Lee Brilleaux Memorial 7th May 2010
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Lee Brilleaux Memorial 7th May 2010
Lee Brilleaux Memorial 7th May 2010 May always seem to be a good month FA Cup Final, Champions League FInal, planting my runner beans but prehaps the highlight of the month and one of my favourite nights of the year the Lee Briallaux Memorial at the Oysterfleet on Canvey Island. Theres a number of reasons I look forward to it overseas travel to an exotic destination, a good turnout (concert sold out about 6 weeks ago and 11 of us from Chelmsford), all in a good cause, easy for me to buy Duncan's birthday present and normally a good list of bands.

It started as always with meeting Paul in The White Horse where IPA is sold at the very reasonable price of £2.10(as cheap as the Baddow Club) and a good place to meet for next weekends FA Cup Final. Ali had already picked the other 6 in our taxi from The Plough and was with us spot on time. So we were off on our adventure spirits high having recently watched a re-run of 'Oil City Confidential' on BBC 4 and I had been told earlier that day that Wilko Johnson was due to be playing.

We arrived at the Oysterfleet about 6.45pm and straight into the bar which was already beginning to fill out, we seem to be creatures of habit as it was outside to the veranda with burger and chips to try and feed the carp in the lake. We didn't stay out to long as it was cold and fish weren't interested in our IPA.

Whilst in the bar came the first surprise of the night when we were able to rub shoulders with stars of the forthcoming show Wilko and Sparko. Wilko posed for a picture with Duncan and Paul and both he and Spako signed my ticket what anaddition to my ticket collection. The second surprise was in the gents loo's where the line up was posted which not only include the current Feelgoods, Wilko, Sparko and Figure playing together but also Eddie and the Hot Rods so things were getting better.

I went upto the ballroom with Ash where the music had already started we had missed the first band who were called something like 'Jetty Boys' who included a Lee Sparks, so apologises for missing them and having no idea what they were like.

On stage when we got there were the Steve Walwyn Band which compromised of 2 members of the current Feelgods, Steve and bass player Phil Mitchell, Pete Nash on keyboards who I think either is or was a member of Essex Blues Bank 'Booze and Blues' and on drums Big Figure (the last of the original Feelgoods I needed to sign my ticket). As is Steve Walway's want he is a more bluesy guitarist then Wilko so was able to showcase is skill with tracks from Muddy Waters to the Rory Gallaghar, I have to confess I can't now remember any of th titles but with the addition of the keyboards it was an excellent set. Whilst watching I stood next to Barry Masters who also signed my ticket after I had made some enane comment about the Rods being one of the best bands live I have seen recently. This ticket was fast becoming a prized possession to go with my signed copy of 'Be Seeing You'

Next on were the Rods, I don't think anyone who has read my previous reveiws will be in any doubt of my thoughts on them and again they didn't disappoint this must now be the 6th time I've seen them in 5 years and always they deliver a great live show. the set was only about 40 mins long but they crammed in all your favourites 'Do Anything You Want to do' 'Quit this Town' 'Teenage Depression' and I know Nick's favourite 'Gloria'. What an unexpected treat.

Next up what turned out to be for me the main event of the night Wilko, Sparko and Figure back on stage with a lead singer/harmonica player (who I didn't know). They were excellent as always powering out a number of early Feelgood classics 'Roxette' 'Looking Back' and 'Down at the Jetty' (I think) mavellous stuff. They may have aged but they can still can bang it out its great to hear Wilko backed by the original powerful rhythm section. They were joined on stage by Lew Lewis who Contributed two songs Wooly Bully & Boogie On The Streets with Lew on vocal and harmonica.

What struck me again then and earlier in the bar was how short Wilko and Sparko are. Too soon their slot had finished, and unfortunately I was in the loo at the end and missed Figure for the signature he promised prior to to the set, still I could wait to the end and get it then.

last on were thge current Feelgoods. I had seem them 2 months previous when they performed on their own and really enjoyed them, although I still beleive them to be a covers band, Dr Feelgood was, is and always will be about the singing and stage craft of Lee Brillaux. Another problem for them tonight was they had been preceeded by the Rods and the remaining originals so had a lot to live upto. They were good but not a patch on the previous 2 bands; they went through a lot of the Feelgood repotoire 'Down at the Doctors' 'Milk and Alcohol' but they just can't match up to the originals, things do not always change for the better, still they did round off a good evening.

Just a three of footnote points: During the evening there was an auction for signed 'Oil City Confidential' poster which at one stage Maurice bid £350 for but I think he was releived when he was out bid. That poster made £600 all charity.

It was interesting to see Wilko and Steve Walway directly after each other playing Feelgood music. I don't profess to be any sort of expert I just know what I like. To me Walway is a more technical and maybe more skilled guitarist but for me you can't beat Wilko's machine gun style playing for good RnB music. The king isn't dead so long live the king.

I waited outside like some stage door johnny to see if I could added Figure's signature to my ticket but he didn't appear. As we were leaving I bumped into a young lady who claimed to be Figure's daughter I had seen her with him earlier. She promised she would get him to sign my ticket and would only take a minute. So like a fool I gave her my ticket and waited like a baffoon for her to return with his signature to complete the set. 10 minutes went by still no show from the silver tongued temptress. I was crushed and went home having lost my prized possession. Still lesson learnt 'There's No Fool like an Old Fool' Still roll on next year.

Colin May 2010