“Down By The Jetty” by Dr. Feelgood - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1975Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

After more than 3 years of hard-slog ‘round the pub-circuit of the South East, things were beginning to happen for this Canvey Island quartet at the tail end of ’74. In November, “Roxette”, their first 45, was issued, serving notice that they were out to look back to the halcyon days of Rock n Roll, in particular the hard British R n B variant, with half-an-ear on the proto-punk / glam bands of the time. That debut single promised much inventiveness, mashing up Howlin Wolf’s “Down in the Bottom”, the Zombies “Time of the Season” with a curious brand of harmonica-led British Rhythm n Ska. By January ’75, their debut LP was in the shops – turns out it was a bullshit-free reclamation of the blues in rock, with the emphasis very much on the upbeat, coming on like a choppier, more aggressive, updated version of Canned Heat. At the time of release they were: Lee Brilleaux (22, lead vocals, guitar, harmonica); Wilko Johnson (27, guitar, piano, backing / lead vocals); John B. Sparks (21, bass guitar) and John ‘The Big Figure’ Martin (28, drums).

After a slow start which includes a fairly average rendition of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”, the album finally starts to heat up by the end of side 1, with the honky-tonk blues of “That Ain't The Way To Behave”, which puts me in mind of the Stones at Chess, and the fast-paced Diddley-beat of “I Don't Mind”, which sizzles with vitality. Flipping over, “Twenty Yards Behind” takes the rhythm n ska feel of their aforementioned debut single one step beyond and positively revels in the skinhead blue beat sound that would have surely went down a storm in the Hope and Anchor. It might not be gripping throughout, but these boys were on the right side of the fence, could play some, and, by all accounts, had an electrifying live presence. I’m not convinced they were the answer to rock’s ills in the mid-70s but at least they were havin’ a bleedin’ go.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:25] 5.7.png Dr. Feelgood - She Does It Right (Wilko Johnson) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A2 [02:45] 5.6.png Dr. Feelgood - Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A3 [03:27] 4.9.png Dr. Feelgood - The More I Give (Wilko Johnson) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A4 [02:58] 6.6.png Dr. Feelgood - Roxette (Wilko Johnson) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A5 [02:17] 5.2.png Dr. Feelgood - One Weekend (Wilko Johnson) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A6 [03:58] 7.4.png Dr. Feelgood - That Ain’t The Way To Behave (Wilko Johnson) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A7 [02:37] 7.0.png Dr. Feelgood - I Don’t Mind (Wilko Johnson) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B1 [02:13] 7.1.png Dr. Feelgood - Twenty Yards Behind (Wilko Johnson) Ska / Rocksteady
B2 [03:02] 6.0.png Dr. Feelgood - Keep It Out Of Sight (Wilko Johnson) New Wave
B3 [03:04] 5.8.png Dr. Feelgood - All Through The City (Wilko Johnson) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B4 [04:08] 6.2.png Dr. Feelgood - Cheque Book (Mickey Jupp) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B5 [02:32] 5.3.png Dr. Feelgood - Oyeh! (Mick Green) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B6 [04:50] 5.1.png Dr. Feelgood - Bony Moronie / Tequila [live] (Larry Williams - Danny Flores) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved