Iconic rhythm, blues and rock band, The Animals, are heading to Wollongong with their legendary lyrics for a live gig at Centro CBD on Thursday, 18 May 2017.
With music as relevant today as it was in the 1960’s, The Animals have provided anthems for generations with hit songs such as ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place‘, ‘The House of the Rising Sun‘, ‘It’s My Life‘ and ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood‘.
Formed in 1962 and 1963 in Newcastle Upon Tyne in England, The Animals were part of the legendary ‘British Invasion’ and entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
With great success in Australia with 9 Top 50 hits, we can’t wait to see them in the Gong.
Drummer John Steel had a chat with us and we soon discovered his still a cheeky English lad.
You went to art school as a teenager, and have previously described yourself as a ‘dropout’. Were you a bit of a rebel back in the day?
John: Yeah, I think so. The art school thing was the way to avoid doing a proper job I think. I did have a bit of an artisic streak but I was a terrible academic.
That first day at art school was when I met Eric Burdon and that was the first stirring of The Animals. Eric and I discovered that we had the same taste in music, movies and all kinds of stuff and next thing you know we formed a band.
What was it like to be part of the famous ‘British Invasion’ into America?
John: It was a really exciting time. Everything was a new experience. Suddenly we went from being fans of the music to playing it.
We were five working class Geordie lads from the North West of England. In those days that wasn’t a common thing in America.
All of a sudden it was these crazy kids from England charging over to America and having a great time. It was the first time we were able to stand and say this is our music. It was thrilling to be able to do that.
Who were your musical influences?
John: Great rock n rollers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, early Elvis, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, there were so many great ones.
We started to delve down deeper and found where it all came from which was the blues with people like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins. There were some fantastic blues artists which had been playing some amazing music without being recognised really.
‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place’ was an anthem to the US Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and continues to be an anthem to this day. Why do you think it is still relevant today?
John: Over the years it has developed into a universal anthem for just anyone who wants to make a change or go in a different direction.
Everyone has a moment in their lives where they think i’ve gotta get out of this place. It’s a perfect song for those kinds of situations.
You have previously described the success of ‘House of the Rising Sun’ as life changing.
John: It was a number one hit record all over the world. It opened doors everywhere for us. It was the song that put The Animals on the map.
The Animals music has withstood the test of time with new generations of fans. How does that make you feel?
John: It’s astonishing. It always gives me a lot of pleasure to see. When we are playing in a foreign country there are always kids in the front rows singing the songs and they know them better than I do.
We really have the great fortune to have some dark songs about real life rather than middle of the road kind of pop songs. These songs seem to have an effect on any generation.
You have an amazing list of hit music to reference. How do you go about putting a set list together?
John: Our set list is never the same. We always play the hits but we have such a large catalogue of material that we just shuffle them around.
We’re not a cabaret act, we’re a rock n roll band. We like to keep things fresh. It’s great to play songs we haven’t played in donkey years and it’s great to get the audiences’ reaction.
The band members have changed over the years. What keeps you performing with The Animals?
John: It’s love of the music, enjoying the travelling and performing in front of an audience that gives you great feedback. There’s nothing like getting a standing ovation at the end of your show.
We always close with ‘Land of the Rising Sun‘ and it never fails to get people on their feet so it’s always the last number that we play. I’m such a lucky fellow to just be able to do that for a living.
Original members John Steel and Mick Gallagher along with Danny Handley and Scott Whitely will bring The Animals live to Centro CBD (28 Stewart St, Wollongong) on Thursday, 18 May 2017.
Dinner (main meal) and show – $99.00 Show only – $65.00
Dishing out their signature feast of gritty, growling notes and tones and adding a splash of love, Phil Barlow and the Wolf will bring their East Coast Tour to Thirroul’s Beaches Hotel on Sunday 11 December. They even have a gift for us!
To thank fans for their amazing support, you can download their new single, ‘Love Is All I Feel‘, for FREE during this tour. To download simply visit www.philbarlowandthewolf.com
After an amazing performance at The Bombie Bar back in September this year, we can expect good vibrations and a killer performance at Beaches Hotel on Sunday, 11 December.
