Published: 13/03/2014 16:55 - Updated: 13/03/2014 17:14

They've got the Feelgood factor

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Dr Feelgood
Dr Feelgood

MENTION "pub rock" to any music fan and one of the first names they are likely to think of will be Canvey Island veterans Dr Feelgood.

Yet long serving drummer Kevin Morris is not entirely comfortable with that label.

"I don’t consider the band to be a pub rock band and I’m not sure what is," he said.

"If you look at the bands playing in that period — Bees Make Honey, Kilburn & The High Roads, Ducks Deluxe, Dr Feelgood — they are all very different. They only thing they had in common was they played in the same pub. But Feelgood stood out because they had such a great front end in these two nutters, Lee and Wilko."

Singer and harmonica player Lee Brilleaux and guitarist Wilko Johnson remain the first names that spring to mind when thinking of the band despite decades now having passed since their active involvement.

Johnson left the band in 1977 and is still touring despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer — though fans of television series Game of Thrones might recognise him as the show’s silent executioner, Ilyn Payne.

Brilleaux died 20 years ago next month at the age of 41, and though it seemed he was irreplaceable, it was with his blessing that the band continued.

"We were in a bar — where else?" Morris recalled.

"We were talking about getting rid of somebody and Lee said: ‘Nobody’s indispensable, not even me. If anything happens to me, it should carry on.’

"To be honest, after Lee died we didn’t do anything for a year and everyone was busy doing other things. But we missed each other’s company and our regular diary. Our life wasn’t the same."

Even the band's best known hit has a drink link, signature tune Milk and Alcohol.

Is that a concoction Morris has tried for himself?

"I have," he admitted.

"These days though, I prefer a gin and tonic."


  Dr Feelgood appear at The Ironworks, Academy Street, Inverness, on Friday 14th March.

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