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‘House of The Rising Sun’… ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’….’Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ and 'Boom Boom’ (as featured in the James Bond movie, ‘Skyfall’). Featuring from the original Animals – JOHN STEEL & MICK GALLAGHER (The Blockheads) Plus Danny Handley and Roberto Ruiz

“The Animals earned their name thanks to their wild stage act. That was 50 years ago and they have calmed down since, but their music has lost none of its vigour”. (ANIMALS & FRIENDS review - Wales Online) In 1964 a wave of new energetic rock and roll swept over the youth of the world. On the crest of this wave was The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and of course The Animals. From the banks of the River Tyne came the North East's offering; a brand of rhythm n blues that the whole world seemed to grasp greedily.

Bruce Springsteen recently revealed on stage in the USA that it was The Animals, not The Beatles or the Stones who were his favourite British Invasion band." Their singles were the first full-blown class-consciousness I'd ever heard". After playing a short burst of 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place', Springsteen then confessed: “That’s every song I’ve ever written. 'Born To Run', 'Born In The USA', all of them".

The Animals were the second British band to top the American charts after The Beatles with the now multi-million selling and legendary anthem,'House of the Rising Sun'. The band subsequently achieved over twenty global Top Ten hit records, many of which gained the Number One slot in various parts of the world. In Britain alone, the band had no less than twelve chart entries. The Animals were the first British band to tour Poland and Japan.
.The enduring influence and breadth of appeal of The Animals’ music continues ever onwards. The Animals’ 1964 debut was recently included in CLASSIC ROCK magazines’ feature - ‘50 Albums That Built Blues Rock’

“Though the band has changed, the songs remain eternal, thanks to the protesting dissatisfaction linking them together... alongside covers of Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker classics, they ensure that the nostalgic element comes with an enjoyably abrasive edge” (ANIMALS & FRIENDS review - Andy Gill, The Independent)

Serious contenders to Bob Dylan in his ‘Never-Ending Tour’, the band have in recent years embarked on two massive UK tours with Special GuestSpencer Davis, as well as tours with other Special Guests including Stax , Booker T & The MGS and Blues Brothers guitar legend Steve Cropper, The Troggs and the late, great Mick Green (The Pirates, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Bryan Ferry). ANIMALS & FRIENDS’ appeal continues abroad, too – with shows in Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Russia and Holland.

2012 marked founder member John Steel’s 55th year as performing musician. Back in 1957 he and The Animals co-founder Eric Burdon began plying their trade in and around their native Tyneside with not the slightest inking that they would - in a very few years – find themselves part of a group that would be forever bracketed with the very best of British music – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds – and respected all over the world. The Animals were also be the second British band after The Beatles to top the American charts with their multi-million selling anthem, ‘House of The Rising Sun’. Let us not forget that it was Bob Dylan’s ‘House of the Rising Sun’ that so inspired this legendary band to record what history has shown to be the definitive take. It is even whispered that Dylan looked to their version as inspiration for his infamous ‘going electric’.

After more than 60 years, the legend still grows…
UK Guitarist Kris Barras has a genre-defying sound: a high-energy hybrid of no-nonsense Rock, Blues and Country. Winners of ‘Best New Band’ in the 2018 Planet Rock awards, the Kris Barras Band have become one of the UK’s fastest rising acts. Recently voted one of the 'Top Blues Guitarists in the World' (Music Radar) and winning the ‘Best Album’ accolade in the European Blues Awards, perhaps best demonstrates the band’s fluidity and appeal to fans of different genres.

Inspired by his father at the early age of only five years-old, Kris was already making an appearance on stage before turning Ten. He has since gone on to spend more than twenty years thrilling audiences throughout the globe playing live in a variety of acts. after forming the kris barras band in 2015, the band have enjoyed a rapid rise to success in just a few years. After a self-released debut album in 2016 (Lucky 13), The release of the much anticipated second album, 'The Divine and Dirty' is when Kris really started to turn heads. Released in March 2018, ‘the divine and dirty’ headed straight to Number 1 in both the Amazon Bestseller's and the iTunes Blues Charts. The album also reached number 3 in the Official UK Blues charts.

The band have appeared at major festivals throughout the UK and Europe. These include Ramblin' Man Fair (UK), Rawa Blues Festival (Poland) and Bliuzo Naktys (Lithuania) as well as tours alongside Beth hart, Joanne shaw Taylor and an upcoming tour with black stone cherry.In April 2018, it was announced that Kris would become the new frontman for USA super-group, Supersonic Blues Machine. The band feature's legendary artists such as ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather (Toto), Eric Gales, Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule) and Walter Trout. kris has toured throughout Europe with the band and will feature on all upcoming releases.

Kris was nominated for 'Blues Guitarist of the Year 2017' by Total Guitar magazine and voted into the Top 15 Blues Guitarists in the World by Music Radar.

The band have enjoyed a lot of radio airplay, with three ‘a’ list singles on planet rock as well as numerous bbc plays and live performances. in June 2018, the kbb appeared on BBC Radio 2 with Richard Madeley, with an interview as well as performing two acoustic tracks live on air to over 3 million listeners.

Interestingly, Kris used to have an unusual side-job alongside his music career. Although recently retired, Kris had a successful 10 year professional mixed martial arts career, which saw him compete and train in Las Vegas, Thailand and Singapore. With a total fight record of 14 wins 2 losses and 1 draw.

