Friday, January 11, 2013
Top 102 Albums. No 68. Down By the Jetty
Top 102 Albums. No 68.
Down By the Jetty - Dr Feelgood.
The bad news has just circulated over the net that one of the most distinctive guitarists in rock is playing his final outro. Wilko Johnson, guitarist with the first incarnation of Dr Feelgood and a charismatic eccentric has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and is, rather than pursue treatment, going out with a farewell tour and recording a final album.
If it's as good as his first album with Dr Feelgood the world is in for a treat. Down by the Jetty is the apotheosis of pub-rock with Lee Brilleux's rasp and Wilco's stuttering, staccato guitar licks lifting them beyond the barstool.
Their incendiary live shows were watched by many of the future punks and Wilco's guitar is a percussive precursor of the stripped down rock 'n' roll elements of punk. Their impact can be seen in Julien Temple's wonderful documentary Oil City Confidential.
The best tracks are She Does it Right, All Through the City (from which the title comes) and Roxette (the single). They also do a fine version of John Lee Hooker's boogie stomper Boom Boom.
This, and their No 1 album, the live Stupidity, deserve to be more than a footnote to punk. It's one of the great debut albums. Dirty, gritty rock 'n' roll. Thank you Canvey Island.