Lee Brilleaux died on April 7th 1994, 20 years ago yesterday. He was one of the greatest rock 'n'roll frontmen of them all, as this fabulous live footage of Dr. Feelgood at The Southend Kursaal in 1975 amply demonstrates. A biography of the man himself is being written by Zoe Howe - click here to find out how you (yes, YOU! And for that matter, ME!) can help make it happen. Strange but true!
Having not been at the FFRUK Reggae Punk Monday nights at The 12 Bar Club for the last few weeks I've now found myself at said establishment three times in the last seven days...
Last Tuesday myself and Back To Zero drummer Andy attended a launch party for Chris Pope's great new album 'Peace Of Mind'. Pope (that's also the name of the band) took to the stage at the early hour of 7.40pm and delivered a blazing set of songs from the new release alongside Chords classics 'Now It's Gone' and 'Maybe Tomorrow' with 'Mutiny On The Thames' sounded particularly good to my ears. Back To Zero are playing with Pope at The 100 Club on Easter Sunday 20th April ('The Groovy Easter Eggstravaganza') alongside The Legendary Groovymen and The Sha La La's which should be a night to remember, especially if Pope play as well as they did here.
The next night it was time for The Fallen Leaves to host their latest 'first-Wednesday-of-every-month' club night - I arrived in time to catch The Transients who I've seen a couple of times on these evenings and who sounded splendidly garage-y with their cover of 'See No Evil' causing much mouthing along with the words from the enthusiastic audience. Actually come to think of it quite a few of their own songs received the same reaction, which can only be a good thing. The Fallen Leaves played as excellently as they always do, with frontman Rob Green looking sharp and authoritative while Rob Symmons's guitar rampaged around the room in time-honoured fashion. Their 'long held belief' that 'a good idea played badly is better than a bad idea played well' always makes me smile, but it must be said that they have an abundance of good ideas played very well indeed. Funnily enough Back To Zero are appearing with them at The 100 Club (on Sunday 22nd June, with the wonderful Eight Rounds Rapid also on the bill) as well. Co-incidence? Yes!
And it was Reggae Punk Monday last night - Demon Smiles were roaring through their last few songs as I arrived, and very good they sounded too, although the guitar could have used a bit of bottom end on it in my not-so humble opinion... I caught a couple of minutes each of Spitune and Daughters Of God (both a bit scary-sounding for a wimp like me!) but missed The Duel as it was getting late and I had to leave for the last train home. I wonder if they will ever run tube trains all night..?
In the meantime it's been three-gigs-in-three-days for your humble narrator, starting with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks at The Swan in Iver on Friday evening. We'd not played there for a while, and a fair-sized audience turned up to see a good show that didn't quite get into the 'great' category, although it came close a couple of times. The next night The Upper Cut returned to The Dolphin in Uxbridge - when I was there last month I spent far too much of the evening being violently sick, and while thankfully nothing quite so untoward happened this time it was still a bit of an odd evening. We began our first set to an unusually empty room; fortunately by the time the time for our second set came around the place had filled up and the show took an upward turn as a result. And with Dave away elsewhere Roger from The Upper Cut filled in on drums with Big Al and co. the next afternoon at Ye Olde George in Colnbrook. With no rehearsal possible a suitably 'simple' set of songs was decided upon, and Roger did an absolutely excellent job throughout. Then again, he usually does.
This Saturday Ruts D.C. are playing at The Circus in Helsinki - no I've never been either - and I'm really looking forward to this, not least because one of the bands on the bill is called Anal Thunder. Oh yes! More news as and when I have it, as they (whoever 'they' are) say...