Friday, January 2, 2015

down by the jetty

Dr. Feelgood took their roots rock revivalism all through the city and into the studio for this tumultuous takeoff.  The group was formed in Canvey Island in Essex by teenage friends Lee Collinson, Chris White, and John Sparkes.  They cut their teeth playing outside of local clubs and, later, inside of them.  White went to drama school and changed his name to Chris Fenwick, while Collinson and Sparkes carried on with The Wild Bunch (aka The Pigboy Charlie Band) which kept changing members until they invited  John "Wilko" Wilkinson to join.  They renamed themselves Dr. Feelgood after the song recorded by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates in 1964.  John Martin (aka "The Big Figure") joined the group and old pal "Whitey" Fenwick set them up with a tour of Holland, after which Collinson changed his name to Lee Brilleaux and Wilkinson took on the moniker of Wilko Johnson.  

Heinz Burt from The Tornados invited the band to be his backing band on a short revival tour that included an appearance alongside Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley and MC5 at the Wembley Rock'n'Roll Festival in 1972.   Dr. Feelgood returned to the local circuit and became involved in the emerging Pub Rock scene, making a name for themselves with their raucous sound and stage presence.  They signed a deal with United Artists and recorded their debut album with producer Vic Maile.  'Down by the Jetty' features Lee Brilleaux on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and slide guitar;  Wilko Johnson on guitar, piano, and vocals;   John B. Sparks on bass guitar;  and  The Big Figure on drums;   with Bob Andrews and Brinsley Schwarz playing saxophone on the live recording of "Bonie Maronie"/"Tequila".  

Johnson looks back:  "People (the media) portrayed Pub Rock as a kind of music, when in fact it was really just the venues that housed a lot of really diverse and interesting music.  I mean there was a really good scene in the pubs in London with established musicians playing in different scenes. It was an excellent situation as people were coming to the gigs just for the music. But Pub Rock wasn't a kind of music a such, 'cos there was diversity, there was punk, rock, r&b reggae, country and some really off the wall bands like Kilburn & the High Roads and us of course...And that was the way I wanted the album to be recorded, live! But when we came to make the record multi tracking was well established.  When you think back, 'Sgt Pepper' was only recorded on a 4 track and when we started recording the norm was for 16 tracks or even 32 tracks. So the normal way then was to start with the drums and then the bass would go in and then the guitarist would do something like 10 different guitar tracks. It was all done bit by bit and I hated that.  I thought about the records I loved and the way they were recorded and weren't done like that. My idea was that the band was the music and it should be right in front of you, one guitar, one bass etc.  I mean I didn't know anything about recording techniques really, but I knew what I wanted which was to set the band up, no overdubs and do it all in one go, bam! My view was if you couldn't nail it in 2 or 3 takes don't bother. But my point of view caused a lot of trouble at the time."

live on UK television in 1975

'Down by the Jetty' 
full album:!/album/Down+By+The+Jetty+Collectors+Edition+Disc+1/5633400

Dr. Feelgood - Down By The Jetty [Entire Album] by feelgooduploader

All tracks composed by Wilko Johnson; except where indicated

"She Does It Right" - 3:25
"Boom Boom" (John Lee Hooker) - 2:45
"The More I Give" - 3:27
"Roxette" - 2:58
"One Weekend" - 2:17
"That Ain't the Way to Behave" - 3:58
"I Don't Mind" - 2:37
"Twenty Yards Behind" - 2:13
"Keep It Out of Sight" - 3:02
"All Through the City" - 3:04
"Cheque Book" (Mickey Jupp) - 4:08
"Oyeh!" (Mick Green) - 2:32
"Bony Moronie" / "Tequila" (Larry Williams) / (Danny Flores) -  4:50

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