ufoHe’s back and this week out Classic Rock columnist bemoans the apparent demise of one of British rock’s brightest hopes.

Self Made Man has been heaping praise on The Answer for a decade and he’s not the only one who can’t understand why the Ulstermen aren’t huge.

Read his exclusive take on the Classic Rock scene right her every week. 



When I heard that Irish rock band The Answer were touring again next year, I was naturally delighted.

Then I read their tour schedule and my heart sank.

Manchester Academy 3, The Key Club, Leeds, York Fibbers, The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, The Garage, Glasgow, Newcastle Riverside, Grimsby Yardbirds and so on.

Now I’ve got absolutely nothing against those venues and I am sure they’ll prove worthy hosts for Cormac Neeson and co.

But the list sent out a depressing message. The Answer are on the wane.

Not in terms of musicality but they are flagging badly in music’s popularity concert.

And so they’ve downsized to small, cosy venues which hold hundreds, not thousands of music fans.

I’m not surprised because the writing was on the wall the last time they played in Newcastle.

It was a typically blistering set and I wished my review had been all about the show but it wasn’t.

I should have left the O2 Academy on a musical high. Instead, I was disappointed.

Disappointed that The Answer, who deserved so much more, were playing in a venue probably not even half full.

When The Answer released their first album Rise back in 2005, many predicted they were destined if not for superstardom, then certainly for a career playing Arenas across Europe.

Rise sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and though follow-up Everyday Demons wasn’t quite as good, they were still an upwardly mobile band.

Three years later, they looked to have made the big breakthrough when they supported AC/DC on their Black Ice Tour.

But it never happened for reasons I can’t understand.

The Answer may be retro rather than innovative but they’re bloody good musicians with Neeson possessing one of the best voices in the business.

As I said, they deserve wider recognition but let’s be brutally honest, it’s probably never going to come now.

I’ll be at the Riverside on March 14 next year and I know they’ll play a storming gig.

But I haven’t bought my ticket yet. There’s no urgency. It probably won’t sell out.

Ian Murtagh