The Answer + Dead Daisies
Wednesday 23rd November 2016
Electric Ballroom, London
The Electric Ballroom in Camden is one of those great venues that are both intimate yet big enough to swing a considerable sized feline, and with excellent acoustics that leave you with pleasantly humming ears rather than shredded tympanic membranes.
Soothing our way into the evening was Lynne Jackaman, once the voice of the sadly too short lived Saint Jude and now weaving a blossoming solo career. For our delectation she performed an acoustic set which perfectly highlighted her strong yet beautiful voice. And she’s a beautiful woman too. An all to brief set was closed with her acoustic rendition of Blind Faiths ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ leaving a roomful of wistful gents of a certain age wishing they weren’t old enough to be her father.
Co-headliners for the night were the Dead Daisies. A supergroup of international proportions, these boys are good, old school loud rock. If Steel Panther are the humorous parody of 80’s hair metal grown up, these boys are the serious contenders. Everything you wanted those now decrepit acts to be but can sadly no longer do. But the Dead Daisies have aged well - really well. Who wants to see reformed acts who can’t quite do what they used to do when the Dead Daisies do it better now? Frontman John Corabi, once of Motley Crue and singer on their eponymous album which contains my favourite Motley Crue track – ‘Smoke The Sky’, showed his considerable pedigree and charisma to lead what has been a revolving door of who’s who in the rock glitterati. The current line-up includes guitarists Doug Aldrich and David Lowy who bring twin Gibson goodness through Marshall and Friedman stacks. Marco Mendoza struts in true bass player style with gum mastication at critical levels and a throbbing bass line. Oo er Mrs! Brian Tichy, resplendent in shirt and tie, as all discerning drummists are sporting these days, wins the prize for most drumsticks lofted – and dropped – in one sitting. If he didn’t mean to do so, sign him up for the England first eleven for the next test match. Another rainforest will have to be erased to replenish his stocks.
Their set was a mixture of their own tracks such as the radio friendly 'Lock and Load' as well as a string of covers such as The Who’s ‘Join Together With The Band’, Judas Priests ‘Living After Midnight’ and a rocked up version of ‘Helter Skelter’. I would have been happy for them to go on all night – they rocked the room with the same energy and vigour that they showed 25 years ago. I don’t know what they are on, but can I have some please?
Enter The Answer. Co-headliners, but not quite the same intensity as the Dead Daisies. I would have put The Answer on first personally, but what do I know. Their latest album ‘Solas’ is a departure from their pub grown Irish rock with a darker more folky feel to it. So their set was a mixture of the classic Answer sing along songs with newer more thoughtful melodies. Paul Mahon’s guitar wizardry on classics like ‘Spectacular’ and ‘Come Follow Me’ were interspersed newer tracks including ‘Battle Cry’, his mandolin playing on ‘In This Land’ and the frankly odd ‘Being Begotten’ with lead singer Cormac Neeson accompanying on Bazouki. You can’t blame the band for trying something different. Track of the night for me was their classic 'Nowhere Freeway' which heralded the reappearance of Lynne Jackaman to provide a fulsome pair. Lynne and Cormac I mean…
Cormac once again engaged the fans in his time honoured manner by conducting the sing along from the middle of crowd. It’s always good to meet your heroes, even better to sing with them. The final song saw Cormac re-join the crowd and then make his way to the t-shirt stand to sell his wares before he had finished singing. Judging by the applause and the masses following him, I guess he did a roaring trade.