Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

Get Out More..........................Gig News

NINE BELOW ZERO/DR FEELGOOD (The Robin, Bilston)

03-12-2008

The Robin

Two British R n’ B giants for the price of one on a rocking night at The Robin.  Dave Woodhall was there.

It was bloody cold on Saturday. It was cold at Villa Park and it was cold on the way to Bilston. Luckily the Robin was a lot warmer.

Dr Feelgood are first up, and without any messing straight into one of their classic numbers, She Does It Right.

There’s a lot of heated debate amongst Feelgoods fans about whether this version of the band, with no original members, should continue under the same name. A similar argument exists about Slade and Thin Lizzy to name but two, but I can’t see the problem. If you want to see them, the opportunity’s there. If not, stay at home.

Of course it’s not the same without Lee Brilleaux, but it wasn’t the same without Wilko Johnson either and I’m sure some Beatles fans didn’t consider Ringo to be a proper member of the band.  

Ironically this is the most stable line-up the Feelgoods have enjoyed since right at the start of their career, and it shows. They know what they’re doing and they know how to work the crowd. I’ve seen a few of their contemporaries spoilt their live reputation by playing the same set every gig, but tonight threw in a few surprises, not least a stirring version of the Bo Diddley classic Who Do You Love.

Down By The Jetty gives, as usual, the opportunity for guitarist Steve Walwyn to show off his ability to play while looking like a bank clerk who’s just been discovered with his hand in the till and the set proper was completed in the usual fashion – She Does It Right, Roxette, Goin’ Back Home. You’d expect no less.

Over an hour and the support band still hadn’t finished, as they were dragged back on for an encore of Riot in Cell Block no. 9 and the Tequila/Bonnie Maronie medley without which no Feelgood’s show would be complete.

On with the headliners and another surprise as Nine Below Zero’s usual encore of On The Road Again starts the show. If Dennis Greaves has a fault it’s that he tends to put a lengthy solo into every song, which can be annoying but luckily he kept his indulgences to a minimum for the first half of the set.

Rocking Robin, I Can’t Help Myself and Stone Fox Chase (the Old Grey Whistle Test theme to the uneducated) were the pick of the covers, Homework and the classic 11 + 11 the best of the original work.  Mark Feltham is one of the finest harmonica players in the business and Gerry McAvoy’s bass work is as good as it gets.

It did take a bit of time for the band to really get going; there were a few ordinary numbers where the crowd were lost for a while, particularly when Greaves indulged himself a bit too much. Just because you can play a medley of Hendrix’s greatest riffs doesn’t mean you have to.

The snatch of Riders on the Storm didn’t work either. But things picked up and the home straight of Soft Touch in a Hard Place, Hootchie Coochie Coo and Can I Get a Witness made for the best finale I’ve seen for some time. 

Stormy Monday Blues isn’t perhaps the best choice for an encore, particularly when it’s sung by Mark Feltham, but Treat Her Right and a final number I should know but to my shame can’t remember the title of finished off a good night of r’n’b in fine style.

It was a pity that by now more than half the audience had left. What’s the matter? It’s Saturday night; were you all afraid you might turn into pumpkins, or does the Wolverhampton border close at midnight? Whatever the reason, it was their loss. When it comes to no frills, goodtime live music Nine Below Zero are up there with the best.  

DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM
Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer