The Answer - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2015

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Raise A Little Hell Tour
March 26 (21:20 - 22:40)
Capacity 800

For a band that was once associated with its refreshing on stage swagger, big rock anthems and months supporting rock veterans AC/DC, it's difficult to understand how a band like The Answer, with so much promise, are still playing venues such as Islington Academy. However, the number of people surrounding the venue half an hour before doors even open, suggest there is a healthy amount of buzz surrounding the band after their latest effort Raise A Little Hell.

Kicking off the night at the slightly early time of 19:30 is German duo The Picturebooks. Equipped with an acoustic guitar and accompanied by barely half a drum kit, what first seemed another generic and disappointing acoustic guitar band soon turned into the heaviest band of the night. Modulating the sound of the acoustic guitar with an ensemble of distortion, wah and other pedals of that nature, lead vocalist and guitarist Fynn Claus Grabke screams his way through the 30-minute set with heavy original riffs and soulful, unexpected guitar solos. Accompanied by drummer Philipp Mirtschink, who for the most part decided not to use drum sticks, the band who are on their first run of UK dates take no prisoners in their energetic and inspiring set, but take many new fans.

Unfortunately that cannot be said about second support act Bad Touch. Whilst seemingly untroubled by the technical difficulties that plagued their set, Bad Touch try every way possible to engage a crowd that is stuck between the surprising nature of the first band and patiently waiting for the next. Whilst prancing around the stage like a Led Zeppelin tribute act and forgetting they are playing to a crowd who are new to the band, their charisma cannot faulted, the music can. With a set lacking diversity, no stand-out tracks and more effort appearing to have gone into the clothing of the evening, Bad Touch have potential and talent, but aren't yet capable of keeping hold of a crowd whose attention began to unravel.

With what seems a pointless 30-minute wait with not a lot going on between bands, and the floor finally filling up to its intended capacity, the much-anticipated headliners The Answer finally took to the stage. Opening with new track I Am What I Am, the Irish quartet smash through a collection of songs spanning across an impressive body of work, and although more tracks from their debut like Under The Sky and Into The Gutter are sorely missing from the setlist, hits such as Spectacular, Demon Eyes, Strange Kinda Nothing, and New Horizon were sure to keep every member of the audience satisfied. With the band's charisma and passion channelled through the songs and every member playing as if it was their last, the effort and determination to put on a good show is clearly evident within this band. Although the venue is not the biggest they have ever encountered, lead vocalist Cormac Neeson uses this to his advantage. With continuous crowd interaction, he even entered the crowd, giving remaining members Paul Mahon, Micheal Waters and James Heatley space to take center stage, and trying to make every member of the audience feel just as important as every member of the band. It is this connection that makes the night special.

With flawless playing throughout the night and a special guest appearance from Saint Jude's Lynn Jackaman for the encore of Nowhere Freeway, the short set of just thirteen songs quickly comes to an end. Although to many this may not be considered a breakthrough show, The Answer's performance has shown the same high level of consistency that has been maintained throughout their entire career, and even though the band is without stage sets, pyrotechnics and pointless gimmicks, The Answer can exceed the expectations of many, simply by playing the music.

“ charisma and passion channelled through the songs ”

Setlist: I Am What I Am / Spectacular / Red / Demon Eyes / Tornado / Aristocrat / Preachin' / Last Days of Summer / Strange Kinda Nothing / New Horizon / Raise a Little Hell // Nowhere Freeway / Evil Man

Written by Ellis Davis
More: 2015, Gigs, Hard/Heavy Rock,

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