County Down's finest, The Answer, have just released their third album 'Revival'. For many bands signed to major labels the third album normally means the big make or break. The band have been fine tuning their craft the two years previously playing the arenas around the world supporting the mighty AC/DC which has turned The Answer into one powerful live unit.
There are many critics who complain that The Answer have yet to write that big anthem to really make them a global household name and whilst that may well be true, the band do have a full arsenal of gems that rock harder than most when played live.
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At her majesty's pleasure, Leeds retro bearded beatnik warriors The Gentlemans Pistols are a wise choice act for support. A band that I've been seeing since their humble beginnings, the Pistols have gone from strength to strength, improved on every live occasion and turned into a very tight unit.
This is the band that came out of the compost heap once Motorhead moved out of next door.
They remind me very much of proto punk acid rockers The Edgar Broughton Band from the late sixties, not only with their bearded image but also with their gritty garage sound. With tracks such as 'Living In Sin Again', 'Widowmaker' and the hip swinging 'Sherman Tank' the Gentlemans Pistols didn't fire one single blank tonight and certainly upped the ante for The Answer.
With a big hypnotic logo behind them The Answer steamrolled into some chugging riffs with the boogie shuffle of 'Under The Sky' with the energy of a young energetic Aerosmith. Despite this being the last night of the Irish/UK tour the band were certainly not showing any signs of fatique and were certainly on a mission with singer Cormac Neeson asking "Are you ready for some rock 'n' roll?", which was met with a resounding yes from the audience who lapped up every minute of this hot and sweaty gig.
Neeson certainly held the crowd's full attention and when later on before 'Evil Way' he asked to see hands in the air all the way to the back, he wish was granted with only the bar staff not joining in the rocking fun.
There was a little guitar solo from Paul Mahon who has learnt a trick or two from his time watching Angus Young on stage every night and later played some neat slide on 'Piece By Piece'. One track that was added to set halfway through this tour was 'Nowhere Freeway' the duet recorded with Saint Jude's Lynne Jackaman. Tonight it was all down to Neeson to handle the lyrics. A classic in the making which slowed the pace a little and it was a 'lighter in the air' moment of delight.
With cracking encores of Rose Tattoo's 'Rock 'n' Roll Outlaws' and 'Waste Your Tears' The Answer proved tonight that they certainly are part off the revival of classic rock. The future is in their hands once all the dinosaurs are laid to rest. They have the oompah of Led Zeppelin and the musical chutzpah of Aerosmith. All they have to do is write a couple of radio hits and world domination is all there for the taking.
The train kept a-rollin' all night tonight.
Under The Sky
On And On
Vida (I Want You)
Too Far Gone
Piece By Piece
Why'd You Change Your Mind
One More Revival
Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw
Waste Your Tears