Oil City Confidential. The Dr. Feelgood Story

Director Julien Temple
United Kingdom / 108 min. / 2009 / English

A psychotic and charming Wilko Johnson carries us through guitar thrashes of fierce R&B, to relate the saga of the group that put the roll back in rock. Temple carves out his epic poem from Canvey Island to world conquest, accompanied by the aroma of nicotine and flashes of Delta blues punk.  

Courtesy of: Cadiz Music


Punk was a mushroom, but even mushrooms need subsoil. In the 70’s haven of pretentious artists and annoying music, someone had to level the ground for the guys with the safety pins. This missing link was pub rock, and its emperors, the majestic Dr. Feelgood. In Oil City Confidential, a psychotic yet lucid Wilko Johnson (the spasmodic guitarist of its crucial era) carries us through geometric guitar thrashes of fierce R&B, to the saga of the group that put the roll back in rock. From the Canvey Island refineries, to world conquest from the pub, sky-high in a meteorite of nicotine and Delta blues-punk and joined at the hip to its frontman Lee Brilleau, we accompany the Doctor’s firsthand witnesses through history. Almost an extra member, Temple fuses 50’s gangster films  (Brighton Rock, The Criminal) to the biography, further emphasizing the band’s connotation as dangerous outsiders. What we end up with is the thrill of a legendary group and the beautiful (if booze-soaked) corpse it left behind. Essential for fans of break-neck rhythms and, it goes without saying, of Temple himself. 


Showing format

in festivals
London FIlm Festival

Dr. Feelgood; Joe Strummer; Glen Matlock;Jools Holland

Stephen Organ

Stephen Malit

Film company
Cadiz Music

Film distributor
Hanway Films

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