The original sound of British rhythm and blues The Animals hit The Gov for the first of two sold out shows. The interest in nostalgia is off the hook at the moment and say what you want about this band one thing is for sure that there’s plenty of people around the country that still want to hear these classic songs. The Animals now, well the touring version are referred to in social media circles as Animals and Friends featuring the one and only original John Steel on drums, the legendary Mick Gallagher on keyboards, Roberto Rulz on bass and Danny Handley on guitar and vocals.
The history of The Animals goes way back to the 1960s and like any band there’s ups, downs and in-betweens with line-up changes along the way but that didn’t seem to phase the crowd who were in a rather festive frame of mind and in for a big Saturday night. Danny Handley took control and encouraged the crowd to start clapping their hands unless they were holding a beer getting the night started with Baby Let Me Take You Home. The first of the big hits came by way of It’s My Life and I’m Crying.
The band sounded tight, looked great and gave a really good representation of these classic songs that have stood the test of time. John gave a pretty good introduction of how Mick Gallagher came to join the band in 1965 and how he literally rocked up in Stockholm for his first gig with The Animals twenty minutes prior to going on before a venue full of drunk teenagers much like at The Gov then going in to Bring It On Home To Me originally performed by American soul singer Sam Cooke.
Don’t Bring Me Down was great but Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood literally lifted the roof off the joint. Handley made quick comment that Mick was feeling a bit tired and discovered something to wake him up… musical Viagra! That musical Viagra was Big Boss Man and Night Time Is The Right Time. There were plenty of references to rock ‘n roll and a tribute to the greatest rocker of them all Chuck Berry in the set. The set closer of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place couldn’t be any more perfect, what a ripper!
Returning for an encore Handley said thanks for having us back so soon before rocking all the way through Boom Boom. John Steel stepped down from drums again to the microphone to say thank you to the crowd saying what a lovely place Adelaide is but they have to stop somewhere and promising one more song. No surprises there which one it would be! Steel gave a brief intro saying it was recorded in 1964 which was a wonderful time for the band supporting Chuck Berry and the song was done in one take and recorded for two quid. House Of The Rising Sun was brilliant and left many a punter happy with what they saw. It was great to see the band come out and say hi to their fans, signing posters and CD’s and taking selfies which was a nice bonus for fans.
Kudos to opening act Sean Kemp who played a terrific set despite coming up against a tough and largely disinterested crowd. Sean is a great performer who continues to get better and better each time I’ve seen him play and definitely worthy of playing in front of bigger crowds.
Friends on the East Coast get your tickets to check out The Animals, well worth it!
Review by Rob Lyon