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Oil City Confidential (2009)

The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, sandpapered the face of rock'n'roll, leaving all that came before a burnt-out ruin - ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Lee Brilleaux ... Lee
... Wilko
John Martin ... The Big Figure
John B. Sparkes ... Sparko
Christopher Fenwick ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Will Birch
... Himself (archive footage)
Andy Gill
Richard Hell
Jools Holland
Glen Matlock
Jake Riviera
... Himself


The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, 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. Taking London by storm, they sped through Europe and conquered the UK with No 1 chart success, before imploding just as punk was born and America beckoned with open arms. Contributions from members of The Clash, Blondie and The Sex Pistols join Dr Feelgood with collaborators Jools Holland and Alison Moyet to tell the story of Canvey, '70s England and the greatest local band in the world. Written by Stephen Malit

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Plot Keywords:

band | punk rock | See All (2) »


Oil City is 100% pure below sea level, Canvey Island Noir.


Documentary | Music


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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

2 February 2010 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Feelgood: Oil City Confidential  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


£450,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Features Brighton Rock (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Saved Rock'n'Roll from corporate dictum
12 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

I was fortunate to have seen Dr. Feelgood on several occasions in the mid-'70s featuring the original lineup. I was excited when I found out about this documentary and ordered it right away. I was concerned that it might not capture the spontaneous nature and in-your-face, high energy of the band live, nor the uniqueness of its key members, Wilko Johnson and Lee Brilleaux. I needn't have worried because this is without doubt the best possible reading of these lads from Canvey Island. I had always wondered what happened to these Punk precursors and why Wilko Johnson so abruptly left the band at the zenith of their popularity. I had also wondered about the dynamic between Wilko and Lee Brilleaux, the front man and blues harp player. Anyway, these questions and a world of others were answered in watching this remarkable documentary. It is not only the history of this particular blues rock band but also that of a transitional historical moment when rock'n'roll shifted so radically to a harder and more basic paradigm, opening up a world of new musical possibilities for a genre which had become stagnant and boring. Dr. Feelgood were truly avatars helping to save rock'n'roll from a certain death by corporate dictum.

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