Dr. Feelgood Put On A Blues Clinic Down By The Ferry
REINCARNATED seventies pub rockers Dr. Feelgood brought their live tour to the banks of the River Clyde for a night of blues rock at The Ferry.
The old passenger vessel, formerly known as The Renfrew Ferry, played host to the Canvey Island four-piece and Glasgow’s own The George Lindsay Blues Band.
A night for all ages saw the experienced quartets play a mixture of well-known rhythm and blues tracks such as ‘Tequila’ and ‘Caldonia’, and some Feelgood classics like ‘Roxette’.
From the outside, the refurbished seventeenth century passenger boat looked resplendent in lights, glistening under the Kingston Bridge like a relic of Glasgow’s past. Unfortunately, upon entering, it felt more like a leisure centre at a holiday camp than a journey into the past.
Thankfully the pedigree of entertainment on offer was far more appealing than you’d find at Butlins, with a sumptuous night of blues rock promised.
Local four-piece The George Lindsay Blues Band kicked things off with hearty R&B inspired by the Clyde delta they were temporarily moored on.
Lindsay himself revealed they had to practically beg to support Dr. Feelgood in their hometown of Glasgow. They relished the occasion, treating the capacity 600 crowd to tracks such as ‘Five Long Years’ by The Yardbirds and Louis Jordan’s ‘Caldonia’.
Fortunately, despite looking ghastly, The Ferry sounded great and the acoustics emphatically amplified John Nimmo’s jazzy keys and, former Marmalade drummer, Dougie Henderson’s raucous crashes.
Intensely melodic and tight, Lindsay and co. continued to play a sweet mixture of jazz, blues and rock & roll instrumentals, before ending with their version of John Lee Hooker’s ‘Boom Boom’.
Dr. Feelgood took to the stage in their classic ‘anti-fashion’ style of scruffy, worn suits keeping up traditions of a band much changed. The original line-up of Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, John Sparks and John Martin dissipated slowly with Johnson’s departure in 1977, followed by Sparks and Martin five years later.
Sadly Brilleaux’s death in 1994 spelled the end of the original line-up, but already the legendary lead-singer had ensured the band’s legacy would continue. Drummer Kevin Morris and bassist Phil Mitchell have played with the band since 1983 with guitarist Steve Walwyn a part of the line-up since 1989. Robert Kane was the man recruited in 1999 to become only the band’s second lead vocalist.
In his 16 years fronting the pub rock icons Kane has managed to channel the spirit of Brilleaux with his swagger, enigmatic persona, powerful lungs that he used to wail blues notes and blow on the harmonica and, of course, his charming crowd interaction.
Kane frenetically raced across stage, giving out high-fives to those doing the pogo in the front row, as they blasted out hits ‘All Through The City’, ‘I Can Tell’ and ‘Milk & Alcohol’ early on.
Covers of Bill Haley’s ‘See You Later Alligator’ and Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love?’ followed before the crowd were, appropriately, treated to ‘Down By The Jetty Blues’.
The volume was ramped up as the crowd sang along to ‘Roxette’, ‘Back In The Night’ and ‘Down At The Doctors’, before Dr. Feelgood ended on a booze themed encore of ‘Gimme One More Shot’ and The Champs’ ‘Tequila’ in an intoxicating night.
Watch original line-up of Dr. Feelgood performing Roxette live on the Old Grey Whistle Test from 1975 below.
You can also purchase tickets for one of Dr. Feelgood’s upcoming shows HERE.