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March 3rd, 2016

Oil City Confidential

Superb documentary about the Essex pub-rock band Dr. Feelgood

Julien Temple, UK, 2010, 104 mins.

Many who have seen this film count it one of the best they have ever seen.

It is in the words of Stephen Malt, "The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, sandpapered the face of rock'n'roll, leaving all that came before a burnt-out ruin - four estuarine John-the-Baptists to Johnny Rotten's anti-Christ. Taking London by storm, they sped through Europe and conquered the UK with No 1 chart success, before imploding just as punk was born and America beckoned with open arms.

"Contributions from members of The Clash, Blondie and The Sex Pistols join Dr Feelgood with collaborators Jools Holland and Alison Moyet to tell the story of Canvey, '70s England and the greatest local band in the world." 

From a Guardian review: “this very likable film [is] a vivid study of period, music and place”.

An Amazon user review: “intelligent, hilarious, moving, a giant piece of work. I can't recommend this highly enough”

Another: “a terrific film about a wonderful band. Humour and pathos abound and in their interviews the lads come across as great blokes, salty characters. A dead-set 5-star job!”

See also:

Oil City Confidential website

Lead singer Lee Brilleaux being interviewed by Melvyn Bragg in 1981

Wilko Johnson recalling being asked to join the band

A concert clip ...

and another