The last time The Answer were at The Corp in Sheffield was WinterRocks festival last year when they played a stunning headline set on the back of the release and a year of touring their fourth album ‘New Horizons’.
Now here they are again midway through a tour to promote their new album ‘Raise A Little Hell’ which only weeks after release is sitting at No.1 in the rock charts.
After listening to the album, and hearing comments in interviews, it’s evident that they have gone back to their roots and written the album they wanted to under no pressure from labels.
It’s a busy night tonight as apart from the tour bands, Bad Touch and The Picturebooks, there is another support band, The Black Hands, a great blues rock band I have seen on a number of occasions.
This four-piece Sheffield based band are a mix of ‘Steppenwolf’ rock and a southern blues sound akin to The Black Crowes with oodles of raw energy and swagger coming through in their performance. Guitarist Daniel Riley has a great turn of style mixing some excellent slide with slabs of wahwah giving the sound a slightly psychedelic edge at times whilst vocalist Gannon gives some great bursts of harmonica. Throughout the set Gannon’s vocals really standout, powerful yet soulful and clean. ‘God Loves A Trier’ is another great track from their EP, ‘Nobody Knows Nothing’.
The Picturebooks are definitely a band that will split the crowd, a lot of people need to see and hear a bass or at least three or four people on stage and can’t seem to see past it,
On the other hand if, like me, you love the soundscape produced by a two-piece band – as the individual instruments are pushed out of the norm and into a more expansive musical space – the thunderous drumming from the oversized bass drum over fuzzed guitar will envelop you and draw you in.
Fynn Claus Grabke (vocals, guitar) and Philipp Mirtschink (drums, percussion) are barely visible through the smoke tonight as they take us through the set that includes ‘The Rabbit And The Wolf’ and ends with ‘Your Kisses Burn Like Fire’ both off their new album ‘Imaginary Horse’. Finding new bands like this is why you should always catch the whole show and all of the support bands.
There are a lot of Bad Touch T-shirts out tonight which shows the amount of support these guys have. Their debut album ‘Half Way Home’ is released in April following their EP ‘Down & Out’.
A great thick riffy rhythm section from Seeks (guitar) and Bailey (bass) and great lead licks from Rob, whilst vocalist Stevie has a swagger and style about him akin to a young Robert Plant, indeed the whole sound has that Zep, Free, Black Crowes groove going on but slightly harder edged. With tracks coming from the new album that include ‘Good On Me’ and finishing off with the faster ‘New Day’ it was a great set that really warmed the crowd up for the headliners.
Having been a fan of The Answer since their first album, Rise, the band really come alive on stage. Kicking off with ‘I Am What I Am’ and new single ‘Red’ the first few songs confirmed this, along with my favourite ‘Aristocrat’.
The band have noticeably dropped a lot of the early tracks like ‘Come Follow Me’ and ‘Under The Sky’ and included a few more from one of their best albums Demon Eyes which revitalises the setlist and complements the new material.
Cormac explains that the next track ‘Last Days of Summer’ gets longer the more they play it as it allows Mickey and Paul the space to solo and play off each other. Midway through we have an acoustic set which see James coming out of hiding from behind his kit to take up a cajon (box drum) to join in on ‘Strange Kinda Nothin’.
Finishing off the main set with the title track ‘Raise A Little Hell’ with Cormac in the crowd before an encore and final track ‘Nowhere Freeway’.
As expected, the new tracks really do make an impression live and with the new album behind them they are set to take America by storm later in the year as they tour supporting Whitesnake.
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
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