The concept of Animals and Friends began in the spring of 2000. Hilton Valentine had re-located to America but demand was high for the Animals. Peter Barton former Mindbender had been gigging in a band alongside John Williamson, former guitarist from Titanic. A suggestion was made to team the two units together. Pete had been involved with the Animals now for almost a decade on the management front. Due to the pedigree of the current band members the band was re-named Animals and friends. Jim Rodford was a well-known face from the Kinks and Argent. Johnnie guitar Williamson, again from his time with Titanic and Skeleton Cew had become a familiar face on the Blues and Rock circuit. Pete Barton had also served his apprenticeship alongside Wayne Fontana in The Mindbenders and with Trevor Burton from The Move. The final ingredient's to this rock & roll cocktail was of course original Animal members, Dave Rowberry and John Steel.