The London Pub Scene
Back in the early 1970′s, among a variety of British music scenes, the phenomenon known as “pub bands” had it’s day in the sun. These bands were generally rhythm and blues outfits who plied their special brand of rock at a specific group of London pubs. One of the best pub bands was called Dr. Feelgood. The first time you hear one of their classic songs you feel a pang of embarrassment that you haven’t been a die hard fan all along.
Back to Basics
Dr. Feelgood had a sound unlike the ubiquitous grandios rock bravado of the time. Their gritty, tightness grew out of the combination of Lee Brilleaux’s gravel truck vocals and the percussive staccato of guitarist Wilco Johnson. Their live act was manic and sweaty and their look ran counter to the prevailing epic hair rock god persona. They were simultaneously a breath of fresh air and a throw back to the rawness of the 60′s. Their sound literally grabbed handle and slammed open the door for The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Boomtown Rats, The Ramones, Blondie and others. Although the band kept going in various forms – even after the Lee Brilleaux’s death – it’s the original line up from ’71 to ’77 that created that magic sound that still sounds fresh today. Real rock and roll is like that. But don’t take my word for it, have a listen!