at John Dee, Oslo, Norway, November 17, 2006

The Answer, from Ireland, have gained a lot of attention in the UK this year. The band and their debut album Rise have been hailed by an overwhelmed British Rock press – deservingly so. During the last months, more and more other countries have opened their ears and eyes to the Irishmen as well. Rise is one of the most hungry and clever debut albums for a long, long time. Just like Wolfmother, The Answer looks back to the 70s and inspires themselves from sources like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.

So how do they sound live? A Friday night in mid-November, they appeared at the small club stage of John Dee in Oslo, as a part of their European tour. A couple of hundred fans had shown up to witness the band’s first visit to Norway.

The first thing one could notice was how tight the band played. Their charismatic and vintage-looking front man Cormac Neeson sang notably well, and from the opener, “Come Follow Me,” it was clear that these guys had no plans about holding anything back.

The Answer

The guitar sounded quite a bit too raspy, but somehow it kind of suited their retro style. However, guitarist Paul Mahon did a great job with the strings, conveying riffs and licks and solos steadily, to everybody’s pleasure.

Just like a lot of their idols of the seventies, The Answer too has got a Bluesy side. Both “Preachin’” and the encore “Memphis Water” proved this to a great extent, and gave the set an extra dimension that were very well-received by the audience. All in all, they delivered a strong set, however one could have expected one or two more jams from a Retro Rock band like this (with only one album out, and no support band).

The Answer

The Answer has been compared to Led Zeppelin a lot of times. Tracks like “Into The Gutter” make that hard to argue against – Neeson sure has picked a trick or two from Robert Plant. Still, what’s funny, is that they from time to time sound quite a lot like Tesla too; both on their album and on stage. Examples will be “No Questions Asked,” “Be What You Want,” and the laid back “Always” — this, to quite an extent, is thanks to Neeson as well.

However, with songs like the über-brilliant single “Under the Sky,” there’s no use to compare The Answer to any other band. The Answer deserves all the good reviews they’ve got so far. The Answer deserves to grow as a band in the times to come, and inspire a new generation of bands who want to play Bluesy, edgy, and Classic Rock and Roll.

The Answer


Cormac Neeson – vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Michael Waters – Bass
James Heatley – Drums


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