The most pleasant and unexpected surprise of 2022 for me was being able to say “there’s a great new album from Dr Feelgood”. I admit that I’d not followed their recent releases closely, though I respected their decision to carry on flying the Feelgood flag. Quite by chance, I heard the first single from ‘Damn Right!’ and immediately my ears pricked up. ‘The guitar sounds familiar’, I thought to myself. And, sure enough, it was the return of Gordon Russell, one of my favourite guitarists. This was clearly a very good thing, as the tunes he wrote with Robert Kane are truly worthy of the Feelgood name and legacy.
And he seems to have given them a shot in the arm onstage as well. So, here we have 20 songs from stages around Europe, with the band sounding vital and sharp. From ‘Drives Me Wild’ onwards, it is a joy to hear them having a ball. The four new tunes fit in perfectly with the classics, ‘Mary Ann’ sounding particularly excellent next to ‘All Through The City’. Kane does his thing without sounding like Brilleaux, and I really like his style. It’s hard to believe that on joining the band, he didn’t play harmonica, because on ‘Going Back Home’ he’s obviously done his homework.
It’s no secret that The Big Figure and Sparko are my favourite rhythm section ever, but Phil and Kevin have been playing together for so long that they also have a special chemistry. ‘Damn Right I Do’ and ‘Keep It Undercover’ sound even better live, and with ‘Roxette’, ‘Milk And Alcohol’, ‘Down At The Doctors’ and ‘She Does It Right’, it’s one hell of a set list.
I’d love to hear them include ‘Dangerous’ one day, and keep my fingers crossed they’ll return to France this year. For all of you in the UK, make the most of a good thing and catch them on tour soon. Doctor’s orders!
Author: Martin Chamarette