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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world The-Answer-Sheffield-15-Oct-2011

The Answer
O2 Academy2, Sheffield, UK
Saturday 15 October 2011



By Dave Howarth

We’d been waiting with eager anticipation for this gig - having seen Northern Ireland’s The Answer a few times (supporting AC/DC worldwide and on their own), I knew they could tear the roof off any venue.


Given the ludicrously early 10pm curfew (not mentioned on the tickets) we missed the opening act, Gentlemen’s Pistols, as we were quaffing pints of cider up the road, rather than in the over-priced, under-staffed Academy bar - but more of that later. Our mistake it would appear as everyone who saw them really rated them as one to watch out for... damn it.


We were disappointed to see the gig was in the smaller upstairs room in the Academy, a pokey, low-ceilinged affair with a tiny bar. The gig was unsurprisingly a sell-out and uncomfortably full from the off. It’s criminal that a band of The Answer’s ability were shoved in such an inappropriate room, given the choice of venues available in Sheffield.


Anyway... with little fuss or announcement, The Answer took to the tiny stage, the place erupted in a sea of raised arms and pints of ale and we were off and running with ‘Under the Sky’ from their killer debut album.


I was concerned that, despite a cracking 3rd album (4th if you include the recent live cd), The Answer maybe lacked a focal point visually - a gimmick if you will - to push them into the major league status they deserve. However, with Cormack Neeson, they have a masterful frontman whose presence and delivery bely his relatively tender years. A constant blur of hair and excited dancing, his delivery is both raucous and soulful in equal measure, a rabble rouser seemingly plucked and transported through time from somewhere in the mid 70s.


In Paul Mahon they have a guitarist that many high profile acts would trade a testicle to acquire. Part Angus, part Joe Perry, his effortless contagious riffs and electrifying solos keep the mental, baying hordes clapping and punching the air all night.


The new songs like ‘Vida (I Want You)’, ‘Tornado’ and the superb ‘One More Revival’ slot so easily into their set, the reason being that The Answer write songs so good you feel you’ve known them forever. The new barnstormer ‘Piece by Piece’ sits like an old favourite next to ‘Preachin’ and ‘Too Far Gone’.


A breathless (literally) hour passes in the blink of a sweat-stung eye. They are quickly called back for the encore and kick into their rendition of Australia’s second best export Rose Tattoo’s ‘Rock N Roll Outlaw’, a swaggering classic which I bought and loved before this lot were even born! It’s followed by ‘Waste Your Tears’ and that’s it... in a hurricane swirl of classic heavy rock, sweat and beer they’re gone. The lights are up and we’re turfed out for the chav club night to start in the much bigger venue below. A disgrace really.


The Answer tore the roof off this p*ss poor venue... just a shame the excellent crowd didn’t kick down the walls too and be done with it. Miss The Answer at your peril, they surely won’t be playing the clubs forever.




Under the Sky
Into The Gutter
Vida (I Want You)
Evil Man
Too far Gone
Comfort Zone
Piece By Piece
Why’d You Change Your Mind
One More Revival
Rock N Roll Outlaw
Waste Your Tears