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The Answer - The band with the biggest balls in Irish rock
Stuart Clark gets in among the giant plastic inflatables as The Answer add The Who to their growing list of celebrity rocker fans.
Stuart Clark, 12 Jul 2007
Snow Patrol may have the upper hand in terms of sales, but there’s only going to be one winner of the ‘Hardest Gigging Band’ gong at the 2007 County Down Music Awards and that’s The Answer.
Prone to panic attacks if their tour bus isn’t parked round the corner, the ‘70s worshipping rockers – think Rory Gallagher and Free mixed with Led Zep at their most lemon squeezing – will have played 200 shows this year by the time Santa comes a calling.
“Yeah, it’s kind of hectic,” says singer Cormac Neeson, proving himself to be a master of understatement as well as huge sideburns. “We’re at a festival tomorrow at Chepstow Castle with UFO, then we’re doing Norway, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Serbia with the Rolling Stones, Turkey, Korea, Fuji Rocks in Japan, Germany, Switzerland and back to Holland for the Lowlands festival.”
Sorry, Serbia with the Rolling who?
“The Stones,” he laughs. “We were up for a support with them last year which didn’t happen, but we got a call on Wednesday saying, ‘If you’re not doing anything else on July 14th, Mick and the boys would love to have you.’ Luckily, the festival we’re playing the next day is in Istanbul, so it’s pretty much en route. I don’t know anything else about the gig, other than it’s big and in Belgrade.”
Being fully conversant with the machinations of the Serbian concert industry, I can tell you that the show was originally meant to take place in the 100,000-capacity Hippodrome, but had to be moved to the smaller Usce Park when animal rights activists discovered that in order to stop them panicking, 300 horses stabled nearby would have to be sedated. ‘Smaller’ in this case being relative, as the Park can accommodate 80,000 people who took precisely 33 minutes to snap up the available tickets.
Of more immediate concern is the Cork Live At The Marquee show The Answer are playing tonight at the behest of those other rock ‘n’ roll aristocrats, The Who.
Managing to inveigle ourselves backstage without having to offer anybody sexual favours, myself and the boy Keogh immediately run in to Roger Daltrey (good nick), Pete Townshend (not so good nick) and their Leeside pal from way back, Irish Jack Lyons, who’s tonight’s guest of honour.