Review and photos by Russ Tierney
The room is slow to fill tonight but there’s a reasonable crowd when Germany’s The Picturebooks hit the stage. Their brand of stomp along Southern Rock Blues stylings are an enjoyable watch as passion and feeling oozes out of the twosomes pores. Drummer Philipp Mirtschink’s kit set up is quirky as he beats it to within an inch with what look like Chinese gong mallets. His choice in additional percussion is also fun but it all adds to the dynamics of the stomp. Fynn Claus Grabke wails atmospherically as the band tie up the opening proceedings nicely sounding like what I imagine the White Stripes wished they did.
Up next, Bad Touch are a name with which I’m familiar. Much like the Answer, they’re in that eternal power struggle of being a promising Rock ‘n’ Roll band pulling in influences from what many would class as the good old days, the glory era of rock, but we’re of course in today’s Kerrang! world. It’s a tough genre that’s massively over looked with only the novelty driven Darkness making a huge impact while the likes of Heaven’s Basement have chewed and spat out members enduring their struggle of endless touring to hone their heavier more modern sounding stint to success. Anyway, Bad Touch turn up the swagger and grooves, and we’re hit with riffs and what we’d expect of an Answer show and front man Stevie’s 70’s “Almost Famous” styled image. The guys continue to groove, entertain and engage the crowd and leave people wanting more as a huge round of ‘encore’ chats echo around the venue.
Tonight The Answer are on a high, fresh off the back of their album, Raise A Little Hell, topping the rock charts. However, tonight’s venue is somewhat smaller than the last headline show I saw them at, so it’s hard to gauge really how the guys are doing. That’s all irrelevant of course as, much like last time, the guys put on a stunning show. I struggle to appreciate these guys on record in the same manner that I do live, but I think that’s just a genre/production preference thing. When they are on stage there’s no denying that they’re a class act from start to finish.
Now, with many more years under their belt and their recent bout of confidence from Raise A Little Hell‘s success, the humbled band are all smiles and jokes as they shine even more in the progression of their set where new tracks slot in perfectly with the old. Also if they’re to be believed, Birmingham is treated to an exclusive tonight as drummer James Heatley steps out from behind the kit to play the Cajon which certainly adds a little variety. In short The Answer kicked ass tonight in Birmingham, and the crowd loved it. If you’ve ever considered going to see the guys but something was holding you back, make the effort, you wont regret it!