Pub rock is often derided as a movement that was in the thrall of rhythm and blues traditions and ‘proper’ musicianship, at best an unfashionable precursor to punk, devoid of the DIY attitude and the year-zero rhetoric. Yet both movements shared contempt for the mainstream, were reacting against the prog-rock sounds that dominated the era, and a number of punk’s prime movers were inspired by or graduated from the pub rock scene. Julien Temple’s latest conceptual rock documentary focuses on Dr Feelgood, who came from the ‘Thames Delta’, Canvey Island, and puts the case for Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, the Big Figure and Sparko as ‘four estuarine John-the-Baptists to Johnny Rotten’s anti-Christ’. What emerges is the great, and deeply moving, rock’n’roll history of one of Britain’s finest and unfairly overlooked bands, with Canvey, a reclaimed island in the Thames estuary just off the Essex coast, lying entirely below sea level and dominated by the petrochemical industry, central to it. Enlightening interviews with band members and contemporaries are complemented by some fantastic archive footage, which, at the very least, confirms Brilleaux and Johnson as two of rock’s great showmen, and justifies Dr Feelgood’s reputation as an incredible live act. —BFI
Julien Temple (born 26 November 1953 in London) is an English film, documentary and music video director. He began his career with films featuring the Sex Pistols, and has continued with various off-beat projects.
Temple grew up with little interest in film until he discovered the works of French anarchist director Jean Vigo when he was a student at King’s College, Cambridge. This, along with his interest in the early punk scene in London in 1976 led to his friendship with The Sex Pistols, leading him to document many of their early gigs.
His first film was a short documentary called Sex Pistols Number 1, which set out to show the rise of the band from 1976-1977 in a series of short clips from television interviews and gigs.
This led to Temple making The Great Rock And Roll Swindle, another documentary, telling the story of the band from the viewpoint of their manager, Malcolm McLaren, as band members Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious had left. The film told of the… read more
Another music doc winner from director Julien Temple. This one profiles one of the greatest live acts of all time Dr Feelgood. Using archive footage of the band intercut with clips from movies the film traces the early history of the band up till the point stella Guitarst Wilko Johnson left. All the band are present apart form Lee Birlleaux who sadly died of cancer . Temple really gives you the feel of a band with nothing to lose and the film is a great watch ,its a real instant music doc classic