Check out what lead singer Phil has to say about connecting and bringing the love to town.
Your new single, Love Is All You Feel is a groove-laden, blues-rock-funk number encouraging people to open up and connect with their fellow humans. How did the song come about?
I had been going through a challenging time when I wrote this song. I was faced with intense situations that would typically provoke a negative reaction from me, until one day I made a choice to start adopting loving thoughts in those moments instead of negative ones.
I then did this with every area of my life and amazing things started to happen. Loving and supportive people were becoming more present in my day to day life, loving gestures kept coming back to me, more people were coming to shows, opportunities were getting better.
It’s not like romantic love, it’s more centred and universal than that. It is like a whole different way to see and experience life. And I wanted to give that to others too.
The band and I are so grateful for all the support people gave us with this last album, so we dedicated this song to them. That’s why we are giving “Love Is All I Feel” away for free during this tour. It is downloadable now from our website: www.philbarlowandthewolf.com
How important do you think music’s role is in connecting people?
Music is such a gift in that it gives people words and sounds to express what they perhaps can’t themselves.
It can certainly help you to realise that you are not alone in your feelings and experiences. Music also helps release emotion and exchanges energy between people in a positive way, which is an essential part of a mentally healthy and balanced community.
Music has been an element in human culture always and there is a good reason for that!
When you are live on stage how do you connect with your fans?
I first focus on allowing myself to truly let go into the moment. I then project that outward to engage and invite people to get wild with us!
To see people unleash that liberating energy of not caring who’s watching is why we do what we do. It can get wild, but there are a lot of busy minds that need to be released and we create a positive space that allows people to be themselves and let loose.
You are giving back to the fans for their amazing support by allowing them to download Love Is All You Feel for free. How has the response been so far?
Yes! It has been great thank you!
The band and I are so grateful for all the support people gave us with this last album, so we dedicated this song to them.
A lot of dedicated howlers are appreciative of the free download and our expression of gratitude. People are saying lots of kind things.
Your music video features the ‘Howler’ community, local musicians, artists, friends and fans at a party. What vibe were you hoping to create with this video and did you achieve it?
It was a simple intention. To create an energy of Love and light hearted fun. Yeah, I am happy to be able to share a taste of that with the world.
We are excited to hear that you are heading back our way. What keeps bringing you back to the Gong?
There is something about the Gong that feels like a home away from home. People are so friendly and open minded, the landscape is amazing and we have friends and family down there too, so it’s an easy decision really!
You last visited the Gong back in September this year when you played at The Bombie Bar. What can we expect when you return on Sunday, 11 December at Beaches Hotel in Thirroul?
It’s time to fire up and enjoy a great run of shows! Aaaaooooo!!
It will be summer, so you can expect sweaty, wild, raw, energetic, passionate, spontaneous fun, sharing the soul of the blues, to edges of rock, the rhythm of funk and the warmth of our universal love. The rest depends on what the good people of Wollongong inspire!
You recently played to a packed and excited crowd at the 2016 Blues on Broadbeach. Things got wild, bras were removed and we hear your shirt disappeared. Is there a bit of animal instinct at play here?
I think my previous responses may have given you hints. Yes! We humans are just intelligent animals. We need love, connection, feelings of significance, to give, to receive, and yes, sometimes we just need to be wild and unrestricted! Don’t you? Come on, I dare you…
You’ve been compared to Jim Morrison from the legendary group The Doors. If you could ask Jim Morrison just one question, what would it be?
Why did you cross over at 27?
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
Check out Phil Barlow and The Wolf on Sunday, 11 December at Beaches Hotel Thirroul.
Touring their second studio album The Awakening, Phil Barlow and The Wolf will bring a raw live performance to Bombie Bar and it’s bound to get wild.
Pouring his heart and soul into his lyrics, Phil Barlow unleashes a smorgasbord of gritty vocals and hooky rock riffs topped off with flavours of funk. Expect the potential for a bit of bra throwing (seriously!).
