Sunday, 12 September 2010

Oil City Confidential

The story of Dr Feelgood. I watched this film that was shown on BBC4 on Friday - if you are quick you can catch a repeat tonight again on BBC4 or via the iplayer no doubt.

Brilliant film. It charted the Canvey Island boys early lives, talked a lot about the culture and atmosphere on Canvey in the 60s and early 70s which made them what they were. It then charted the bands genesis and sadly the departure of Wilko Johnson - there was a little bit of time given to the imediate time after that with Gypie Mayo when they still had some chart success. But let us be honest Wilko and Lee Brilleaux (now I know where that name came from :-)) were Feelgood. Lee with his agressive vocals and stance and Wilko his mad man side man flinging himself around the stage on the end of the curly lead with his telecaster his weapon. The Big Figure and John B Sharpe were one of the greatest rhythm sections ever - just there on the beat and solid whilst the too loonies at the front went nuts.

It is a shame they parted company too early really. The Feelgoods were such an influential band - punk would probably not have been the same without them and really they should be considered up with the legendary bands of the past. But not to be. However Stupidity is frankly a stunning album - second in my live albums of all time to UFOs Strangers In The Night.

They still are going but without any originals but it was Lee's wish they continue after his far too early death.

Here they are at their best with Back In The Night - the first track I heard of them.

And here is Riot in Cell Block No 9 - one of the first things I learnt on the guitar!

Lastly You Shouldn't Call the Doctor - just watch Wilko on this... brilliantly manic!


  1. A great, great film. Blew me away when I first saw - at the power and pre-punk attitude of the band, but also as it's all set right on my doorstep. I grew up within spitting distance of Canvey (and still commute past it every day now). Benfleet Creek, The Kursal, Top Alex, Hadleigh Castle where some interviews are filmed are all part of my childhood. Lee's interviews take place in The Grand pub, Leigh - a venue luckily I played before it closed.

    PS grab yourself this bargain for £6 DVD and CD

  2. I can see why you like Dr F.
    Thanks for this enjoyable post.

    All the best, Boonie

  3. Mondo - indeed - of course the line from Wilko as he gazed out over the Thames estuary (delta :-)) and said "And over there is Kent... that was the promised land"... ROFL!!! I was here in the 70s pal - it was a shithole! Still is in many places although without the industry we once had just loads of business, enterprise and retail parks now.

  4. Yep, brilliant.
    Never before have I been so intrigued by a man in a dirty white suit. His life was way too short.

  5. If you're all buzzed up, it's worth picking up the DVD of OCC, as It's quite a bit longer than the version that BBC4 have aired a couple of times.

    Great film.