent, Nick Hasted concluded: “Feelgood are remembered in rock history, if at all, as John the Baptists to punk’s messiahs”. On general release from 1 February 2010, the film has been critically well received, with Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian describing it as “ ..a vivid study of period, music and place”. The film was broadcast on BBC Four in April 2010, September 2010 and on 15 March 2013.
Wilko Johnson – An Inspiration
Wilko lives in Southend and has an interest in astronomy, painting and poetry. He married his childhood sweetheart Irene Knight when they were teenagers, and had a son, Simon. Johnson was widowed in 2004 when Irene died. Johnson was forced to cancel a show in November 2012 when he was rushed to hospital with an undisclosed illness. He was diagnosed in January 2013 as having untreatable pancreatic cancer, and has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy. On 25 January 2013, he gave an interview on BBC Radio 4 discussing his terminal cancer, and said that doctors have told him he has nine or ten months to live. He talked about his “farewell tour” of the UK set for March, and how his diagnosis has made him feel “vividly alive”.