Dr. Feelgood are to return to their old stomping ground this month. The band are heading back to Essex for a gig at Chelmsford. Although the current incarnation of the R&B pub rock group features none of the original members, they formed in 1971 in Canvey Island, Essex.
The original members featured guitarist Wilko Johnson, singer Lee Brilleaux (who died in 1994), John B. Sparks (“Sparko”) on bass guitar and John Martin on drums. Such is their association with Canvey Island that an annual concert, the Lee Brilleaux Birthday Memorial, was held there until 2015.
Along with that their manager Chris Fenwick, who started managing the band when he was 19 years old and still manages them, hosts a yearly walk around the island. The walk takes in sights and places that relate to the band and Brilleaux, like the marshes where Fenwick used to play with the singer when they were kids, and also takes in Canvey Heights, the country park where Brilleaux’s ashes were scattered. The band’s 1975 debut album Down By The Jetty features the group in Canvey Island with the estuary in the background. And the industrial landscape of the place has long been associated with their music and lyrics.