With comparisons to legendary greats The Doors and George Thoroughgood you are in for one hell of a howling good time.
You emerged as a solo acoustic musician in 2011 with the release of your EP, Shades of Grey. How did the journey of Phil Barlow and The Wolf journey come about?
I was living a very different life before my musical transition. I was a dolphin trainer and then worked in environmental project management for a bit, which certainly had some awesome moments!
Then I went through a separation from a long-term relationship and had a lot of unresolved emotional energy I needed to express somehow. That essentially sparked my journey as a songwriter which started out as solo, travelling Europe and just writing song after song, expressing raw emotion.
After playing around solo for a while, I was curious to keep expanding in music and put together a band for a few shows. This triggered something primative and untamed in me and I loved it! Over time this has strengthened and I have been lucky enough to join forces with some quality musicians who also have a passion to get wild and liberated on stage.
Our collective sound is ever-evolving. We love to keep an element of improvisation in our live shows to keep us and the crowd connected to powerful influence of the unknown.
For you, is there something about playing with a live band that cannot be duplicated when playing solo?
It’s kind of like a huge dose of testosterone is injected into my body – the full band definitely brings out the wild and untamed side in me!
You have a knack for creating diverse music that successfully mixes different genres. How would you define your style of music?
You’re right, there are a lot of different influences and flavours in my music. I find it hard to define it myself sometimes! Our latest album “The Awakening” has a good dose of rock, but there are definitely blues and funk undertones. A reviewer once said The Doors’ LA Woman meets George Thoroughgood’s Bad to the Bone. I like that!
What was the inspiration behind your new album The Awakening?
It was a product of personal transformation. I realised that my own thoughts and beliefs were limiting me. Acknowledging and overcoming my fears and distractions, like being lured by desire were important in realising my true life’s purpose and happiness.
What do you hope listeners will take away from the lyrics?
I hope that the words might help others like it did me. That people chasing their passion or working through challenges gain some insight and strength to transcend those limiting self beliefs and thought patterns so they can live the life they are destined to.
If you could sit down for dinner with one your all time favourite musicians (past or present), who would it be and why?
BB King. I just have a deep respect for the man. Touring 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off in his 80’s is just awesome! Music and life are interwoven for me and BB King lived this truth till the end. He had an open channel between his soul and his music and I aspire to live that truth as well.
Your music has previously been compared to that of music greats The Doors and George Thorogood. How does that feel when you hear such complimentary feedback?
I am humbled to be referenced to such legends. I love the free expression of Jim Morrison particularly, so that’s awesome to know that wildness is shining through the music that I am creating.
You will be playing live at The Bombie Bar on the NSW South Coast on Sunday, 18 September (where you have previously played together with local legend Rai Thistlewayte of Thirsty Merc).
This is quite a unique venue in our woods. How would you describe playing at The Bombie Bar?
It brings to the surface the free spirit and untamed nature with the ocean kissing your ears in between the music. What more could you want really? Can’t wait!
What can we expect at your Bombie Bar gig?
Good vibes, riffs and grooves. Definitely some howling! Possibly bra-throwing but I can’t promise anything there haha. We love playing on the South Coast and The Bombie Bar is such a cool venue so we’re pumped…it’s bound to get wild.
Will we see you travelling around in the 1980 Toyota HiAce used in previous tours? It must have been a load of fun travelling around Australia in that.
The tour bus “Red Hot Rosie” is the latest love of my life! Haha, stay tuned on Facebook for upcoming intimate bus concerts for the dedicated fans.
Just for fun! If you were a box of cereal what would you be and why?
Coco Pops – just like a chocolate milkshake only cruuuuunchy.
Phil Barlow and the Wolf will play live at The Bombie Bar (Coalcliff Surf Club) on Sunday, 18 September 2016.
“You won’t be able to stop the monster beats and punchy bass lines all up in your grill!”
— Alt JournalVenue
“Riff heavy, funk infused, electrifying songs that denied your body the ability to remain stationary. Intimate, intelligent lyrics delivered with poise and passion. By the end of the set, I was a full blow fan-boy. ”