Eric Burdon and the Animals. 7.9.16. City Hall

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The 1960/61 socio-political climates of Newcastle and Detroit, both dominated by manual labour industries and industrial action, must have been as equally impactful to people on both sides of the Atlantic.  That’s the only reason I can think of to explain how it’s possible for a young lad from Walker to sing with as much soul as any one of the Motorcity’s finest.

For let’s not kid ourselves, Eric Burdon really was one of the best soul singers.  Right up with the Cocker’s and Springfield’s in the UK and the Redding’s and Cooke’s in the US.

At 75, Burdon still has one of the finest voices around; but potentially not the greatest team of advisers.

His set-list could be divided almost right in half; there’s the War and Animals material (‘Don’t let me be misunderstood’, ‘CC Rider’) which gives us the opportunity to hear that voice at it’s best; and there’s covered material (‘Mama told me not to come’, ‘Space oddity’) which doesn’t really work and leaves us longing for more of his own material.

At a minimum of £45 a ticket, the audience are clearly Burdon and The Animals fans, but starting the show late (10.10) doesn’t feel appropriate for an audience predominantly over 50, and neither does the misplaced magician who is aggressively heckled as he attempts to introduce Eric.

Very few people are as good as Eric, unfortunalty that seems to include his team of advisers.

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