Sunday, February 07, 2016

'Turn and face the strange...'

41 years ago today, on the 7th February 1975, Dr. Feelgood recorded this still-extraordinary live performance which was broadcast a few days later on the teatime television show 'The Geordie Scene'. I remember it oh-so very well - I was 13 years old at the time, and came in from school just as the programme was starting. After the suitably cheesy introduction (this was the 1970s after all!) from Dave Eager (whatever happened to him eh?) Wilko, Lee, Sparko and The Big Figure roared into what for them was probably just another live performance but what was for me and people like me literally life-changing. As Wilko tore into his first jaw-dropping guitar solo I dragged my Mum in from the back kitchen to watch it with me - she was a bit of a rock 'n' roller back in the day and said that she liked it although she could have just been humouring me I suppose... anyway she went back to making our dinner while The Feelgoods hammered the riff to 'Roxette' home. By the time the credits rolled over 'Route 66' things had changed, and more than I could ever realised at the time. I went up to my room in a daze - I'd heard of the band and that they were supposed to be good, but nothing had prepared me for what I'd just seen. Amazing. It still feels exciting to be writing about it just over four decades later. 
I went into school the next day as usual but as I say, things had changed. I enthused to my music-loving mates about the show that I'd seen the day before - a couple of them liked it but most of them didn't, they thought that the band looked a bit daft especially that weird guy on the guitar, surely you didn't think that they were any good did you? No you should listen to 'real' music like ELPYes and Genesis, not some bunch of herberts from the seaside.
Hmmm. Maybe I'd been wrong. After all when you're 13 you don't want to be the odd one out do you?
Except of course, I hadn't been wrong. And it took me a while to realise it, but it's actually alright to be the odd one out. 

Incidentally Mum died 15 years ago today. How I wish she was here to watch the show again with me now.

It's been a busy week - I spent a day recording guitars with James Knight, two days rehearsing with Ruts D.C. at The Music Complex in Deptford working on songs and arrangements for this week's recording sessions, played with Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks at The General Eliott in Uxbridge on Friday and with The Upper Cut at The Salmon And Ball in Bethnal Green last night as well as working a couple of days in the shop. But this week it's all about more 'Psychic Attack' album sessions - oh and a gig at The 100 Club on Saturday. We haven't played live for over two months, so we'd better rehearse for that too. I told you that it's ok to have a quiet couple of weeks sometimes didn't I?

Still that all starts tomorrow. Today I'm going to play 'Down By The Jetty'. Again. See you in 1975.

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