The Animals, Stu Daniels @ The Gov, Adelaide 30/10/2022

Good times and great music was the name of the game Sunday night at The Gov to seeing The Animals featuring the legendary drummer John Steel with support from Stu Daniels (from Already Gone). The Animals are no strangers to Adelaide and if it wasn’t for Covid I’m pretty sure their annual pilgrimage would have continued. In short this was a great show and really well put together making it a great night out. It was a predominantly an older crowd but great to see some younger faces in the crowd.

Stu Daniels was a solid opener performing solo which was a subtle contrast seeing him play with his band Already Gone who are making quite the impression on the live scene in Adelaide. With some great songs at his disposal to play I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of him around the traps.

The Animals have built an amazing legacy of songs of their own heavily influenced by rhythm and blues as well as some covers given The Animals touch up. The band is super tight and really know how to play. Front man Danny Handley is an incredible singer, guitarist and all round front man who was joined by Roberto Ruiz on bass, Barney Williams on keys (filling the spot left by Mick Gallagher who has retired from touring) and the ‘unstoppable’ John Steel on drums. I think if I had half the energy of John I’d be a world beater!

Opening with Baby, Let Me Take You Home was followed by global hit It’s My Life. With the crowd seated it did take quite a bit from from Handley to get them fired up and excited about the show. It was a Jimmy Reed cover, not to be confused by the plumber in Melbourne, in Bright Lights, Big City followed by a slower tune in I Put A Spell On You. I’m Crying got a few up out of their chairs dancing and Barney’s vocals on I’m Going To Change The World was top shelf. Until Barney joined the band they didn’t actually play that one.

The hits kept coming with Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me proving to be one of many highlights and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood. There was a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis with the swashbuckling Great Balls Of Fire to turbo charge the vibe in The Gov. Night Time Is the Right Time saw Handley in amongst the crowd trying to get some audience participation, give a few hugs and high fives. Great story behind the origins of Club A-Go-Go followed by set closer and another huge hit We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place.

Returning for an encore John Steel stepped down from the kit to thank the crowd, formerly introduced front man Danny Handley after the other band introductions were done earlier in the set and promised that they would be back next year. Someone would have been lucky as well to score some signed drum sticks by John which were used during the show. What a way to go out on with The House of the Rising Sun which capped things off brilliantly. Great show and with a three shows left on the tour I’d be making sure you get your tickets to check ’em out.

Live Review By Rob Lyon