The Answer / The Dead Daisies / Jackaman - Electric Ballroom, London (UK) - 23 November 2016
Singing like a lark, Lynne Jackaman is rightly getting recognised for the huge talent she is by securing several plum support slots recently. Personally I prefer seeing her sing with an acoustic backing like tonight, as you can really savour every nuance and tone of her wonderful voice. She also develops a rapport with the crowd, joking that she can't believe it's her last night on this tour as she won't be seeing so many men in leather pants with their tops off, we hear ya sista! She puts her heart and soul into her performances and is always a joy to watch.
The Dead Daisies, newly invigorated by the injection of Doug Aldrich, bring the house down. Somehow they appear complete now and although they are a band priding itself on changing line-ups I hope this one endures. They kick off with their single 'Long Way To Go' off the new album 'Make Some Noise', followed by 'Mexico' – their single off of 'Revolucion' – and then the title track from the new album. By the arrival of the excellent Aldrich solo on 'Song And A Prayer', with his solo work undoubtedly lifting the material to a new level, the audience are eating out of their hands.
During the Creedence Clearwater Revival cover 'Fortunate Son' Marco Mendoza exploits his natural sex appeal to the full by raising his leg high upon the speakers and managing a Latin hip swivel mid gymnastic move! John Corabi thanks the crowd for coming and their radio requests that got plenty of air play for Daisies' singles such as 'Lock 'N' Load' which is next up and gives him a chance to show off his voice, allowing us to realise how many crowd favourites TDD have already clocked up in their short life. Mendoza informs the crowd that the gig is being filmed and asks them to show some love which they oblige.
We get plenty of voice box and slide guitar to keep the retro groove on 'With You And I' and the crowd roar with delight when Aldrich plays the intro to Whitesnake's 'Slow 'N' Easy' with Corabi even singing the first verse. This is a definite turning into the stratospheric for the mood of the crowd, indicating the Daisies should play more Coverdale material... after all Corabi did steal three fifths of his band!
The band totally get their groove on after this point and on the last few tracks, 'Last Time I Saw The Sun', The Who cover 'Join Together' and 'Helter Skelter', which really suits Corabi's voice and is a nod to his Mötley Crüe days, the band are flyin. There's some roof-lifting singing from the crowd and Corabi compliments them that "I guess all the singers in the UK moved to London". A little Judas Priest and Aerosmith to pep the crowd is unnecessary, they're already there. When Corabi mentions there are going to do their version of a ballad and they launch into fast paced 'Mainline' we get humour and kick-ass Metal in one swoop. The crowd start clapping spontaneously on more than one occasion before the end and the body language of the band, relaxed and in the groove, show they know they killed it. This translates at the end into Aldrich and Brian Tichy having a mock rugby tackling and wrestling session before leaving the stage; they are having so much fun it really shows! Aldrich is the guitar hero this band lacked. The general consensus seems to be that this performance tonight was the best ever regarding them work a crowd. Long may the upward trajectory continue!
The Answer suffer a little from the heights to which The Daisies had reached, from the fact that the crowd thinned a little as people went to meet the latter at the merch stand, and whilst Cormac Neeson is still capable of touching the soul, several crowd favourites are missing from the set and he appears to have changed his vocal style or tones somehow from the soulful and distinctive voice we knew and loved. With mandolins and bouzoukis, the performance is not run of the mill but it's just not as 'Rock 'n' Roll as The Daisies. Jackaman's duet on 'Nowhere Freeway' is a nice moment of history to witness. Neeson mentions the band were in a bad place but feel like they've turned a corner and forays into the crowd twice to try to get things going, but sadly The Answer seem to have lost their mojo tonight. Always a drawback of choosing a talented support with bags of sex appeal, the night belonged to The Dead Daisies.