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THE ANSWER/Black Spiders/Glorious Chaos
HMV Forum, London 9 December 2009
time I saw The Answer they were supporting Paul Rodgers at the Royal
Albert Hall and played a storming support set, albeit looking a little
lost on such a big stage. The venues they were playing back in 2006 were
much smaller than tonight's venue.
There is a
good sized crowd in, many wearing AC/DC T-shirts, a band who have taken
the Answer on tour with them in the US and Europe which will have
certainly won them new fans.
the main event we have two support bands, the first of which the Black
Spiders play a Sabbath inspired doom metal set. Mind you the band
certainly have a good sense of humour in that how many bands do you know
get the audience to sing 'f**k you' back at them.
good songs but the sound was not great and the vocals were indecipherable
in many places. Mind you they were a darn sight better than the next band,
Glorious Chaos a three piece band with a guitarist who looked like
he had dropped out of Aztec Camera! No real memorable songs and again the
sound wasn't the best.
Answer played a good mix of their two albums to date, namely 'Rise'
and this year's 'Everyday Demons'.
highlights including throwing 'Come Follow Me' early on, one of the band's
best songs in my book. 'Never Too Late' allowed vocalist Cormac Neeson to
strut his stuff whilst 'Too Far Gone' allowed for a slight breather.
really played their rockier songs, even 'Preachin' seemed a lot heavier
than on the album. The new single 'Comfort Zone' shows the band can move
outside of the blues rock label they are often given and the ending again
allows Cormac Neeson to flex his vocal range again.
little on stage banter bar a rather rambling tale about England manager
Fabio Cappello wanting the drummer, James Heatley to play for England. Not
a chance with his massive drum sound, straight from the John Bonham style
couldn't put a foot wrong with such an enthusiastic audience and the set
list seemed to keep everyone happy. No needless soloing, no egos just a
band at the peak of their musical powers and one deserving more airplay to
get them up to the next level, Hammersmith Apollo next time they visit
Despite being a relatively new band the constant touring has seen the band
become fantastically tight musically and a 'must see' live. Now lets hope
they pop-up on some UK festivals next year - Guilfest with the mighty Quo
would be good...
release of their second album Everyday Demons and the coveted support slot
on AC/DC's stadium tour, 2009 was meant to be the year one of classic
rock's brightest young hopes broke into the big time. However it hasn't
quite happened that way: although this UK tour has seen them playing their
biggest venues yet, the Forum was half empty for their London headlining
The audience was a mixture of younger fans and those old enough even to
remember their inspirations like Led Zeppelin and Free first time around,
but I cannot recall a more predominantly male crowd in a long while.
The Northern Irishmen played a similar set to their show at Dingwalls
earlier in the year, heavily showcasing the new album, kicking off with
the commercial Tonight and no holds barred intensity of Demon Eyes.
noticeable however that older songs like Come Follow Me and the Zep-esque
Never too Late got the better reception, implying that they have not
picked up as many new fans as expected.
Of the new
songs, Cry Out was so retro sounding it even reminded me of Family, Cormac
Neeson's bluesy croak making him sound like Roger Chapman.
highlights included Walkin Mat, the moody Why did You Change Your Mind,
and above all new single and ballad Comfort Zone with its catchy 'Can I
embrace a moment with you' chorus.
my money, a few of the new songs (Too far gone, Dead of Night) were
run-of-the-mill plodders, lacking the spark to set them apart from the
ended on a high with Under the Sky, giant balloons being thrown into the
audience, and the mosh pit at the front growing, before encoring with High
Water or Hell (inexplicably confined to the Japanese version of the CD)
and Preachin', giving the band a chance to extend into a bluesy jam with
Paul Mahon's slide guitar to the fore and Cormac diving into the crowd.
Cormac's intensity, flailing hair and ill co-ordinated dancing remain the
focal point of their stage show, while Paul, bassist Mickey Waters and
drummer James Heatley are all energetic, powerful players.
are missing a certain star quality, for all their welcome modesty and
humility: compared to previous bands that have revived blues rock, such as
Thunder or the Black Crowes, they lack charisma and showmanship.
Despite hearing some of the best classic bluesy rock this decade, I still
left the gig thinking there are question marks against The Answer's
Gig review (Nottingham)
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