Dr. Feelgood - Live In London
Grand Records have just re-released the "Live In London" CD as GrandCD33. Very welcome is the fact, that this has been extended from 14 songs to 21 tracks (actually 20, because one is band intros only). Usually I'm a bit suspicious when it comes to re-releases and especially if this concerns albums that are not on my A-list. Although I need to state, that I probably have to think this over from scratch. It's been literally years since I heard "Live In London" the last time, but it does sound fresh and there's a certain urgency behind the whole gig. Of course, we all know how Steve Walwyn got thrown into this with barely having tested the waters and how bravely he mastered this task. But then, Steve is an excellent guitarist, no doubt about that.
I haven't made a 1:1 comparison to older CD and LP releases, but the extended version sounds great. No complaints there! And lending a fresh ear to records you have heard before, is certainly something that can't be wrong. I don't know wether Grand Records have done any remastering/remixing, but I doubt it (it doesn't say anything about it on the sleeve). Grand Records is not exactly known for sinking money into their productions. To be fair, maybe it just wasn't necessary and before dabbling with an otherwise perfect live sound, it could very well mean, to leave it as it is.
I might be to fixed on the guitar playing, but I seem to hear it in a new light. Fascinating! And, of course, Lee Brilleaux, as (almost) always on top of his game. In fact, this is an extremely welcome addition to my Dr. Feelgood collection that leaves me wondering, what else is in the vaults and when are we going to hear it? In fact, going through this latest release, I've found so many interesting snippets, that this album does move a notch or two up the ladder.
One complaint I have to make though. The graphics on the cover are among the worst I've seen in a long long time. Fine, there's Lee Brilleaux, but the rest should probably show the dynamics of London. A city bustling 24 hours a day. This is just cheap and I can't understand why no real professionals are hired to do a proper job. This looks again like the cheapskates Grand Records are. Maybe someone's son/daughter/nephew had a few spare minutes at hand and did the thing ("oh well, but he/she's drawing so beautiful in school, did you see her/his sunflower pictures?"). Other than that, my well meant advice is, go and buy the CD and enjoy!