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Zoë Howe: Lee Brilleaux: Rock’N’Roll Gentleman

Album Review

Stirring portrait of the largely unsung giant of 70s Brit-rock.

There were three key moments in Lee Collinson’s teenage life: hearing the Stones, meeting John Wilkinson and watching Howlin’ Wolf in action. The latter was especially pivotal.

Awestruck by Wolf’s aggression, unpredictability and sheer power during a gig in Romford, Collinson funnelled the memory into his own stage persona with Dr. Feelgood. As singer Lee Brilleaux (a reference to the Brillo pad-ish wiriness of his post-gig hair), he revelled in the idea of performing, as he put it, like “a wild, violent nutcase”.

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