You're here for the blues Festival called Blues en Bourgogne in Le Creusot, what do you think of this place ?
It's lovely, it's a really fabulous place. We arrived this afternoon and looked around the Château. Do you know what it was originally ? what the industry was ?
AM : It was a crystal industry. A firm yeah.
You're in the band till 1983.
AM : As the drummer of Dr Feelgood, why did you join the band, do you remember ?
Yes. I mean, I'd been at school with Lee and played a very early version of Dr Feelgood, it was called the Wild
Bunch in those days or sometimes the Pigboy Charlie Band, if we had Charlie the pianist, but normally the Wild Bunch
and we sort of lost touch to each other, and then I think they just got to the point where they needed a drummer,
and they phoned me up on a Sunday evening and I was playing on Wednesday night in Dingwalls'Dance venue in London.
Which Dr Feelgood record do you prefer ?
I think that the songs that Wilko Johnson wrote for the band are very important, because it propelled the group's
initial success, it gave it identifiable good sound and they are really good songs but I think also there are many
other songs that I'm very fond of 'Down at the Doctors', Mickey Jupp, he's also a local guy, you know,
so it's very local, kind of in the family.
What are your favourite drummers, apart from you ?
I have many favourite drummers for all kind of reasons, you know. It will be too complicated and long to explain exactly,
but I mean my boyhood hero was Keith Moon of the Who. I went to see him when I was eleven and he was only about eighteen
himself and I just thought : "that young man is having a great time", that's what I want to do. Other earlier influences
would be people like Buddy Rich, Bill Bruford the drummer from Yes, but many, many people. It's very difficult because sometimes
you like somebody for the simplicity, the way they don't do anything at all, somebody else you like because they have an incredible
technique and play all complicated kind of stuff you know.
As you travel a lot for your job, what country would you like, would you choose to settle down ?
That's an interesting question because it's one that's occured to me. In actual fact, I'm the happiest living
in England as my home base, but I like visiting lots of other places, on a regular basis and I look forward to going,
I'm very fond of France, I'm very fond of Spain, I'm very fond of Italy for example for all obvious reasons, you know,
the climate, the food, the people, but I mean I wouldn't want to go and live in Italy full time because of the problems
you have living in Italy with the government, the taxes, you know what I mean, it's difficult, the services don't work and
the inefficiency of Italian life, but it's still a fabulous place to visit.
What kind of gigs do you enjoy ? Do you enjoy small festivals, perhaps big stadium ?
I like a variety of shows. I think a lot of our best gigs ever happened in very small clubs where there is a very intimate atmosphere,
close proximity with the people. But at the same time it can be very exciting to play a big festival for example, you know
it's a different atmosphere but it's equally exciting.
AM : And it's good for money when you play in a big festival.
It can be, yeah (laughing) you only worth what you worth !
What do you do apart from the music, do you have some hobbies ?
No, I don't have time for hobbies. I run the band, so I'm in charge of booking all the shows and the flights, the complete run of the organization. I also accidentally, I've got involved in a distribution of drums when Lee Brilleau was ill in hospital. I started to work with a drum company
and now I have my distribution company and that's just become very big. (laughing).
AM : So you have a lot of work to do.
Do you speak French ?
No I understand the schoolboy French and I played with a French band for six months called Trust and at
that time they wanted to practise their English because they were interested in world domination at the time,
particularly Bernie the singer, he was, you know, he wanted to practise his English all day, so we didn't
speak much French, we manage to communicate in English.
AM : Do you want to say something for your fans tonight ? For the French fans ?
Oh it's lovely that we still have so many French fans and it's always a great pleasure to come to France,
it's one of the so called 'Feelgood' strongholds, we've always done a lot of work in France, Spain and Finland,
the three countries that we've always had a very strong presence, yeah.