Album Reviews: July 2006

 

Dr Feelgood - Down By The Jetty (EMI) 26/06/2006

N: My first encounter with Dr Feelgood must have been in 1979 whilst practising my weekly routine of tuning in to Radio One's Top 40 singles rundown. "Milk and Alcohol" was a tremendous tune, and truly worthy of its number nine placing. The years passed by, bnds came and went, but this had left its mark, so when some time in the nineties I was asked to review the band for whichever paper I was writing for at the time, I strolled along to meet these aging musicians, who put on what I seem to recall as a solid show in front of several hundred fans and newcomers alike. Now the final piece of the jigsaw slides into place as this album is unearthed by EMI for re-release.

T: MY first encounter with Dr. Feelgood was a very sordid one. At least he SAID he was a doctor...seriously though, don't forget that this band was going LONG before "Milk and Alcohol". If you listen to some of the stuff they did around 1975, you can almost hear an embryonic punk, soon to sweep the nations under the guidance of the Sex Pistols and The Damned. Although Dr Feelgood's roots were firmly implanted in to the Bluesy rock 'n' roll that was their trademark, there's no question that there was a kind of a punk ethic in their sound that keeps them sounding pretty fresh even now.

N: That being the case, I remember now, on talking with the band they recalled tales of their early years in Southend, the town MY family originated from, and I can't even remember if anything worthwhile was gleaned from what was talked about. But you can buy some great fresh fish and cockles from the old town. But returning to the matter in hand, this early document, filled with the musical pretensions of punk, was recorded at "Abbey Road", and was most reknowned for having a radical monoral sound - something not originally planned by the band, but with the passing of time, and time spent reworking this album, this reissued collectors' edition comes with both that original recording and a remastered stereo recording on twin discs, in addition to five bonus tracks, four of which were previously unreleased...

T: (yawns)

N: ...in addition to seven live bonus tracks. 8/10

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