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THE ANIMALS & STEVE CROPPER
Assembly, 9 September 2011
It was a
nice touch that rather than the usual CD played over the sound system
before the artists take the stage, for this show a DJ took control of
the music playing a selection of 1960's classics which really set the
mood for the evening.
Animals and Friends began life in the year 2000 and the line up
features original Animals drummer John Steel and keyboard maestro Mick
Gallagher who replaced Alan Price for a while when he left The Animals in
1965 (also known for his work as a Blockhead with Ian Dury and for his
album work with The Clash), the band is completed by Pete Barton lead
vocals/bass (ex Mindbender) and John Williamson guitar/vocals (ex
also a very special extra friend on this tour, legendary guitarist, song
writer and member of the 60's band Booker T & the M.G.'s, Steve "The
Colonel" Cropper, who also co- wrote several absolute classic songs
including the timeless '(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay' recorded by
the late great Otis Redding.
would make his appearance in the second set leaving The Animals &
Friends to rock the audience for the first half of the show which
started with the Animals debut single 'Baby Let Me Take You Home' a real
foot tapper, the first set also included 'Bright Lights Big City' which
featured outstanding keyboard work by Mick Gallagher and a powerful
performance of the classic hit single 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'.
Cropper was introduced on stage right at the
start of the second set, to a fantastic reception, and this master showman had the audience rushing
to the front of the stage for the second set opener, the Booker T. and
Blues Brothers classic instrumental 'Time Is Tight'.
fabulous collection of musicians then produced what can only be
described as a great American song book of Mr Croppers compositions
which included '634-5789' recorded by Wilson Pickett, (this included a
very funny anecdote on the amount of money this track cost the record
company because of issues with the phone number of the title being
constantly dialled), and of course we had a show stopping '(Sittin' On)
The Dock Of the Bay'.
Cropper's guitar playing was a joy to behold and the crowd were also
treated to countless stories from the music legend's fantastic career
including tales about the late great Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.
With the addition of all the classic Animals tracks performed by the
Animals & Friends the evening was a real rock and roll time machine with
the dials set to the 60's.
a superb evening in style surely everybody's favourite work anthem(!)
'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place', the classic of classics 'House Of The
Rising Sun' and with Mr Steve Cropper back on stage and plenty of
dancing in the audience a rocking/funky 'Green Onions'.
evening of top entertainment, loved every minute of it.
photos by Andrew Lock
Birkenhead, 22 September
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