The word legends can be genuinely used to describe The Animals, who played at the Eden Court on Sunday the 4th of September.
Three songs in to their set and ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ rifts into life. Barefooted lead singer Peter Barton, with his trademarked long hair and leather jacket did not fail to disappoint with his rendition of Ray Charles “ I Believe In My Soul” and carrying a big Voice through many a hit through the evening.
Christian Madden on Organ/Keyboards had fingers that were on fire! he owned the stage and crowd with his passionate and quick energised playing which seemed like a wave of electricity, which complemented John Williamson on Guitar who looked like he was a guitar crooner with every note. Last but not least, the original member of the Animals (Drummer) John Steel keeping the group in time. Accompanied by tame lighting of reds, blue and greens set the tone for a cool, clear and loud sound that had the crowd jumping, dancing and tapping to many a tune and this was only in the first half.
The second half saw Steve Cropper joined the line-up and straight away having an infinity with Chris (Keyboards) by starting with ‘Time Is Tight’ written by himself and Booker T. & the M.G.’s, performing also his co-written hits of ‘Midnight Hour’ and ‘Green Onions’, as well as Otis Redding’s Sitting on the Dock Of The Bay’ in which Steve wrote the music intro and performed acoustic/electric guitar on the record.
Slick and technically brilliant as well as in between songs Steve told the crowd many a story and received a standing ovation at the end, as did The Animals who, after ‘House of the Rising Sun’, made the night come to a close. In the whole theatre applauds and cheers bellowed! No one left disappointed and a fantastic night was had by all…
After the gig I managed to ask John Steel a few questions:
C: Any chance of a reunion with the other 3 living fellow members (Chas Chandler died in 1996) in the near future?
J: “No, I wouldn’t think so, not now. Also, I miss Chas still. He was a very good friend and it wouldn’t be the same”.
C: It’s the exact same date as you played Inverness 2 years ago – What is Inverness like to play and how does it compare to other dates you’ve played in the UK?
J: “Its great! We love it here and are staying for a few days in the city. How it differs is the people are more friendly, the audience are more accepting and really appreciative”.
C: What’s next for The Animals in the future?
J: “A European tour and off to Sweden next week.
C: Now you were inducted into the Music Hall of Fame in the 1990’s how did that feel?
J: “Fabulous! Was a great honour and great party to go to!”.
C: You’ve had a 50 year career what has been the biggest highlight for you?
J: “Having a worldwide No1 song in the charts at the same time and our first trip as a band to New York in 1964 as all our influences in music came from there”.
C: Finally, You’ve toured with the likes of Spencer Davis with The Animals and Friends tour and now with Steve Cropper – Who would you like to tour with in the future past, present or future if you had the choice?
J: “Buddy Guy”.
C: And will you play Inverness again?
J: “Hope so”.
Interviewed and Reviewed by Christina Tatlow. See, hear and read more of Christia here.