I don’t like throwing things out. I take after my dad in that respect.
There comes a time though if only for the need for space so that new things can be accumulated to never be thrown out tough decisions have to be made. So cupboards are delved into and the nether world below beds is explored and…you find a box and in that box are LP’s that sing of another time.
You come across one of your all time favourite bands Dr Feelgood and all time favourite LP ‘Down By The Jetty’.
You remember buying it the last time you forgot then discovered then remembered.
You hear the music as clear as yesterday inside your head.
You remember when you wrote the article below. How it appeared on the Laura Hird website a few years back.
Here it is. My thoughts and feelings are exactly the same as then.
I’ve brought it up to date slightly.
Bands and songs like people can drift out of sight and mostly out of mind as you move on both physically and emotionally. Never entirely though. They still linger there seemingly dormant and years can go by and never a thought crosses the front of your brain, and then…You browse and on some nostalgic impulse you buy the DVD of ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’.
Because like old photographs it takes you back to another time before itunes and downloads or YouTube and all there was (or seemed to be) was Bob Harris whispering his introductions to loud guitars and even louder hair.
It takes you back to the insistent beat, the crazy jerky guitar playing of Wilko Johnson, diagnosed with cancer in 2013 but still playing occasionally I think.
He has also appeared in Game of Thrones.
Then of course there was the singing and harmonica of Lee Brilleaux.
I like all sorts of music then and now. A lot of it I still have and listen to but Dr Feelgood somehow fell of my particular radar. And I don’t know why especially watching and listening to them again from 1975, pounding out ‘Roxette’ from the ‘Down by the Jetty’ album. I used to have everything by Dr Feelgood.
‘ Roxette’ and ‘Down By the Jetty’ remain my favourite.
That image of them on Whistle Test has come dancing up from the back of my brain and is beating its rhythm inside my head now as I write.
When you listened to Feelgood that’s exactly how you came away feeling. It was impossible to keep still. And that was very important to a teenager back then wondering like every other teenager then and since where the hell he was going. For a few minutes you left all that behind. I wouldn’t find out until years later where I was heading, when I gave up trying to climb the greasy pole of the textile industry which I had drifted into on leaving school, and decided that it was a writer’s life for me, come rain, hail or sunny weather.
Discovering Dr Feelgood again prompted me to find out what had happened to them since. It was then that I found out that they were still going strong but that Lee Brilleaux had died in 1994. It was like finding out an old school pal that you had lost touch with had died. He was only forty two. It made you feel like you should have kept in touch more.
It’s glib but true to say that he, and the band, still continue through the music. They For me that music was epitomised in ‘Roxette’. I’ve gone past the nostalgia part now and listen to it for what it is.
Everlasting top of the range Rhythm'n' blues. Music that you just have to move to even if the bones creak ever so slightly now.
Time to forget the delving into cupboards and making space except inside my head for that music. Time for YouTube to see and listen and try to move to Dr Feelgood all over again.