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Featuring original Animals John Steel and Mick Gallagher, plus Danny Handley and Roberto Ruiz.
In 1964 a wave of new energetic rock and roll swept over the youth of the world. On the crest of this wave was The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and of course The Animals. From the banks of the River Tyne came the North East's offering; a brand of rhythm n blues that the whole world seemed to grasp greedily.
Bruce Springsteen recently revealed on stage in the USA that it was The Animals, not The Beatles or the Stones who were his favourite British Invasion band." Their singles were the first full-blown class-consciousness I'd ever heard". After playing a short burst of 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place', Springsteen then confessed: “That’s every song I’ve ever written. 'Born To Run', 'Born In The USA', all of them".
The Animals were the second British band to top the American charts after The Beatles with the now multi-million selling and legendary anthem, 'House of the Rising Sun'. The band subsequently achieved over twenty global Top Ten hit records, many of which gained the Number One slot in various parts of the world. In Britain alone, the band had no less than twelve chart entries. The Animals were the first British band to tour Poland and Japan.
The enduring influence and breadth of appeal of The Animals’ music continues ever onwards. The Animals’ 1964 debut was recently included in CLASSIC ROCK magazines’ feature - ‘50 Albums That Built Blues Rock’
“Though the band has changed, the songs remain eternal, thanks to the protesting dissatisfaction linking them together... alongside covers of Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker classics, they ensure that the nostalgic element comes with an enjoyably abrasive edge” (ANIMALS & FRIENDS review - Andy Gill, The Independent)
Serious contenders to Bob Dylan in his ‘Never-Ending Tour’, the band have in recent years embarked on two massive UK tours with Special Guest Spencer Davis, as well as tours with other Special Guests including Stax , Booker T & The MGS and Blues Brothers guitar legend Steve Cropper, The Troggs and the late, great Mick Green (The Pirates, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Bryan Ferry). ANIMALS & FRIENDS’ appeal continues abroad, too – with shows in Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Russia and Holland.
2012 marked founder member John Steel’s 55th year as performing musician. Back in 1957 he and The Animals co-founder Eric Burdon began plying their trade in and around their native Tyneside with not the slightest inking that they would - in a very few years – find themselves part of a group that would be forever bracketed with the very best of British music – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds – and respected all over the world. The Animals were also be the second British band after The Beatles to top the American charts with their multi-million selling anthem, ‘House of The Rising Sun’.
Let us not forget that it was Bob Dylan’s ‘House of the Rising Sun’ that so inspired this legendary band to record what history has shown to be the definitive take. It is even whispered that Dylan looked to their version as inspiration for his infamous ‘going electric’.
After almost 60 years, the legend still grows…
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- Tuesday 14th Mar: Animals & Friends to appear at The Bell Inn, Maldon in August
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Headlining the Darlington Rhythm 'n' Brews festival 2009 (with special guest Spencer Davis) the Animals were back in the north-east where their music is revered. So it wasn't suprising that a large crowd greeted John Steel, Mickey Gallagher and co. and enthusiastically sang along to all the hit numbers… (cont'd) Rob from Chilton
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