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OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL film about pub-rock band DR FEELGOOD

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Oil City Confidential, a feature documentary film about the pub-rock band Dr Feelgood directed by Julian Temple, was premiered at London Film Festival last week.

Canvey Island, a gloomy industrial place below the sea levels and stricken by the 1953 flood, played an important role in the making of Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, the Big Figure and Sparko – ‘four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early ’70s. They 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.’ Their third album’s No 1 UK chart success took them to Europe and America where the punk movement was waking up in the late 1970′s. But unfortunately, it was on this tour, in 1977, when they broke up.

The style that Dr Feelgood offered was a welcomed break from the mainstream classic rock and they inspired many other musicians including young punks such as the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock and the Clash’s Joe Strummer. Together with Blondie, the surviving members of Dr Feelgood, Jools Holland and Alison Moyet, they appear in the Oil City Confidential telling a story about ‘Canvey, 70′s England and the greatest local band in the world’.

“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,” says Michael Hayden.

The next screening of the film is at the Leeds Film Festival on 8 November, but keep an eye for the dates of the general release!


  1. chocolategirl64 says:

    has it been screened locally?
    will it?
    it should!

  2. admin says:

    Hi – the national release is yet to be announced, but I am sure it will make it to Odeon Cinema or else we can hope that The White Bus will get hold of a copy!

  3. Johnny Mac says:

    Still waiting for the last Luton Film Festival to see it. Scheduled for showing on BBC or FILM 4 sometime ?