Dr Feelgood Newcastle City Hall 1975 and 1976

Dr Feelgood Newcastle City Hall 1975 and 1976
Dr Feelgood were just plain amazing in their early days. They grew out of pub rock and preceded punk, and were pretty untouchable as a live act. I first saw them as support for Hawkwind on their 1974 tour, and was blown away by them. I couldn’t take my eyes off the two front men Lee Brilleaux and Wilko Johnson. Wilko strutted backwards and forwards across the stage, playing his Fender Telecaster in his characteristic choppy style, while Lee stared menacingly at us all, dressed in a sharp white suit, wringing the mike and pumping his fist. Sparko and The Big Figure silently and relentlessly provided the rhythm. I loved those tunes: “Back In the Night”, “Roxette”, “She does it right”. There was no one like them and no-one to touch them. The Feelgoods visited the City Hall every year from 1976 to 1979 and I went each year. They were always a great live act, and I never saw them put on anything other than a great performance. They also had some pretty cool support acts: GT Moore and the Reggae Guitars on the 1975 tour, and the George Hatcher band in 1976 (although the ticket says Clover, I am pretty sure they were replaced on the tour by George Hatcher). I also saw them at the Reading Festival in 1975, where they were the favourites of the weekend. Went with a group of mates; I can remember all of us coming back from the local pub specially to catcg the Feelgood’s set. And then the unthinkable happened, and Wilko was gone. I was shocked, and couldn’t see how the band would survive the loss of such a charismatic figure. Wilko wrote many of the songs, and was so crucial and integral to their sound, and their live show. But survive they did. I’ll blog tomorrow on the post-Wilko gigs that I saw at the City Hall. The live album “Stupidity” gives an idea of a setlist from those days: Talking About You; 20 Yards Behind; Stupidity; All Through The City; I’m a Man; Walking The Dog; She Does It Right; Going Back Home; I Don’t Mind; Back in the Night; I’m a Hog for You Baby; Checking Up on My Baby; Roxette; Riot in Cell Block No. 9

6 responses to this post.

  1. Saw them at the teacher training college in Darlington ( it later became the Arts Centre) sometime around late 75 / early 76. Absolutely blinding show.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Neil Thompson on February 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    The George Hatcher Band did play the Feelgoods gig in 76 – I was there. Clover did eventually play the City Hall November 1st 1976 supporting Thin Lizzy.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Peter Maggiore on December 26, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Yes Pete they were brilliant. Lee had a white jacket like an ice cream van vendor and was electric on stage. You could smell the sweat between him and Wilko strutting his stuff from the front of stage where I was. The bouncers couldn’t control the crowd and gave up on telling us to sit down. Well you couldn’t sit for that set. Great memories, another in my top five gigs

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  4. Posted by Euan Scott-Batey on November 23, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    Saw them at the ’74 gig supporting Hawkwind. What a pairing: a band further from the ‘wind couldn’t be imagined and the audience didn’t know what hit them. Just as sharp, tight, loud and raw that night as they always would be. RIP Wilko.

    Reply

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