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‘House of The Rising Sun’… ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’….’Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ and 'Boom Boom’ (as featured in the James Bond movie, ‘Skyfall’).

Featuring from the original Animals –

JOHN STEEL & MICK GALLAGHER (The Blockheads)
Plus Danny Handley and Roberto Ruiz

www.animalsandfriends.info

“The Animals earned their name thanks to their wild stage act. That was 50 years ago and they have calmed down since, but their music has lost none of its vigour”. (ANIMALS & FRIENDS review - Wales Online)

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.
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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 more than 60 years, the legend still grows…
Starting out as the band behind Ian Dury, the Blockheads are a legendary outfit that has grown in stature from the early days of the Stiff tour in 1977, right up to the present day. Backing up Ian Dury’s poetic lyrics, this is the band that brought you ‘Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick’, ‘What A Waste’, ‘Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3)’, and ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’, among many others.

Rarely off the road since the demise of Ian Dury in 2000, but now with Derek Hussey fronting the band, the Blockheads are still one of the most underrated British bands of all time, with a legion of fans of all ages.

Their new album, ‘Same Horse Different Jockey’, was released on 23rd November 2013, which was also the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick’, and continues to show both their diversity and supreme quality, as well as showcasing their uniqueness.

Derek Hussey’s lyrics in the bands new songs keep the combination of poetry, word play, earthy humour and deadly-accurate observations of everyday, British working-class life, that Ian Dury had perfected, but with an added bite for the 21st century. Hussey is known to the bands followers as Dury’s best friend and minder, memorably singing with Ian and the band at a televised concert in the late 90’s.

This album release campaign has been supported by a hugely successful Kickstarter project, with the fans getting involved and enabling the band to make music videos in association with Free Seed Films (www.freeseedfilms.com). You can see the new video for the first single from ‘Same Horse Different Jockey’, ‘Express Yourself’ on the Blockheads YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/blockheadsofficial . In addition there has also been a remake of the classic ‘Blockhead Watch’, but for the modern generation, with a ‘Blockhead Clock’ available for iPhones from the Apple app store.

As well as through their own new material, interest in “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”, the recent biopic of their erstwhile front man Ian Dury, the performance of ‘Spasticus Autisticus’ at the 2012 Para-Olympic Opening Ceremony, and the musical ‘Reasons To be Cheerful’, has seen a resurgence in the bands popularity over the past couple of years and they continue to go from strength to strength.

Along with some new material you can expect to hear “Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick”, “Wake Up And Make Love With Me”, “Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3)”, “What A Waste”, “Clevor Trever”, “Sweet Gene Vincent” and many more from the illustrious back catalogue.

The Blockheads are fronted by Derek ‘The Draw’ Hussey, and Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher still remain from the original band. The current line-up is augmented by John Roberts on drums and a rolling line up of saxophonists that includes Gilad Atzmon, Terry Edwards and Dave Lewis.
WILLE & THE BANDITS

Essentially Wille and the Bandits is a classic blues rock three piece much in the vein of Cream or The Jimi Hendrix experience. But in a similar way to how these bands pushed the genre in their time, Wille and the Bandits try to take their sound beyond what is expected of such a traditional line up.
The use of more bizarre instrumentation and eclectic influences in the song writing often pushes them more into a world music or progressive category. Having toured with artists such as Deep Purple through to the John Butler trio and played major festivals across Europe, the band seem to leave an equally astounding impression on audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds with their energetic and soulful performances.
They have received great critical acclaim, being voted in the top ten must see bands at Glastonbury 2014 by BBC Radio 1 and reaching number 2 in the UK blues chart with their first single on downloads alone. Now touring their third independently released studio album Wille and the Bandits fan base, repertoire of sounds, styles and innovation seems to be growing at an exponential rate.
The band are praised in the press for their albums; bursting at the seams with textures, originality and soul. Rock legends such as Ian Paice, Joe Bonamassa and Francis Rossi have also praised the band’s musicianship and their unique edge to Rock and Blues.
It’s rare to find a band as dynamic as Wille and the Bandits, one that is just as comfortable and as impressive at both ends of the sonic spectrum. In the modern age of disposable music it is refreshing to hear a band that still value the art of creating albums and who continue to bring new instruments and ideas into their songwriting rather than settling for a tried and tested formula. Ten seconds of Youtube will not scratch the surface of the band’s sound and message; this is a band that is very much about discovery and one best experienced LIVE!.

DEEP BLUE SEA

From wild wild west London Borough of Los Angeles, an astonishing vocalist, Dregas From the frozen north London Borough of Stockholm, a funky master of rhythm and groove, tougher than an IKEA manual, Amanda Dal on drums. From the sunny south London Borough of Santiago De Compostella, a master of so many guitar styles he leaves audiences dumbstruck, the amazing Iago Banet on guitar. From inner London, the Royal London Borough of Hartlepool, he played with Tenpole Tudor back in the day and is an established songwriter, Graeme on bass.
Solid Entertainments Presents... Cleethorpes Blues Festival