One of Tyneside’s favourite sons, Eric Burdon, makes a welcome return to Newcastle for a special homecoming show which the city won’t forget in a hurry.
Despite having graced the stages of some of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals around the world, Eric Burdon appears to be humbled to be playing tonight at Newcastle City Hall. Being a Geordie, he appreciates the significance and the history of this room, citing that many of his heroes including the late great Louis Armstrong and Chris Barber have played this very stage, along with his old friend Jimi Hendrix.
Having left the North East many moons ago Burdon wears his heart on his sleeve, he declares to the audience, “once a Geordie, always a Geordie”.
Local outfit Tex and Leon, along with Scottish group Marmalade, open the show and set the tone for the evening. Each band delivered a 60s inspired set featuring tracks from the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan among countless others, interspersed in between their original material.
A full house is in attendance to witness the return of the legendary voice of The Animals to Tyneside. It’s been six years since Burdon’s last show in Newcastle and tonight’s show in the city is Eric Burdon’s only UK date this year.
Burdon’s six-piece band usher the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer onto the stage with an instrumental version of Ian Dury’s “Hit Me With Your Rythm Stick.” Wearing his black sunglasses throughout the evening, the man of the hour breaks into the classic War number, “Spill The Wine”, and The Animal’s take on the Ma’ Rainey number, “See See Rider.”
Burdon continues to walk down us memory lane with “Monterey”, a number inspired by the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. Back in 1967, Eric Burdon and The Animals shared the stage with the likes of Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience among others at the event.
The set picks up the pace with The Animals’ classic hit single, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, which has a soulful injection from Burdon’s incredible horn section. Both Burdon and the band are in fine form this evening and each member of the group gets their moment to shine throughout the course of the set.
During the second half of the show, many of Burdon’s influences start to shine through. He pays homage to his folk roots and Lead Belly with a sublime rendition of “In The Pines”, before breaking into the funky “Bo Diddley Special”, and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” which segued into Burdon’s anti-war song “Sky Pilot.”
As the main set comes to a close, Burdon brings out the big guns with The Animals’ take on the Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “House of the Rising Sun,” which Rolling Stone listed as one of the Top 500 Songs of All Time. Burdon leaves the audience wanting more.
Returning to the stage, the bass intro rolls, the audience knows what is coming and the whole room is on their feet as the band break into The Animals’ 1965 hit single, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” the audience hangs on every word. Burdon leaves the stage to rapturous applause.
Tonight’s career spanning show was everything that you could have wanted from an Eric Burdon and The Animals show. At the age of 75, Eric Burdon is one of the true great vocalists of our time and he appears to be showing no signs of slowing down. Long may he continue.