11 November 2022 (gig)
16 November 2022
"Wake up, time to die"....After a small 30 or so year delay, Therapy? have come to Cornwall. They come on stage to that immortal Blade Runner sample and launch into Meat Abstract from their very first EP, Babyteeth. We're transported back to the early 90s. The 3 piece are extremely tight and once the sound man has tinkered around a bit with the vocals, the sound is good, and most importantly, loud!
I have to be honest, since the early days I did lose touch with Therapy?, but these guys have never stopped. They have been releasing albums every 2 or 3 years, and from tonight's song choices, seemingly, the talent and quality has never been in short supply.
This tour was billed as the "Love the Early Stuff" tour, so it seems we're in luck, however, we don't recognise as many tunes as we expect to over the course of the main set. This disappointment however is offset by the sheer quality of material that these guys are pumping out tonight. Amongst a couple of classics from the early EPs, Fantasy Bag and Innocent X, we get a torrent of power and energy, most notable in songs like the superb Little Tongues First, "Suicide Pact, Suicide Pact, Suicide Pact - You First" being the irony heavy, and extremely shoutable chorus.
Neil Cooper's Drumming is fierce and brutal and Michael McKeegan is like a man possessed on bass. He bounces around, frantically waves at random people in the crowd and pumps his hand in the air so much at some points you would think he was at a rave. The Evil Priest (as frontman Andy Cairns lovingly refers to him) plays with a skill and energy that compliments the incisive guitar mastery and abrupt vocals of Therapy? frontman Andy who is full of wit and banter all evening. The main set comes to a close, they've been excellent, but there must be more...
The encore is where the crowd finally properly come to life, and for good reason. When they walk back on, Cairns says something like "Now we'll play some songs you know" ...We've been hanging on tenterhooks all night for something off Nurse or Troublegum, finally it comes.
Teethgrinder is dark, thundering, and well worth the 30 year wait. Andy then puts on a serious face whilst saying to us, "This is a traditional Irish folk song, so please be respectful" before shouting "James Joyce is Fucking My Sister" Potato Junkie really gets the mosh pit moving and the audience sniggering. "My girlfriend says. that I need help, my boyfriend says, I'd be better off dead" Knives opening line and accompanying jarring riff and crashing drums reminds us of the perfect 2 minutes of alt metal (or whatever you choose to label it) perfection that Therapy were kicking out ten to the dozen back in the day.
Andy pays tribute to Michael's metal roots when he introduces a raucous cover of Judas Priest's Breaking The Law. Nowhere is superb, and reminds us of what could have been as the guys play out probably their most commercial number, but commercial never really did fit for Therapy? They played by their own rules and stuck to them. By this time we're in the mosh pit and waiting for them to play Diane to give us a breather. Sadly the Husker Du classic gets a miss this time, but of course, the set has to include, and indeed closes with theTherapy? signature tune, Screamager. "Screw that, forget about that, I don't wanna know about anything like that" is ringing in our ears as we walk out of Cornwall's best live music venue, Falmouth Princess Pavillion.
This venue has hosted the likes of The Wedding Present, Buzzcocks and The Damned here over recent years, and I, for one, cannot wait to see the truly awesome Brain Jonestown Massacre here in late January. If you're in Cornwall, come on down!