Eric Burdon Newcastle City Hall Sat 23 Jun 2018

eric tixEric Burdon is one of my all-time heroes. I have seen him many times over the years so I couldn’t resist going to see a hometown concert at Newcastle City Hall. Eric Burdon is a legendary figure with a giant, deep, soulful voice. He took The Animals from Newcastle to the top the charts, London and around the world. His growling, rasping voice featured on such great hits as “We Got to Get Out Of This Place “, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and, of Course, “The House of the Rising Sun”.. Then, when the band split up, he formed his own, more psychedelic version of The Animals and had further hits such as “Monterey” and “When I Was Young”. Eric then became a fully fledged member of the San Francisco scene, a friend of Jimi Hendrix and then fronted the band War in the 1970s. The drive, work ethic and sheer nerve of the guy astounds me. He took himself from the backstreets of Newcastle, around the world and became a major player on the international music scene.

eric picPublicity for the concert read: “Despite Eric being the ripe old age of 77, his voice still packs a punch and he and his band put on one hell of a show. Seriously, the guy is North East music royalty; he and his band inspired generations of artists and wrote gritty, working -class tunes about gritty, working-class subjects before it was cool to write gritty, working-class tunes about gritty, working-class subjects. You can expect all the classic Animals’ tracks from a true master of the blues vocal performance – he’s been playing music for more years than many of us have been alive and he sure knows how to do it.” (NE VOLUME)

This time around Eric fronted a new backing band with young rock/blues players, and very impressive they were too. The set comprised old Animals hits, songs from his later career and soul and blues standards. His voice remains strong, the years have added even more gravel to it; taking his delivery closer to that of the blues legends he based his career on. Indeed, he has become one of the legendary blues men himself; in the mould of the old black blues singers he followed when he was young. Judging by the superlatives I have been using, you can guess that I really enjoyed the show. It was great to see one of my heroes back in his hometown, playing in a venue that he has starred in so many times before. Simply amazing and long may he continue. My carer, Joanne, came away a fan also.

Setlist (was something like this): When I Was Young; Mama Told Me Not to Come; Inside Looking Out; Spill the Wine; Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood; Don’t Bring Me Down; Bring It On Home to Me; Bo Diddley Special; It’s My Life; The House of the Rising Sun (Click on the link before this bracket to see a great video on YouTube); We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place; Hold On, I’m Comin’; The Blaydon Races.

My grainy photograph was taken at an earlier concert, when I witnessed an equally great performance by Eric Burdon at the Colne Blues Festival.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dcmuso on September 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for another excellent review – I agree that Eric is a living legend.

    Reply

  2. Strangely enough I’ve never seen Eric (to my great shame!), but I have seen the Animals (without him but on one occasion with Steve Cropper) at the aforementioned Colne Blues Festival. A must to go to you if any of your readers haven’t already been there.

    Reply

  3. Posted by John Moses on October 1, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Hi Peter,

    The Animals were one of my favourite groups in the sixties. Only recently started to listen to some of the earlier recordings again and was amazed just how good they sounded, e.g. Boom Boom sounded much better to me than the original J L Hooker, partly due to the musicianship but mostly due to Eric Burdon’s voice.

    John

    Reply

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