Dr Feelgood, especially in their original incarnation of Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, John B Sparks and The Big Figure, were a thunderously good live band. Their third album was one of the great live albums of the seventies and was by far their best selling album, reaching number one in the UK charts.
It was called Stupidity, named after the Solomon Burke song featured on side one of the record, which was recorded at Sheffield City Hall on 23 May 1975, while the second side was from the Kursaal Flyer in Southend in England on 8 November 1975, which was also filmed.
A film of some of the gig has appeared for the first time this year on the DVD Going Back Home and comes with this bonus CD, which features the entire concert. My copy is a promo which did not come with the DVD, so I am reviewing the bonus CD only. It is the first time the whole concert has been released (although besides the album side, a few other tracks from the concert have turned up on singles) and captures the band at the peak of their powers.
As well as songs from the first two essential albums, Down By The Jetty and Malpractice, there are a number of live favourites such as I Can Tell and I'm A Man (both Bo Diddley covers), Sonny Boy Williamson's Checkin' On My Baby, the Coasters' I'm A Hog For You and another Leiber/Stoller song, Riot In Cell Block Number Nine, a signature selection for the band.
Three bonus tracks come from the Sheffield concert a few months earlier: Talkin' 'Bout You (the Chuck Berry rather than Ray Charles song), Stupidity and Walking The Dog. The final track, Johnny B Goode, was on a single that came with early copies of the Stupidity album, and was recorded at the Friar's Club in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire on 17 May 1975.
Only three Sheffield tracks from the Stupidity album are not on this CD (Twenty Yards Behind, All Through The City, She Does It Right) and there are performances from the Southend concert of all of these, so this is a more than adequate substitute for that album. And you get a DVD, too!