December 4th 2009
It’s a long way to travel for a gig, but 150 miles later I waited patiently for the rest of my compadre’s, who were unsurprisingly late! An hour and thirty minutes late to be precise! Upon arrival at the academy we also realised that for some strange reason the show started an hour earlier than their London counterparts, maybe everyone values their sleep in the west. So it was no great shock to find that we had missed both support bands as well as the first 15 minutes of the headline acts classic rock and roll show.
The Answer already in full swagger were kicking out the tunes as we shuffled in the back attempting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Irish Lads who are on the rock highway to glory. Since being picked to support Ac/Dc on their world tour and the release their sophomore album Everyday Demons The Answer have gone from stars to be to big news fast, gaining a huge following in the process. Since being a long term fan of the band I’m delighted that I can’t see the stage for all the eager rock and roll fans and their flowing (but mostly receding) locks. They were clearly revelling in the smaller venues after their global jaunt.
Lead guitarist Paul Mahon was on top blues form this evening playing tight melodies with plenty of wailing bends and wah wahhed licks. Matching him for technical ability was singer Cormac Neeson who for me embodies classic rock! His Robert Plant image and his utterly compelling vocals are a marriage made in heaven. A Booming low range and beautifully ferocious high note are sublime, not forgetting his gift for leading a cracking rousing chorus like on the sublime new track On and On.
The fist pumping hits they scorched though tonight included the groovy Never Too Late, the riff-a-holic addicted rocker Demon Eyes, not forgetting the instant classic that is Under the Sky. New material was well received and all fit well into their confident and romper stomping set. Their balladry has improved and it’s these songs which stick in my mind the most vividly. Pride and Comfort Zone had hearts swelling through their mid-tempo melodies and soaring chorus’. Never forgetting their bluesy influences they played us out with a extended jam spin on their American deep south indebted, heaving blues of Memphis Water.
A great set from a live band who have gone from strength to strength who are more professional then at any other point in their career. In-between song banter was still there in abundance (I don’t suppose you get much intimacy from a sell-out stadium crowd). Highly entertaining and the spirit of rock and roll was channelled here this evening proving they deserve the praise heaped upon them!