A GUITARIST from Colne is playing sell-out shows with 1960s music legends The Animals, days after answering an 11th-hour rescue call from the band.

Members of the chart-topping band contacted local lad Danny Handley, 33, when lead guitarist John Williamson broke his shoulder on Friday.

Despite having just a few days to prepare, he performed with the band, closing the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival on Monday.

And according to the band’s lead singer, Danny impressed enough to join them on their tour of Scotland before he returns to Pendle.

Danny, of Skipton Road, has been a professional guitar player since his teens and has his own blues band, The Mighty Rollers.

The former Mansfield High School pupil fills in for different bands all over the UK as and when his services are required.

But he said playing with a band whose hits, House Of The Rising Sun and We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, feature in Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ list, was a dream come true. He added: “I’ve always been a big fan and they are without doubt the biggest band I’ve played with.

“It was tricky to learn the songs because I had no time and I was gigging myself on Friday and Saturday. As soon as I got up at 6am I started practising, so it was a bit of a crash course, but it’s all kind of blues so I just tried not to get in anybody’s way.”

The Animals, whose original line-up were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, headlined the Colne festival’s International Stage.

Pete Barton, who is from Clitheroe and the current lead singer, said Danny stepped up to the mark and “did great”.

He added: “Danny’s been brought up on all that stuff. When a lot of kids were listening to The Eurythmics, he was into The Animals, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, so he kind of knows what to do and how to do it.

“When John broke his shoulder, we knew Danny would be able to do the job and he has. We played Inverness and got a standing ovation.”

Drummer John Steel is the only remaining member of the original line-up. Danny will return home on Monday after shows in Scotland.

He said: “I was happy just to meet John Steel and Spencer Davis, so to play with them was a real honour.”