The Answer returns from US Whitesnake tour for “intimate” gig to launch new single from #1 UK album with support from young blues guitarist, Aaron Keylock.

Despite having only stepped off the plane earlier in the day, returning from their successful US tour opening for Whitesnake, The Answer was in top form, confident and excited to be launching their third single “Gone Too Long” from their widely acclaimed UK #1 album, Raise A Little Hell, released in March.

The venue, the Borderline, in London’s Soho, had sold out quickly after the date was announced and was pretty well packed by the time Aaron Keylock took to the stage with his band. Aaron bears a striking resemblance to a young Rory Gallagher in his dress and demeanor. Judging by the excitement of many in the crowd, it seems Aaron has already built up quite a solid reputation for himself as he launches into the impressive, up-beat “Medicine Man.”

A half-hour set of astounding blues rock with a 70s vibe ensued, exploring a variety of tempos and styles and hinting at the music of Rory Gallagher, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, and other great blues artists. Aaron’s vocals have the warm bluesy tone of Rory Gallagher with a raspy hint of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill. Midway through the set, the pace slowed down with the beautiful and broody “Just One Question.” With the striking guitar solo and echoes of Led Zeppelin, Aaron ended the set with Johnny Winter’s “Ain’t That Kindness,” admirably and adeptly performed making it his own. Followed by the boogie-woogie “Give Me a Chance to Explain,” you can’t help but be blown away by the musical maturity and prodigious talent of this 17-year-old.

Receiving a rapturous applaud from the crowd left wanting more, it’s clear that Aaron must be one of the youngest and most exciting blues rock talents in the UK today; a definite one to watch.

By the time The Answer took the stage, the venue was heaving and packed to capacity with a crowd of loyal dedicated fans. Full of energy, the band kicked off with “I Am What I Am,” a superb opening to the show with its staccato riff and kick-ass rhythm. Consummate frontman, Cormac, started to warm up exciting the crowd with his statement, “Our business with you tonight is rock n’ roll! Are you ready to rock and roll?” With a loud cheer from the crowd, the band launches into “Spectacular,” a classic Answer tune that truly lives up to its name. Already buzzing by the time “Red” blew the roof off the venue, the fans couldn’t resist headbanging and joining in the sing-along chorus, demonstrating that the Answer is still one of the best for writing solid, catchy, rock n’ roll tunes.

“Demon Eyes” saw Cormac descending from the stage to join the enthusiastic crowd on the floor. Now was just the right moment to slow the pace a little with the newly-released single, “Gone Too Long,” a tender ballad already featuring on rock show playlists, and which really showcased Cormac’s soulful and passionate vocals. “Aristocrat,” another from the new album followed announced by Cormac as being dedicated to “the guy responsible for taking us away to Spain and showing us a good time.” With the superbly wicked guitar and heavy bass line, this has already proved to be one of their new standout songs, clearly a favourite for the diehards, resulting in a large cheer.

Keeping the energy level high, “Long Live The Renegades,” a real stomper of a tune with an anthemic chorus was next followed by the old favorite from the Rise album, “Preachin.” The sound of crickets created by James’ hi-hat tambourine led fans into the trippy “Last Days of Summer,” a track which evolved into a long mid-song jam with Cormac leaving the stage, allowing Micky, Paul, and James the space to solo and play off of each other. Cormac announced the next song, “Strange Kinda’ Nothing,” as one which they thought a Whitesnake audience wouldn’t like – “far too slow, wouldn’t want to hear a ballad.” However, they were also told, “if you don’t play that goddamn song, you’re off the f**kin’ tour.”

“New Horizon” saw a dedication by Cormac to “all the musicians in the room.” Full of positive vibes and energy, guitarist Paul Mahon was in his element delivering a blistering solo alongside Micky’s blinder of a bass line and James’ driving drums. Cormac added his awesome raspy, bluesy vocals into the mix. Closing the main set with the title track “Raise A Little Hell” saw Cormac, with the crowd in the palm of his hands, coming back down to join fans on the floor during an extended jam, working the crowd like a true rock star getting them all to crouch down before jumping up at the chorus; an amazing sight.

With a set like that, no one was ready for the show to end and the cries for more were rewarded with an encore, kicking off with the ever-popular “Nowhere Freeway.” The show ended with the old favourite, “Under the Sky,” a powerful and catchy rock number with heavy rock riffs and quick tempo changes, short, sharp, punchy lyrics, great guitar work, and a heavy rhythm section.

After the show, fans all had the opportunity of meeting the band in the bar, the nicest bunch of lads you could hope to meet, humble and appreciative of their fans’ support and always ready to pose for photographs and sign merchandise.

Playing with added confidence on the back of the enormous success of “Raise a Little Hell” and their recently completed US tour, The Answer appeared to be having a great time. Tonight, they were certainly firing on all cylinders, continuing to generate kick-ass, no-nonsense rock n’ roll with insanely catchy melodies and huge hooks, capturing the heart and soul of the 70s with a modern twist, which leaves the fans screaming for more.

Our photographer Eric Duvet was on hand to capture images from the show.

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The Answer
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Aaron Keylock
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The Borderline
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