“People used to think I was crazy to be fighting in cages, risking damage to my hands. Truth is though, I always enjoyed it and found that the fighting world offered me more opportunities than the Music industry. I got to fight in front of 8000 people in Asia.....I would’ve much rather had played to them instead of getting punched in the face!”

Blues and soul become inextricably entwined in award-winning singer-songwriter, Kyla Brox, whose raw talent has seen her described as “the finest female blues singer of her generation”. Winner of the 2018 UK Blues Challenge, Kyla has the honour of representing the UK in Memphis at the 2019 International Blues Challenge, as well as the European event in the Azores. In a huge nod to her ongoing stature in British Blues, the UK Blues Federation made Kyla an official Ambassador of UK Blues in 2016 and she is one of only three British singers privileged to be included in the 50 Women of the Blues Spotify playlist.
 
Daughter of cult blues figure, Victor Brox, the Mancunian vocalist began her career as a teenager in her father’s band and has now honed her own sophisticated sound, as heard on her critically acclaimed 2016 album, Throw Away Your Blues and the scintillating, multi-faceted new 2019 album, Pain & Glory. Her voice; tender, urgent, gritty, blurring the distinction between pleasure and pain, mixed with the enchantingly fluent guitar work of Paul Farr, inspired bass playing of Danny Blomeley and in-the-pocket drumming of Mark Warburton, combine to make a unique and powerful, often joyous, always emotional experience.
 
Kyla also plays in duo form with her husband, virtuoso acoustic guitarist, Danny Blomeley, whose playing, by turns delicate and unrestrained, has earned him a following in his own right.
 
With many albums under her belt and many miles covered on the road, touring all over the world, Kyla Brox is widely regarded as one of the very best soul-blues singers the British Isles has ever produced.

The Cinelli Brothers


The Cinelli Brothers is a project born out of a common passion for the electric Chicago and Texas blues from the 60s and 70s, when Marco (guitarist, singer and composer) and Alessandro (drummer, backing vocalist and arranger) decided to form an explosive team showcasing original repertoire in the style of Chess, Stax and Motown. After a series of successful shows around Europe (France, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal), the band decided to take things to another level. Babe Please Set Your Alarm was recorded at the Soup Studio in London and the full live and analog recording was released in May 2018 on vinyl and digital format.This album comprises original compositions as well as a few covers, such as ‘Chain of Fools’ or ‘Back Door Man’ – which stays true to Willie Dixon’s number, as well as Prince’s ‘Kiss’, in a remarkable shuffle rhythm. The Cinelli Brothers champion a new generation of passionate musicians sharing in the love of Blues, Soul, R&B and the true authentic sounds that have made the blues a cornerstone of music history.
The Ryk Mead Band, are indeed a blues band but by definition a lot more. A Stunning Power Blues, Jazz, Rock Trio. Through playing many different styles of music it has always been the case that the blues has had a deep influence on whatever type of material I’ve played. As time progressed, so did the inclination to select the more obscure and less trodden path of song and material I wanted to play. It's hard to say whether this is my influence on the other members of the band or if the others have joined because they feel the same about the way music has influenced them. Whatever the case my band has developed a style of its own. When i play live the set may change from night to night. We might suddenly change an arrangement or change direction at any moment within a song. The basis of the song stays the same but things change, imagination and feel for the moment take over; something new is created. Not even the guy’s in the band know when it's coming. This creates a tension and excitement that means things evolve and develop night by night.  With hard work it becomes possible. This makes every gig potentially electrifying and new. Ryk Mead, singer/guitarist, songwriter, Musical Director; Heart and soul of the band. A confirmed guitar virtuoso, started a gigging career on stage in the late 60s, touring in Germany from October 1969, he has built a reputation on solid experience gained alongside some of the worlds famous names, such as: Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Annie Lennox, Alison Moyet, The Pretty Things, Steve Waller (Manfred Man's Earth Band), Paul Fox and Dave Ruffy (The Ruts), Elmer Gantry (Stretch / Alan Parsons Project) Beverley Martyn (partner of former icon John Martyn) and a host supporting musicians from the professional arena. Working through many styles and genres, as professionals often do, Ryk has paid his dues and now has a world of experience to draw on. But if you listen you will hear in all these styles the heart of the blues. Internationally, this native Londoner is performing all over the world, from China to the United States. Recently appeared in the USA as supporting act for Willy Nelson, and in Europe often touring France. A mix of new songs and traditional covers plus original material. Genres are a spread over Rock, Jazz, melodic, and ethnic blues. Featuring songs from the album “Chicago” the last CD from Ryk Mead.  And his latest EP “Pictures in a Gallery”, due for release soon.


A howlin’ blues three piece - harmonica, guitar, drums – modelled after acts on the Fat Possum label such as RL Burnside and T Model Ford and in the tradition of Hound Dog Taylor and the like. But we also throw in a good heap of Little Walter and New Orleans music, including Professor Longhair and James Booker, making for a unique mix. We’ve been featured in Blues in Britain and our debut CD, a mix of originals and covers, has been getting radio airplay on blues programmes around the country and the US. Our motto: “Work all day for money, fight all night for love.”





SOLID ENTERTAINMENTS Presents... BILSTON BLUES FESTIVAL