Overall Score: 9/10 Performance: 9/10 Musicianship: 9/10 Banter: 8/10 Pros: It was like it was still the 90's, the band showed no sign of aging Cons: It's hard to think of anything negative to say...maybe it was a touch too loud
Not many bands can say they’ve pissed off journalists trying to write about them around the world because they decided to keep a silly typo, but Therapy? are that band and here they are celebrating their 30th, I mean, 32nd anniversary with a string of dates long delayed by that bastard Covid.
The delay has put an already excited Wedgewood Rooms on full-on sugar rush and as soon as the intro sample of “HERE I AM MOTHER FUCKER!” that precedes Nausea erupts through the PA, so too does the audience.
The band take a brief moment to acknowledge all the shit of the last couple of years and so “let’s have a good time because happy people have no Stories!” which is exactly the kind of cheesy intro that the rock world needed 24 hours after Taylor Hawkins was announced to have passed.
For a three-piece Therapy? have a huge sound and vocalist Andy Cairns looks around the room with a sort of evil half smile right from the off – a sort of Serj Tankian before Serj Tankian – and the punters are lapping up every single note and lyric.
One of the best things about seeing a band on a 30+ anniversary tour is that largely speaking the audience is the same age and able to absolutely love the music, absolutely love the nostalgia, absolutely feel like they’re back in college again and absolutely not be a dick. Fitting then that the band make a point to introduce Kaleidoscope with it’s “it’s OK not to be OK” hook, before telling a short story about the aforementioned (very) recently departed Mr Hawkins and dedicating Die Laughing to his memory.
Church of Noise rocks much harder than it ever did on record, even with the inclusion of the samples and then Andy tells us this year is also the 20th anniversary of drummer Neil Cooper joining the band, before launching into If It Kills Me from High Anxiety, the first album to feature Neil.
The wall-to-wall banger set continues with older hits such as Disgraceland and Loose, before the feeling of coming to a close starts to set in with a strings free, rocking version of Diane into Teethgrinder and Potato Junkie, which sees the entire room chanting “James Joyce is fucking my sister”.
Anyone who knows any Therapy? songs, knows exactly that an encore is coming, but a four-song one was a welcome surprise, especially after Andy first makes a point of thanking the venue and all the staff (a simple thing, yet a poignant one, especially in a post-covid world) and then proceeds to announce a NEW ALBUM IS COMING THIS YEAR! With that the band treats the room to the live debut of Woe, which sounds great by the way, before the triple threat of mosh inducers Nowhere, Knives and Screamager.
Safe to say, nobody left without a grin on their face.
See you again soon boys.