They may be too young to buy a lottery ticket, but the Irish four-piece know their tunes. From Dr Feelgood to Bo Diddley, here's what's rocking their tour bus
1. Dave Edmunds – Crawling From The Wreckage
A Pub Rock classic off 1977′s “Repeat When Necessary” album. Written by the legendary Graham Parker and backed by¬†Rockpile, this track is Dave at his absolute best with a killer guitar solo and a genuinely authentic Rock’n’Roll twang in his¬†vocals.
2. Chuck Berry – No Money Down
A supremely cool blues number from Chuck that motorvates along with as much ease as the Cadillac he meditates on in the¬†lyrics. Chuck’s ability to inject his vocals with real character and a knowing wit shines through here more than ever on this¬†one and the backing band featuring blues cornerstone Willie Dixon on bass is peerless.
3. Nick Lowe – They Called It Rock
No playlist would be complete without a contribution from Basher himself. On this B-side (alternatively recorded on¬†the “Jesus Of Cool” album as “Shake and Pop”) Nick lets his dry wit and cutting sarcasm loose on the music industry,¬†detailing a one-hit wonder band’s rise to instant fame being dashed to pieces as the follow-up stiffs (“They cut another¬†record/it never was a hit/And someone in the newspaper said it was shit”). Another Pub Rock gem.
4. Bo Diddley – Hey Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
The title of this song alone should merit its inclusion on the list. This Bo number reeks of attitude and pent-up frustration¬†as it chugs along menacingly, with the man himself telling his girlfriend’s mother how it really is and to keep her big mouth¬†shut.
5. Elmore James – Lost Woman Blues
A typical blues shuffle from the King Of The Side Guitar, but this track is far from filler. Elmore’s high-register blues howl¬†is positively addictive and his mastery of slide is a joy to listen to, his trademark stinging riff a work of true genius.
6. The Birds – You Don’t Love Me (You Don’t Care)
The B-side of Ron Wood’s early band’s debut (and not be confused with the American folk rockers with a Y). A Bo Diddley¬†cover, this track rumbles along with a hypnotic jungle rhythm and sinister repetitive vocals. The harmonica break is properly¬†stunning work too. . . .
7. The Boomtown Rats – Lookin’ After No. 1
One of the finest debut singles to come out of the New Wave era and probably the finest single from an Irish band ever. The¬†young Bob Geldof immediately establishes himself as a snotty, loudmouthed, angry young man who doesn’t care what he¬†has to do to get what he wants, and there’s no way anyone’s gonna stop him looking after no. 1. (“Don’t give me love thy¬†neighbour/Don’t give m charity/Don’t give me peace and love from the Good Lord above/You’re only getting in my way with¬†your stupid ideas!”)
8. The Undertones – You Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It?)
One of The Undertones’ string of short, sharp punkish odes to teenage life. Blink and you might miss this one as it flies by¬†in just over two minutes, but nonetheless features everything about it that makes The Undertones great. Thousands of garage¬†bands would kill to have come up with that riff. . .
9. Howlin’ Wolf – Moanin’ For My Baby
The Wolf is at your door and in this cut from his first full-length album he truly shows himself to one history’s great¬†interpreters of the blues. All of his hallmarks are there: his impassioned growling and sensitive wooing, accompanied by a¬†band that seems like it could groove on like that forever. Blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin plays lead.
10.Eddie & The Hot Rods – Horseplay
B-side of The Rods’ first single. This is a proper garage stomper, with urgent power chords, snotty vocals and an amazing¬†harp track from Lew Lewis. Some of Southend’s finest.
11.Taj Mahal – Checkin’ Up On My Baby
A track off his first LP, this Sonny Boy Williamson cover shows an awe-inspiring feel for the blues from every player.¬†Featuring Ry Cooder on guitar, the track cruises along with an indescribable level of cool, as Mahal’s silky smooth yet¬†authentic voice tops it all off.
12.Huey “Piano” Smith – Roberta
Infectious boogie woogie number from Huey “Piano” Smith with Frankie Ford on vocals. This features probably one of the¬†single catchiest choruses ever written and its playful boogie swing hooks you in won’t let you go.
13.The Graham Bond Organisation – Long Tall Shorty
The first of only a handful of 45s issued by The GBO in the early 60s, this Don Covay cover features the future Cream¬†rhythm section of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Graham Bond’s smoky growl and rich organ both simmer as the track¬†motors along at a sizzling pace.
14.Lew Lewis – Lucky Seven
Forgetten gem from Canvey Island’s favourite son. Short, sharp and immediate, this is everything you could possibly want¬†out of a Thames Delta R&B track. Lewis and his band sound like they’re constantly on edge, nervously bubbling over as they¬†thunder through the track. Classic stuff.
15.Dr. Feelgood – You Shouldn’t Call The Doctor (If You Can’t Afford The Bills)
Closing track of the Feelgoods’ second LP “Malpractice” and one that comes close to capturing the band’s entire manifesto¬†in two and a half minutes. Tight, punchy backing, Lee Brilleaux distinctive bluesy growl, sharp lyrics with a tongue-incheek bite and Wilko Johnson’s unparalleled machine gun riffs all add up to exactly what Dr. Feelgood was all about. Live¬†recording of this track are even better.
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