It was a night of retrospectively paying tribute to a genre that conjures up the music of the 70s. Two bands that wave the banner for revival rock hit the stage at the O2 - Gentleman’s Pistols with its hairy, metal laced heavy rock and The Answer with equally hairy, Irish brogue, evangelical stuff. This is a genre that always tears me up. I am torn between my love of the groove that revival rock presents and the dislike for the inherent aping of British bell bottomed rockers of the past.
The Answer appeared on stage to a funky intro followed by a little widdle and a blaring harmonica. Fronted by this charismatic golden haired demi-god, The Answer rely on intensity and driving rhythms in its songs that touch the borders of blues, funk and rock. The band's frontman, Cormac, had previously announced that this tour was all about taking it back to the grassroots and playing sweaty, intimate venues where they could look into the audience’s eyes. This was a big step away from supporting AC/DC a few years back.
The songs and stage presence invoke a likeness of Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes and Mick Jagger. Often the music seemed a bit untidy at the beginning and endings particularly in the unveiling of its new single, "Vida (I Want You)." But mostly, the set contained just absolute crowd moving, steady rock with mad instrumental breakdowns, southern rock beats and heritage sounds in tracks like Tornado and One More Revival - also featuring on the new album.
Gentleman’s Pistols hailing from Leeds, opened with their really heavy, energetic take on the genre. Dirty guitar work, animalistic drumming, and the chest invading thump of the bass dominated my impressions. They sounded like a tame Black Sabbath or say a less psychedelic Jimi Hendrix Experience and had some quite notable tracks in "Some Girls Don’t Know What’s Good for Them" and "Lyin’ and Fooling."
Currently, The Answer is touring the continent but plans to do a full tour with stops in the UK are tipped for March. More information on upcoming gigs and how to get hold of its new album are available on www.theanswer.ie