An­i­mal Hil­ton Valen­tine brings Sk­if­fle­dog to the city

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - A + E - By Mark Zaret­sky mzaret­sky@nhreg­is­ter.com @markzar on Twit­ter

NEW HAVEN » We’re lucky in Con­necti­cut to have a few Rock & Roll Hall of Famers in our midst — but only a few.

Hil­ton Valen­tine is one of them — and he’s play­ing at Cafe Nine on Satur­day night.

Don’t be ask­ing “Hil­ton who?”

Just pull out one of your old An­i­mals al­bums. Put it on the turntable (or in the CD player — or just punch it up on your mp3 player, iTunes or YouTube.)

Now turn up the vol­ume and blast “It’s My Life” or “The House of the Ris­ing Sun.”

Those first gui­tar notes you hear?

THAT’S Hil­ton Valen­tine.

Valen­tine, who lives a stone’s throw from New Haven, re­cently took a skif­fle band of lo­cals, dubbed Sk­if­fle­dog, back to his native Eng­land on tour. But now he’s back — along with Sk­if­fle­dog — and they’ll per­form at Cafe Nine (250 State St.) on Satur­day. Big Fat Combo opens the show, which be­gins at 9 p.m. Tick­ets are $15, avail­able at cafe­nine.com.

What should you ex­pect?

Ac­cord­ing to Sk­if­fle­dog drum­mer Tom Smith, “it’s a com­bi­na­tion of the rock and roll skif­fle stuff that he used to play” in his days be­fore The An­i­mals — in­clud­ing songs by Ed­die Cochran, Gene Vin­cent and some of their con­tem­po­raries — “and a set of elec­tric An­i­mals stuff.”

Sk­if­fle­dog is Valen­tine, Smith, Brian Martin and David Hurd.

Born Hil­ton Ste­wart Pater­son Valen­tine on May 21, 1943 in North Shields, Northum­ber­land, Eng­land, Valen­tine was re­cruited to play in The An­i­mals — des­tined to be­come one of the lead­ing voices of the Bri­tish In­va­sion — while play­ing in a band called The Wild­cats in 1963. He played with The An­i­mals un­til their ini­tial breakup in Septem­ber 1966.

He has re­u­nited with the orig­i­nal lineup of An­i­mals three times since then, in­clud­ing a ben­e­fit in New­cas­tle in 1968, in 1977 for the “Be­fore We Were So Rudely In­ter­rupted” al­bum and in 1983 for a stu­dio al­bum, “ARK,” a world tour and a “Great­est Hits Live” al­bum, also known as “Rip It To Shreds.”

The An­i­mals, in­clud­ing Valen­tine, were in­ducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2001, they were in­ducted into Hol­ly­wood’s Rock Walk of Fame and had a two-night re­union con­cert at the El Rey The­atre in Los An­ge­les.

Valen­tine also toured with An­i­mals front man Eric Bur­don from Fe­bru­ary 2007 to De­cem­ber 2008.

PHOTO BY GERMAINE VALEN­TINE / COUR­TESY OF TOM SMITH

Hil­ton Valen­tine and Sk­if­fle­dog — from left, Valen­tine, Brian Martin, Tom Smith and David Hurd.

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