I can still recall the first time I heard The Answer because it had an effect on me which took me back to my teenage years and the feeling I got on being introduced to some of my favourite bands.
Keep Believin’ ticked every box I was looking for in a rock song, great riff, pounding rhythm and of course Cormac Neeson’s stunning vocals.
I’d never heard of The Answer until Classic Rock magazine included that track on one of its free DVDs and within minutes, I was on the internet trying to find out more about the band.
It was another two years or so before they released their debut album, which did not disappoint despite my lofty expectations. Tracks such as Never Too Late, Into The Gutter and Under The Sky were panned by critics as retro-rock but to yours truly, this was the first modern group I’d heard playing genuine classic rock.
I first saw The Answer at Northumbria University and once again and since then I’ve seen them at Hard Rock Calling in London’s Hyde Park and supporting AC/DC at Hampden Park when for some strange reason, they opened the afternoon ahead of the quite dreadful Subways.
Each time, the Irish band delivered a stunning set, combining immense power with technical prowess and an increasingly assured stage presence.
The Answer’s follow-up second album Everyday Demons was another highly commendable effort even if it did lack some of the memorable songs it’s predecessor boasted.
But I was disappointed, not by its content but by its failure to impact on the mainstream. It did make the album charts but received little airplay on radio and publicity was limited to the music press.
I wanted The Answer to be huge, I wanted them to impact on the nation, I wanted them to be standard-bearers for the renaissance of classic rock.
They may be worthy successors to legendary bands such as Free and Led Zeppelin but I yearned for them to enjoy similar success.
Having witnessed them at a gig with fewer than 500 present and twice as a support act, The Answer have served a worthy apprenticeship.
But, in truth, I hoped that by now, they would be selling out Arenas, headling festivals and topping charts.
It may still happen with their third album which is due out later this year.
Thousands of rock fans across the planet have been introduced to their blues-tinged rock, courtesy of their marathon schedule accompanying AC/DC on their World tour.
A DVD is out next month and I’ll be buying it but it’s their third album I look forward to with even greater anticipation.
Will this be the release which transports them into another stratosphere, which turns potential into deliverance and rewards years of slog with fame and fortune?
The answer will lie in the quality of its songwriting. It may not be make or break for Cormac and co but it will probably determine their future careers.
With so many of classic rock’s finest, approaching the end of their careers, we need a quality band to take up the baton.
If The Answer do eventually become superstar, they will have earned their success the hard way.