The Answer 100 Club London 24-05-16
New venue for me this one so walk along Oxford Street looking for a small sign saying 100 Club and what looks like an entrance for a lift before seeing stairs down into the basement and a very wide stage but with the venue probably only 40 to 50 feet deep.
First up was Aaron Keylock who has signed up with Mascot Records and will release his debut album in 2017.
For a kid so young he belies his age with a performance of guitar playing that would suggest we will all be hearing a lot from him.
His versatility and ease of playing whether riffing or soloing is staggering and great to see plenty of slide work.
Along with his 2 band mates they received a huge ovation as they left and with support slots with Wilko Johnson and Joanne Shaw Taylor later in the year keep an eye out for him.
The Answer have spent the last few months recording their new album Solas and with the imminent re release of their debut album Rise due out on the 17th of June time to get back doing what they do best.
With sold out signs over the door the place was rammed and for 80 very sweaty minutes we lost our minds to the band playing Rise in full and revisiting an album that started it all for them.
With the band in our faces it was apparent just how much fun the band were having.
Huge grins from all involved as they played the album in order before giving us a taster of their new material with the live premiere of a couple of new songs from solas due out on the 14th of October.
Here is what they played.
The million dollar question is have the band ever topped the debut album?
A difficult one to er Answer as in my opinion every album has been very good but as a body of work and hearing it played with such passion and sheer excitement this was a special evening.
Classic followed classic starting with Under The Sky with Cormac Neeson in great form vocally and his banter with the crowd showed a man happy to be back on stage.
To his right Paul Mahon on guitar was on fire with a fabulous sound all crunch and his fast fingered soloing at such close quarters was superb.
The rhythm team of the ever grinning Michael Waters on bass and the hard hitting James Heatley on drums are one of the best in the business and tonight's groove was monstrous.
Never Too Late had the crowd response ever higher with it's big chorus and the after the following Come Follow Me we all needed a breather.
When a band plays an album in full you remember the big songs but it is always good to hear the songs that backed that up and with songs as good as No Questions Asked and my favourite Sometimes Your Love with it's big riff and chorus so good to revisit past glories.
Preachin' as ever is a tour de force with Cormac leading the crowd in a big audience participation piece mid song that took the energy levels to a new peak.
Always with it's gentle acoustic start gave Cormac a chance to show off all of his range and brought an end to the main set.
Returning with a song that pre dated Rise was a great idea especially with a song as good as Keep Believin' with it's rhythmic intro giving us all a chance to clap madly before all hollering back the chorus.Superb.
Ending the gig with the 2 new songs showed us a glimpse into the new after an evening of looking back.
Thief Of Light is a slow ballad style song that let Cormac stand still as he put it and again show off his impressive vocal melody and tone as the song built to a rousing ending.
New album title track Solas was impressive with Paul's big riffing and James's pounding drums took us to a new high and Paul's 2 solo's showed a real edge to them and everyone present can't wait for October and it's release.
A superb evening in the company of one of the best bands on the planet revisiting an album now a decade old and a thoughtful look ahead to.