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Nine Below Zero + Dr Feelgood (MS)

Dave Woodhall relives his post glam rock, late 70s, past and suggests the same for Stirrers this coming Saturday With a Great Night of Bilstonian R&B.

Those of us brought up as children of the late seventies tend to regard 1977 as Year Zero. Everything before then was either glam and glitter, good for a laugh but not to be taken seriously, or flares, long hair, ten minute guitar solos and conceptual triple albums, which was even funnier.

But it was possible to enjoy something a bit different in those pre-punk days. Dr Feelgood came steaming out of Canvey Island with sharp suits, a mean attitude and some of the finest R&B tunes ever penned. They may have been overtaken by the Sex Pistols and everything that followed in their wake, but the Feelgoods enjoyed some chart success of their own and have kept the flame of high-energy blues burning for over thirty years.

The death of singer Lee Brilleaux in 1992 saw the band split for a time but the arrival of new vocalist Robert Kane had seen the Feelgoods continue to tour Europe, proving their own special magic for audiences who may not be as numerous as in their heyday but enjoy themselves every bit as much.

As the Feelgoods were enjoying the big time, a different type of blues band were emerging from South London. Nine Below Zero were a more soul-tinged crowd, who drew fans from all genres of music with their hard-hitting live show. An appearance on the first episode of the Young Ones helped cement their cult following but failed to provide the deserved commercial breakthrough and the band split soon afterwards, with singer Dennis Greaves ironically going on to chart success with the Truth.

When this project ended, Greaves agreed to reform Nine Below Zero, originally as a one-off, but they soon became one of the busiest live bands in the country. Musical fashions have come and gone, but Nine Below Zero’s potent live show ensures that even if they never did play Top of the Pops, they will never be short of work, or for that matter enthusiastic audiences.

In 2008 the Feelgoods and the Zeroes regularly tour together, providing a blues double bill of the highest quality. With an act honed by thousands of live shows both bands invariably bring out the best in each other. They’re playing the Robin this Saturday; forget Christmas, forget the recession, go and have a good time.

Advance Ticket Price: £16.00 (Door Price: £17.50)

Tickets From:

Robin R&B Club website:

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