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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.

Wishbone Ash was formed by West Country musicians Martin Turner and Steve Upton, who arrived in London in 1969 to embark on their musical journey. Intent on creating a musical sound that was rich in texture and melody, Martin Turner envisaged the band’s innovative harmony-guitar hallmark and guitarists Ted Turner and Andy Powell were recruited via a now legendary Melody Maker advert. The partnership of the original line-up of Wishbone Ash forged a unique musical identity that would produce some of rock music's best loved works and influencing numerous successful bands, resulting in millions of album sales and concert attendances. Wishbone Ash would become one of the most enduring British rock acts - its name synonymous with high quality guitar-driven melodic rock music. Five decades later, the music of the classic line-ups of Wishbone Ash continues to delight audiences worldwide through both live performances and a rich legacy of recorded work that continues to be enjoyed by fans old and new. Classic album releases such as Wishbone Ash, Argus, Pilgrimage, There’s the Rub, New England and Live Dates defined the Wishbone Ash sound and have touched the hearts of several generations of music fans. As lead vocalist and key creative force, founding original member Martin Turner was central to the critical and commercial success of Wishbone Ash’s most revered albums, with his passionate vocal delivery, songwriting ability, keen melodic sense and production values being major ingredients in the definitive Wishbone Ash sound. Martin Turner continues to perform the band’s best loved works with his current line-up, which features guitarists Danny Willson and Misha Nikolic, and drummer Tim Brown. In recent years Martin Turner has delighted audiences worldwide with his performances of material from the classic periods of Wishbone Ash’s history. Martin’s 2020 touring continues his exploration of the Wishbone Ash catalogue and follows the release of a deluxe 30-disc Wishbone Ash career retrospective CD boxed-set entitled The Vintage Years 1970-1991 as well as Martin Turner’s 2016- recorded 2CD/DVD package The Beauty Of Chaos – Live at the Citadel.

A female guitar prodigy, at fourteen Chantel was told by major labels that she had a "great voice, but girls don't play guitar like that!" Wisely ignoring the comments, she enrolled at the Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college’s history, to achieve a 100% pass mark, with 18 distinctions. Chantel left with a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music and a coveted prize, the college’s musician of the year award.

In previous years, Chantel stepped out in the pro-musician world and her stunning live performances demonstrated that she had the ability to perform rock for the new age, played by a musician born with an effortless virtuosity. Since then, she has built a loyal and growing fan base who follow her every move.

If you measure an artist’s prospects by the company they keep, then Chantel has been moving in the right direction. Early in her career, Chantel was invited to perform with Joe Bonamassa, on two of his UK tours.

When Chantel released her 2011 debut album, Like No Other, one critic said, “Chantel McGregor deserves to be held up as a messiah of blues-rock and given her own mountain. She doesn't strum or pick her guitar but almost bends and distorts it, as if she's channelling the ghost of Hendrix through her fingers"

The album was produced by Livingstone Brown, whose production credits include Ed Sheeran, Robin Trower, and Shakira. The end result was a beautifully crafted debut album that showcased Chantel’s versatility and talent as a singer-songwriter.

Chantel’s follow up album, Like Control, again produced by Livingstone Brown, was released in October 2015 to critical acclaim.

All About Rock’s review of the album said:
'The album in its entirety has a common theme running through of gothic imagery which makes it almost a concept album but each track stands out on its own. Chantel’s double tracked vocals are amazingly tight & the production on this album sounds loose which is a compliment to Livingstone Brown & Chantel who have obviously spent a lot of time on the arrangements. The girl can obviously shred but she does so in a very understated & despite the title of the album, a controlled way. Recommended for fans of blues, rock, Jeff Buckley, Marillion, Big & Rich, Country & Nick Drake. This is a hard album to categorize & pigeon hole which in this day & age of labels & boxes is a good thing.'

Planetmosh reviewed the album with the following comment:
'The album is full of great guitar work, but Chantel McGregor isn’t just a guitar player – she does the vocals too and they are equally impressive. She’s got a great voice and the variety of songs on the album allows her to demonstrate a range of styles vocally. It really is a great album.'

The single, Take The Power, was playlisted for 5 weeks on Planet Rock radio.

Chantel has recently been interviewed for features on Sky News, BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Radio Four.

In December 2018, Chantel launched her own Podcast, which has been very successful, earning a place in the iTunes Podcast Charts.


