at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., November 15, 2016

THE DEAD DAISIES (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., November 15, 2016)
Photo: Mick Burgess

With two of the newer generation of Classic Rock bands, The Dead Daisies from The States and Ireland’s The Answer, hitting the road on a co-headlining tour, this was one show that went straight into the calendar as soon as the dates were announced.

The revolving door that has at various times seen members of the Rolling Stones, The Cult and Thin Lizzy pass through the ranks of the band, has again stopped since the last appearance of the Dead Daisies in the region with Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed hopping off to join the hugely anticipated Gun n’ Roses reunion leaving the door open for former Dio and Whitesnake six stringer Doug Aldrich to jump aboard.

Aldrich is the perfect choice reuniting him with former bands mates Marco Mendoza and Brian Tichy making the latest transition in the band as seamless as possible. With former Mötley Crüe and The Scream singer John Corabi adding his own inimitable brand of powerful, gravel hewn vocals to the mix alongside the bands brainchild, guitarist David Lowy, this has the potential to give the Dead Daisies its most stable formation for some time to come.

As you’d expect from a band with a such a depth of experience gained from years of writing, recording and touring with some of the world’s biggest acts, the Dead Daises were in ferocious form. Drawing on songs mainly from their two Corabi fronted records they delivered punchy takes on Mexico, Song and a Prayer and the hulking Funk groove of With You and I, while Lock ‘n’ Load was the sole representation from the Jon Stevens debut.

You’d think that a band with the heritage behind the Dead Daisies that they would draw on that past and deliver the choicest cuts from across their respective careers. That’d be the easiest and obvious route for them but this band is meant to be fun, created by musicians who join and leave as their commitments permit so instead they pick those songs that they all love to play meaning Midnight Moses by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son get the Daisies treatment with Corabi matching John Fogerty’s foghorn bellow to perfection.

The Dead Daisies set the bar unbelievably high and The Answer certainly had their work cut out to come close to what was an energetic and hugely enjoyable show by a band that will undoubtedly return and play much bigger halls in the future.

As this was a co-headlining tour it was The Answer’s turn to close the show tonight, with their brand of classic Blues infused Hard Rock that draws on influences such as Free and Zeppelin but with a 21st century slant.

Since their hugely well received debut album, Rise saw them crash onto the Rock scene 10 years ago they have steadily built up a strong, loyal following. While the last couple of releases may have seen them treading water musically, their latest Solas, sees them striding forward into deeper and broader musical pastures in a move that will undoubtedly expand their fan base. With Solas, they may well have come of age.

The Answer are something of a rarity. Ten years on from their debut and six albums later they still have the original line up that burst out of their County Down home. Years of touring with the likes of AC/DC and Whitesnake and appearances with Aerosmith and Paul Rodgers have honed the band into an impressive live unit built around the Bluesy tones of Cormac Neeson and complimented by guitarist Paul Mahon.

Opening with the title track to Solas with its hypnotic driving Zeppelin groove started the show in promising fashion with Beautiful World coming hot on its heels. Singer Cormac Neeson certainly has the pipes to bring the likes of Demon Driven Man to life but the show just lacked the spark and charisma of the Dead Daisies.

On another night, The Answer would have delivered a satisfying set of hard edged Blues but following The Dead Daisies was maybe a step too far but then again any band having to follow that performance would have struggled. A great evening for the fans but one clearly dominated by the rising star of The Dead Daisies.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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