As my learned colleague, Craggy waxed lyrically when he reviewed ‘Honked’ the first of these Anniversary albums from Diamond Dogs, I went on a journey down the Rock and ROll highway and played every Diamond Dogs album released and the overriding thought I had was –  Damn this band was smoking hot when they got in that groove.

They were honking on the whole Faces early ’70s Stones vibe and they were killing it every time and the most important thing was they had the tunes to go with the swagger and if those five albums were my gift to the world I’d be so proud of my band and the songs we’d created. Its quite some collection and as the band aged like a good wine they changed taste but remained true to their roots and sound.

On reflection, it seems like yesterday the band were rolling into my small village and pitching up their amps in a restaurant at the rear of my local boozer on a Sunday night after having a show in the City cancelled they then proceeded to Rock the socks off the locals with a wonderful and impressive set. These sets are pressed on vinyl as well as CD and contain a plethora of bonus tracks (singles B Sides) to wrap up the tunes from that period in a perfect set.

As Your Greens Turn Brown: After the keys introduce the listener with a bit of ‘Bloodshot’ before kicking up a shitstorm in the shape of the fantastic no holds barred ‘Goodbye, Miss Jill’ even now it makes me smile a five-mile smile when the band kicks in and the harmonica starts honkin’.

The record ebbs and flows superbly with the highs being particularly high and when the band gets going man they sounded authentic and passionate.  The lulls when they’d kickback. Their blend of Hammond and Rock and Roll overdrive mixed with a few horns stabs here and there is timeless. Let the good times roll on the ballsy ‘Hardhitter’ and then they can drop a few gears as they venture off into Small Faces territory via ‘Singing With The Alleycats’ it’s easy to see how these guys got gigs with Punk rockers like the Damned or Rockers like The Cult and Nazareth when you hear the raw ‘Bite Off’ with its too fast to live riff and with that variety in mind you pick up the flavour of just how talented a songwriter Sulo is and he lives these songs and wears them on his sleeve you can’t bluff Rock and Roll this good which is why he attracted the likes of Darrel Bath and Steve Klasson into the fold.

 

The band were comfortable letting go and cutting loose as they were doing the jig is up country-tinged ‘Anywhere Tonight’ as they were doing the whole Thin Lizzy duel guitar kick-off that had songs like ‘Boogie For Tanja’ being so effortlessly good. Then when they needed to turn down the lights they could glide into ‘Yesterdays Nymph’ in one fell swoop. When Sulo took the mood down he has a wonderful tone on his voice and as far as taking on the Brits doing the whole R&B thing there’s no contest Diamond Dogs were more consistent than a lot of their contemporaries churning out albums of exceptionally high quality and this bad boy is right up there with the best of them and when your B Sides are as good as your A-Sides you know you’re onto something.

Fifteen songs of exceptional quality its like they once said Too much is never enough! Bring on the next one and I’ll get me filled up on more trips down memory lane and promise myself to play these records more often they deserve it and so do you – Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

VINYL DEALS
BOX Sets

Buy an Oil City  Confidential Tin and a Classic  Dr Feelgood collectors Vinyl  and get a Double Wilko Best of CD FREE

Oil City Confidential

10th Anniversary Box Set in a Limited Edition Tin
get this with a Dr Feelgood Limited edition Vinyl  plus Free Best of Wilko Johnson Double CD  for £30 Here
Buy vinyl & tin DVD Here

Julien Temple’s acclaimed, award-winning documentary Oil City Confidential is available once more as a Tenth Anniversary special edition in exclusive limited Oil City tin with bonus DVD of Wilko Johnson – ‘Live At Koko, Camden Town, London, March 2013’.