Fast losing their reputation as the “best kept” blues secret in the UK, Backbone Blues Band are setting a pace to 2016 and ‘17 with a busy and varied schedule. Although still a British rarity; they are better known in the USA than in the Thames Valley, from where most of them hail, and with their 6th annual tour of the States under their belt in October 2015, the band are tipping their hat at the next twelve months here at home. Their reputation is growing fast and has attracted the attention of visiting American artists Loomis Hamilton and Larry Garner for whom they’ve played support, as well as the UK’s young slinger, Laurence Jones who they’ve recently shared a stage with at Reading and Rebecca Downes. Their second album ‘Which Way To The Blues’ was released in late summer 2015, and received a glowing review in Blues in Britain magazine; they said ‘an album full of highly enjoyable goodies by five guys at the top of their blues’. Their first album in 2013 ‘Made in Britain’ enjoyed similar reviews and was promoted live on the famous Sonny Payne’s radio show in Helena Arkansas, ‘King Biscuit Time’. “More of a privilege than a promotional stunt, Sonny’s a genuine hero of the blues” commented Duncan Highet, the band’s bass player and singer. They’ve played from ‘Beale to Bourbon’ on their USA tours, including Beale St in Memphis, King Biscuit Festival in Helena, the Balcony Music Club and Bamboulas in New Orleans and the world famous Ground Zero Blues Club, where they have an entire Sunday dedicated to them under the billing, “The Big British Blues Brunch”. They fold all that experience into their performances back in the UK. Influenced by the old blues men and inspired by the new, their music has blues at its heart, and is threaded with soul, rock and country and delivers a style that’s both eclectic in its construction, but unmistakably “Backbone” in its delivery. “What we’ve learned most from our tours of the Delta, is that as well as the music, you have to put on a show. Just playing well isn’t enough” says Tony Seaman one of the band’s guitarists. “You can’t just shuffle on stage in old jeans and a scruffy T-shirt, you have to pay your dues and pay respect to the music and audience”. Frank McConnell the other guitarist in the band expands on the theme, “We play songs. Yes it’s plainly the blues, but not predictably so; well written, well-constructed and well-executed songs is what try to do, we’re also choosy about the covers we play and give them the full Backbone treatment too”. Backbone are a band that have clearly worked hard at what they do. With a tight rhythm section, creative guitars and keys and soulful vocals, they deliver a sound that grooves when it swings and punches well above its weight when it rocks.
Backbone Blues Band are Duncan Highet (Bass / Vocals), Martin Jezzard (Drums), Tony Seaman (Guitar / Vocals), Frank McConnell (Guitar) and Steve Pearce (Keyboards).
MATT PEARCE & THE MUTINY is the new funky-blues-rock ‘solo’ project from the longtime guitarist of U.K. rockers VOODOO SIX. Matt’s forthcoming self-produced album ‘Gotta Get Home’ features him on lead vocals, guitar and all songwriting duties, alongside the cream of the London blues scene, and was mixed by his V6 bandmate Tony Newton, who produced IRON MAIDEN’s most recent live release, The Book of Souls.




JOHN VERITY
has had a varied and amazing career, supporting rock luminaries such as JIMI HENDRIX, JANIS JOPLIN, JOHN MAYALL’S BLUESBREAKERS and MOUNTAIN. Recording with RINGO STARR, KEITH EMERSON, GREG LAKE, TIM ROSE, ZOMBIES, COLIN BLUNSTONE, PHOENIX and ARGENT to name a few. John is also an established producer of numerous artists including Saxon, Charlie and Phoenix plus his own extensive album catalogue but a priority has always been ‘live work’. John’s extensive touring schedule in 2016/17 has seen him scaling new heights which is set to continue in 2018 with even more new venues and festivals.

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion refresh the blues genre with eclectic arrangements, virtuosic playing and vocal prowess. With an exciting live set based around rootsy original songs, strong catchy riffs and exciting grooves, they mix old school tradition with contemporary flare and sophistication. Zoe’s dynamic and commanding vocal delivery is complimented by the unmistakable touch and flow of Rob Koral-guitar, and the highly accomplished rhythm section of Pete Whittaker-Hammond organ and Paul Robinson-drums. The band have made a considerable impact these last several years and have added a fresh approach and vibrancy to the UK Blues scene. Amongst many awards and nominations, they were finalists in the last UK Blues Awards with Female Vocalist and Album of the year; and have enjoyed multiple BBC Radio 2 and 3 plays.

