If you haven’t heard of opener Johnny Seven, where have you been? After 40 years, Johnny Seven have released an album and what a great album it is. Full of guitar-drenched garage/punk rock ‘n’ roll, tonight they play it in full.
Oozing raw energy, Johnny Seven don’t let up. And from the opening note of ‘Shot Down’ it’s a rock ‘n’ roll show that draws the crowd in from the bar and has them hooked. As it should be, there’s little chat between songs, just 35 minutes of foot-tapping catchy punk with hints of The Clash, Sex Pistols and, with the slower ‘In Detroit’, some pure grungy Stooges.
Frontman Dominic Green pounds across the stage eyeballing the crowd and staring down the few with cameras, belting out lyrics that are backed by thumping drum beats and some wicked guitar riffs. Despite their short time on stage, there’s a new song, ‘What’s Your Sign’, that reaffirms Johnny Seven are a band determined to keep alive loud, in your face, traditional, raw rock ‘n’ roll.
In terms of headliners, Dr. Feelgood, there are no original members but the current line-up is by no means new with drummer Keven Morris being present for over 30 years and vocalist Robert Kane, the last to join, fronting the band since 1999.
Tonight, The Georgian Theatre is almost sold out and Dr. Feelgood treat us to a set of legendary rocking blues songs that, within seconds, has people up at the stage dancing. It’s a night of classic Feelgood originals and superb covers that even the most casual fan will instantly recognise.
‘Stupidity’, ‘Back In The Night’, ‘Roxette’, ‘She Does It Right’ and more are now 40+ years old yet have lost none of their relentless power.
This is a band that knows exactly what it’s doing and does it brilliantly. At times they seem completely lost in the music, possessed by a musical demon that sees Kane dance, shuffle, crouch and stare whilst Steve Walwyn’s staccato guitar licks drive right through you.
Covers of Elmore James’s ‘Dust My Broom’ and Hambone Willie Newbern’s ‘Rollin &Tumblin’ see Walwyn play some wicked slide guitar. Add in some great harp playing by Kane, those unmistakeable bass riffs from Phil Mitchell, the grooving ‘Milk & Alcohol’ and ‘Down At The Doctors’, a real party atmosphere and a crowd that appreciates every moment – this gig will be a highlight of 2018.