Once again I’ve been to my version of music therapy... a live gig. We got to the front and waited for the band to come on; one that holds memories of my dad and whenever I listen to ‘dads’ music played live I feel a connection to him. I know that mum and I are at gigs as a three and it’s also a way I challenge myself as I now find it nerve wracking in large crowds. It’s worth it for the experience because once my favourite bands start playing it’s like a musical hug. You get wrapped up in it. Especially with The Answer. Their albums are technically perfect for me; vocals, instruments, lyrics, genre, sound, even the album artwork but live they are on a totally different level. It’s not just that I prefer live music it’s their performance.
They aren’t performing music, they are the music. They are every note and lyric amplified, especially with this new album. I purposely hadn’t listened to the new album as I like to hear it live first. I’m used to the energetic rocky blues style of The Answer but this new album was something different. They constantly evolve and this album still has their sound but it’s deeper and the bands Irish routes shine through. You could hear and see the depth of meaning in the tracks played and certain lyrics and riffs screamed out at me. Before the last track was played they announced that this song summed up their album which was made after they had gone through a really dark time. I’m not claiming that dark time was mental health related but for me some of the album relates to going through a struggle which many of us know all too well.
To finish the last track the singer, Cormac Neeson, made his way through the crowd to the merchandise stand where he thanked people for coming. I was so happy to meet Cormac and asked if I could give him a hug! It felt appropriate because I knew what I’d just heard and seen was probably their version of ‘music therapy’. I felt it and related to it. For me, a band who has been going 10 years and had success, don’t tend to greet people like that but I’m guessing it means the world to them to have the support from fans that they do. The rest of the members, Paul Mahon, Micky Waters and James Heatley, came after they had made it off the stage to meet fans and the albums for sale had been signed by each member on the cover, another personal touch that will have made many people’s day. By giving fans the chance to meet them and tell them they enjoyed the performance will have meant the world to some. I think a lot of fans just want to say thank you or tell a band they’ve followed them from the start or they played one of their songs at their wedding or in my case “my dad was a huge fan”. One of their albums, Everyday Demons, in particular sticks with me as a memory of dad because he loved it and listened to it a lot before he passed away. He played certain songs on repeat and played along on his guitar. When I listen to those songs and know his story I know why they were on repeat. They hit home with him.
For a band it’s a brave thing to do to put down your thoughts and experiences into lyrics. It will be judged by critics, magazines, radio hosts, fans, new listeners and their own friends and family will know what the lyrics relate to. It might ‘give away clue’s’ of what they’ve been through. So why don’t they write something less personal... because you need to write from the heart to make music believable. This isn’t a factory made band told what to sing, what to wear, how to perform and given a track to play. It is four musicians. In fact it’s four guys on stage in front of a lot of people saying this is us and that’s what fans relate to.
I hope the message they receive back from fans is thank you. Thank you for speaking for millions of people who relate to your lyrics and don’t know how to put them into words. Thank you for your insight and for sharing your thoughts so openly. Thank you for another amazing album that I can enjoy and a gig I’ll remember. Thank you to each one of you.
Songs I related to the most with my depression:
- · Tunnel
- · Battle Cry
- · Demon Driven Man
- · Solas
The new album Solas is definitely worth a listen along with their previous albums.
The Answer Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theanswerrock/
The Answer Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/theanswerrocks
Solas Album on Pledge: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/solas
iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/solas/id1150669163