Born Healer play soulful, heavy blues-rock with a groove. Vocalist Helen Turner has been likened to such great names as Janis Joplin and Maggie Bell, and is "the real deal" according to 'Classic Rock'. She and guitarist Iain Black were founding members of the Bare Bones Boogie Band, whose last album 'Tattered & Torn' was voted one of the best of the year by 'Classic Rock: The Blues'. Bringing the groove are Marek Funkas on bass, who has previosuly performed with major international touring artists, and since early 2019, Steve Weaver on drums, who brings a lively dynamic to the Born Healer shows. Born Healer are a regular addition to many UK rock and blues festivals, and with recent support slots for Aynsley Lister, Chantel McGregor, Skinny Molly and Focus, the band have really hit their stride and their shows are going down better than ever.



The Southbound sound derives from classic influences stemming from the Chicago and Delta blues as well as early Southern rock, taking their inspiration from iconic bands such as: Derek and the Dominoes, the Allman Brothers Band, Humble Pie, Santana, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter and Ry Cooder which culminates into a unique blend of their own modern up tempo British Blues Rock and Soulful Ballads.
When performing live, all these influences come together to create an unparalleled live experience that’s both exciting and entertaining . The band have been vigorously gigging around the U.K for the past few years at festivals and venues, and trodden the boards of many of the U.K's iconic music venues, both sharing the stage and supporting some of Britain's best blues and rock acts around, and at their own headline shows.
Southbound in early 2019 have released a brand new album called “Rocking Horse” showcasing 11 of their own original songs which blend blues, rock, and soul. Their twin guitar sounds, a funky back line and powerful vocals bring a fresh new approach on the genres with a young British fire behind it, breaking the restrictions on Blues and Rock and becoming a sound which is purely... Southbound.


‘Blues Engine are not proper blues’ – some guy on the internet.
Damn right we aren’t.
It’s last call for drinks, but too early to dream away your sorrows.
Outside you can taste the rain, and a dark wind bites you as it races by. You hear a sound that draws you to a threshold of a bar, a sound built of the old machinery of the blues, but with funk and soul and rock bolted on. It shakes; it rattles; it dances; it lives. That’s the sound of the Blues Engine. The band’s debut album, ‘The Quick and the Dirty’, went straight to the top of the IBBA Chart, leading to a nomination for a British Blues Award as Emerging Artist. Second album ‘Tracks’ and new EP ‘Lilith’s Blues’ explore that alchemy further, still taking in influences from jazz and funk to rock, soul and even Latin music, but retaining a deep thread of blues at their core.
"Big Joe Bone" (A.K.A. Danny Wilson) plays what he calls "Blues-Grass" music.....a mix of Delta Blues, Bluegrass, Oldtime, Gospel and Hillbilly music utilizing his raspy vocals, hard driving harmonica rhythms, sublime bottleneck slide guitar playing (on steel bodied resonator guitars) and lightning finger-picking skills on 5 string banjos.....all held together by a very heavy stomping boot! Originally from London and now living on the Mid-Wales coast, Danny started playing guitar as a schoolboy and has now been travelling all around the UK playing his fast, furious Roots music to eager audiences since 2012. As well as playing songs from great Roots musicians like Son House, Dock Boggs, Bukka White, Flatt and Scruggs, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Charlie Parr, Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Robert Johnson .....the list goes on and on!, Danny also plays his own songs, which fit right in to his eclectic set.....which shows that when it comes to roots music, he really "gets it" . Although "Big Joe Bone" is a relatively young act compared to some, Danny has a lifetime of music behind him and has thrown himself into what has become a very busy schedule of gigs since he hit the road in 2012. "Big Joe Bone" is an act not to be missed!
GRIZZLY RHYS MORGAN

An accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist, Grizzly Rhys Morgan has been entertaining audiences for most of his life. He is renowned for his original music, distinctive raw vocals and mastery of lap slide guitar. Grizzly performs both solo and with his band, Grizzly and the Grasshoppers, with frequent appearances on the festival circuit. In 2019 they added Isle of Wight Festival, Swanage Blues Festival, and Port Eliot to the CV. He was featured artist on Express FM `New in the House`, and has appeared in Blues in Britain magazine. “One man, four guitars, and an awesome voice.” First Thursday Blues Club, Exeter
SOLID ENTERTAINMENTS Presents... LOOE BLUES FESTIVAL