This special edition deluxe tin includes:-

  1. Oil City Confidential Film DVD with new artwork
  2. Bonus DVD of Wilko Johnson Live at Koko 2013
  3. 24-page booklet featuring BBCs Mark Radcliffe essay reminisces of Dr. Feelgood (“The Day I Met The Band That Changed My Life”)
  4. Ultra rare photos
  5. Postcard of Canvey-centric map of the world created by Lee Brilleaux and Phil Ashcroft

This is the story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early ’70s, sandpapered the face of rock’n’roll, leaving all that came before a burnt-out ruin – four estuarine John-the-Baptists to Johnny Rotten’s anti-Christ. Taking London by storm, they sped through Europe and conquered the UK with No 1 chart success, before imploding just as punk was born and America beckoned with open arms. Contributions from members of The Clash, Blondie and The Sex Pistols join Dr Feelgood with collaborators Jools Holland and Alison Moyet to tell the story of Canvey, ’70s England and the greatest local band in the world.

Winner of the Mojo Vision Award 2010, Best Documentary at the Kermode Awards 2011 and Best International Film 2009 (Cult Award, Turin Film Festival).

‘A rip-roaring account of one of the best bands Britain ever produced by a film-maker who looks increasingly like our very finest rockumentarian’ – Mark Kermode, The Observer.
‘Nothing less than a master-class in musical hagiography, beautifully photographed, superbly edited and utterly involving’ – ***** Time Out.
‘I don’t think Julien Temple has ever made a film as good, and as purely insightful as this’ – ***** The Guardian.

 

(There is an option to buy a Tshirt for £5 (normally £15). These are for a limited time only and while stocks last…….if you are buying a Tshirt, please state which size you would like when ordering: Small, Medium, Large or XL (all these sizes are limited quantity/while stocks last…………..)

Order the Tin Here

Armitage Smith

As I walk past the Indian Restaurant situated on the Parade of shops at the end of my Road I often see stuck up in the window entertainment to entice potential customers into sampling their wares. These normally come in the form of an A4 poster with a picture of a George Michael, or a Michael Jackson tribute act who will, whilst you are eating, sing all their hits. I can’t think of anything worse than having “Wake Me Up Before You Goa Goa” ringing in my ears, ruining my Chicken Bhuna (Did you see what I did there?).
However, there is a time and a place for tribute acts; when your favourite band becomes so huge that the only venues that they play are enormodomes which means binoculars to see them and a second mortgage to pay for the privilege, Metallica. Or after years of services they have retired from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus, Rush. The saddest thing is if that all Classic era members are now playing in the great gig in the sky, Ramones and Motörhead. Then there’s the anomaly that is The Feelgood Band. Playing Clubs and Pubs the same size and sometimes even bigger than Dr. Feelgood the band they pay homage to. To blur the lines even more between Tribute and the Real Thing is that both feature no original members. To be fair the current Dr. Feelgood line-up has been playing together longer than Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, The Big Figure and John B Sparks ever did. That period though (1971-1977) is the basic remit for The Feelgood Band, to recreate that Canvey Island R&B energy and swagger. Watching The Feelgood Band at The Pelton Arms I felt I was an extra in either a Sky Arts or a BBC4 Docudrama. Considering the Pub has doubled as The Nags Head from the “Only Fools and Horses” prequel “Rock & Chips” this could be plausible. When vocalist Mark introduces the band for a second I think he’s gone off script wondering who are these people he’s name checking. None of The Feelgood Band go out of their way to look like the members they are mimicking, no Brilleaux dirty white suit, but they have the moves and flavour, but most importantly they really and I mean really do sound like Dr. Feelgood from that time period. “Roxette”, “She Does It Right”, “Going Back Home” et el are all “Close your eyes and you would think you were there” moments.

Having said that though the band do stray into some of Wilko’s post Feelgood solo recordings with a healthy dose of songs that the band recorded with Gypie Mayo; “My Buddy Buddy Friends”, “She’s A Wind Up”, “Down to The Doctors” and even “No Mo Do Yakamo” from 1980’s “A Case of the Shakes”. Disappointingly for me as I love it, no “Milk and Alcohol”. I’m not sure why it wasn’t included, maybe unlike the others, it can’t be Wilkoised.
At the stroke of 11 pm The Feelgood Band wrap things up to the dying sounds of Bonfire Night Fireworks and I have no idea who had the better time; the band or the audience.

 

Feelgood Band

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(Band photo courtesy The Feelgood Band Facebook Page)