Gig Review

The Answer
General Fiasco
Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
2nd December 2009
The Answer                         General Fiasco      
The Answer has been a busy band. 2009 has sent them on two U.S tours, two European tours, a flying visit to the land of the rising sun, a Download Festival, and two gallops around the UK to boot. Their second run around our humble island brought them tonight to Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall; making for a small and energetic show for the midlands crowd.

Unfortunately a late arrival meant missing opening act Black Spiders, but next up was punchy three piece General Fiasco. Fiasco wasted no time in ripping through songs in their 30 minute set list, belting through track after track. Playing to a rather fragmented and stagnant audience, they played a humble half hour which failed to capture too much audience appreciation. Not through lack of trying though. The band were enthused and animated, particularly drummer – Leaky; animated and dynamic, it was easy to focus the audience attention on this skin basher. They’re great at what they do, and are all talented artists, yet tonight’s performance just didn’t seem to ignite anything new with their spark.

The reason we’re all here tonight soon followed. The Answer emerged to a now comfortably full auditorium, and wasted no time getting into the thick of it. A brilliant instrumental opening certainly blew any reservations away from, as each of the three melody makers slipped seamlessly into their preferred audio craftsmanship. Once front man Cormac Neeson had meandered his way onto the stage, the band blasted straight into Everyday Demons’ mid track – ‘Tonight’ The Answer are filled to the brim with a classic rock vibe, with their own Irish sportsmanship and fire thrown into their musical direction. Each instrument strives to drown out the next in a barrage of audio assault which flows surprisingly smoothly. Unfortunately, the sound man tonight was not quite as in tune with his musical passion, with Nesson’s vocals occasionally being smothered under the wailing guitars and pounding drums; making it hard to distinguish his brilliant vocals. Only on those nether regions clinching super high notes did his voice ring out above everything else. It’s a shame, and no fault of his own; Nesson’s voice is clearly one with both power and heart, and yet still made for a brilliant complement throughout each track.

Track number four of the set – ‘Cry Out’ brought the pace of the evening down just a notch, with slower pacing but brilliant wailing guitars, and thankfully, a small respite by the in-house engineer with vocals emerging louder and more clear.

Guitarist Paul Mahon understandably attracts much attention tonight, with just his sheer brilliance on the guitar. The fretwork is clinical yet so so fast whilst his quick changing effects and tones flow fluidly through every riff of every song. It’s truly inspiring when one is fortunate enough to see a master of his instrument at work, and tonight’s performance by Mahon was no exception. Perfect.

A standout feeling you experienced from The Answer’s performance though, is that they were genuinely passionate to be up there playing tonight. This is only driven home further when Nesson shares his story of when earlier in the day drummer James Heatley was paid a surprise visit by Mick McCarthy, and after some lucrative offers; James’ only passion was to “Go on that stage tonight, and hit those drums as hard as he possibly could”. It’s refreshing and moving to know these people truly do appreciate what they do for a living, and Nesson never misses a chance to get involved with his admiring audience at any point, as he dives down into the front row at varying high points throughout the evening; even bringing out a harmonica from time to time.

Other classics such as ‘Never Too Late’, ‘Comfort Zone’ and ‘Evil Man’ were brilliantly received, but top trump of the evening had to be the penultimate number- ‘Under The Sky ‘. Truly billowing drumbeats and solos, gorgeous chugging live riffs, and fantastically venomous vocals just help cap off a brilliant pre encore set. The extended live version really helped seal the audience together in a guitar chugging loving bubble. After the obligatory exit left, The Answer were quick again to emerge for one final number to round off the evening, the brilliantly epic- ‘Preachin’.

All in all The Answer do exactly what they set out to achieve. A classic rock - AC/DC influenced band, which has evolved and grown its own uniquely original roots and style. If you want a band whom are confident in their delivery and direction, but whom are also passionate about the music they create, The Answer are the solution you are looking for.

“Our business here with you lovely people here on this fine night, is rock and roll” bellowed Neeson over the drowning noise of cheers and applause, and judging from tonight’s reactions, business is better than good.

General Fiasco 3/5
The Answer 4.5/5

Review By Phil Davies

 The Answer

Cormac Neeson (Vocals)
Paul Mahon (Guitar)
Michael Waters (Bass)
James Heatley (Drums)

 General Fiasco

Owen (Vocals, Bass)
Enda (Guitar, Vocals)
Leaky (Drums)

 Band Related Links
The Answer Myspace
General Fiasco Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?