Main Stage, July 24 2010

Finally freed from the grip of the AC/DC juggernaut, The Answer can get back to doing what they do best – whipping crowds into a blues rock frenzy by firing off retro cool anthems right, left and centre.

Last year’s heroic stint on the Rock N Roll Train may have opened up Ulster’s finest to millions of potential fans and ensured the band has gained a strong foothold in the US market. But their hectic schedule somewhat overshadowed the release of UK Top 25 record Everyday Demons and that album deserves a decent airing between now and the band’s next trip to the studio. And that’s exactly what The Answer’s second long player got as Cormac and the boys blasted through the best of the best from a cracking listen. Demon Eyes has become a firm crowd favourite and a bona fide classic rock anthem while the Lizzy-esque Tonight still sounds like a chart-busting certainty 18 months after Everyday Demons proved this band was no one-trick pony.

Too Far Gone is one of the classiest tunes The Answer have penned while Why’d You Change Your Mind has gone from slow burner to firecracker in the space of a year. Watching this reminded those present that this is one band you’d pay good money to watch night after night after night and it’s little wonder AC/DC were more than happy with their choice of warm-up act across America.

Neeson leads the new breed of classic rock crooners finally giving the old guard a run for their money and if Led Zeppelin do decide to reform without the countryfied Robert Plant they really shouldn’t look any further than a frontman at the top of his game.

And in Paul Mahon – possibly the least likely axe hero in the world – aspiring guitar gods everywhere can point to an unassuming fret burner with the skill and understated cool in abundance.

Just why Neeson’s traditional call to vocal arms was met with such a lukewarm response by the crowd is anyone’s guess but maybe they were lost for words. Watching The Answer live is, after all, a mind blowing experience these days and an experience we’d happily trade for sex, drugs or any other brand of rock n roll.