@ Sub 89, Reading UK
9th March 2014
Review and Photography by Ashlinn Nash
Sub 89 in Reading, the upstairs legendary venue that lives on the town’s high street is blessed with charm, intimacy and comfy sofas, plus the drinks are reasonably priced too. Along with a past collection of bands that would make most venues jealous; with the likes of Firewind, Towers of London, Sham 69, The Buzzcocks, The Haunted and Gary Numan just to name a few.
On with the show…Blackwolf [3.5/5] open this evening with their combination of hard rock, bluesy dreams tales and the element of sleaze you just fall in love with. Tonight playing new slick tracks from latest album “The hunt” they are energetic, powerful and graceful around the edges of pure pumping hard rock.
The Bristol based five piece’s Leading man Scott Sharp has a prowl, contained in the capsule of a contemporary voice with a vintage focus. A voice that sends the crowd on a narrative journey through a rock and roll time scape, with moments from their set, sounding not to de-similar to Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd along with elements of modern rock revival grunge too found with Black Stone Cherry and Alterbridge.
Whilst others later in the set take a new departure that focuses away from their influence and into their own musical styling’s for example “Moving Mountains” and “sea of Mercy” reflect a cooler rock persona from the band. The set is not without variants of crowd sing a longs with plenty of involvement.
As the band conclude their swish set it’s one that has left the crowd with an abundance of not only energetic feelings but also revitalised.
The answer, [5/5] the bold and lovely four piece arrive on stage to a crowd, who are pumped and ready to get another rock fix. They are not disappointed as Cormac Neeson, the proud to please front man takes on the roll of setting the pace for tonight with his blend of traditional stage moves that are familiar and similar to those of influence, all served up whilst delivering music with the tones of and emotions that harboured a unique take on recognition from the span rock music’s history, hits the stage.
The band now in full swing of their club UK tour, it’s great to be in a intimate setting such as this one. As the band work through songs like “new Horizon” from the same titled album [and latest release] , “speak now”, and “concrete” it becomes clear that the band have a strong artillery of sound slices to work with.With lyrics that seem inspired by camp fires, it’s a joyous sound to be witnessing, which in tonight’s venue is one of the best live sound mixed gigs I’ve ever been too. With plenty of banter, musical displays and fine rock and roll it’s hard not to love this band live.
After falling out of acquaintance with the band for two albums worth a AC/DC tour and many festival appearances. It’s lovely to see them back with new adventure fuelled music that gives you the sense of wonder to make you want to grab your mates and make a band .As they work their way through traditional drum and guitar solos, along with the odd harmonica too.The set of course is not without a Rory Gallagher cover of “Cradle Rock” which sends waves of sing alongs within the tiny venue, accompanied by a lot of harmonica based blues.
Ending the evening with “Preachin’ Cormac wove into the crowd and began to undertake in an almost punk-esque performance, by getting the crowd to get down on their hands and knees and start – a jump up and preach response to the song.
The Answer, are one of the grooviest exports from Ireland in the last few decades, with their soulful lyrics, party anthems to back them and a wildly electric live show that sent ripples of excitement amongst the crowd here tonight. It’s with great honour and privilege to have witnessed the true splendour their live performance had to offer.
The Answer Setlist:
Road Less Travelled
Under the Sky
Cradle Rock (Rory Gallagher cover)
Come Follow Me