Well tonight was something short planned off the back of organising another future gig review, an offer to review a band I’ve not seen in almost 20 years I thought, nope it turns out it’s actually nearer 30 – where does the years go?
Tonight I’m seeing those “90’s Northern Irish Grunge Rockers”* Therapy? A nice refreshing change from all the indie bands I’ve been to watch lately.
I’m probably not the only one who thought that they had split up and all gone their separate ways many many moons ago but no they’ve still been plugging away albeit as a threesome now selling a not inconsiderable 2 million albums along the way. A delve into their back catalogue has shown that they’ve moved with the times over the past 30 or so years so it will be interesting to see what awaits tonight at LEEDS WARDROBE venue.
1st up for support is fellow Northern Irish rockers Enola Gay who need to slip Google a few quid to stop them playing OMD every time you “Hey Google” them much to my annoyance when trying to check them out in the car earlier today. It’s an early curfew tonight and looking at the crowd numbers so far compared to what I saw on the ticket list coming into venue this is going to be catching a lot of tonight’s gig goers out especially as the venue’s website was saying doors 7.30 and the support is supposed to be on stage at 7.20
Enola Gay kick straight into The Birth Of A Nation and for the younger readers it’s a sound not dislike Fontaine’s DC but turned up to 11 and really angry, for the older ones, a sort of modern day Rage Against The Machine.
They’re definitely not a band for the majority of this generation of metal fans here tonight to see Therapy? but once into their 3rd song, they’re getting a few old heads starting to headbang and by mid set with the venue finally suitably filling up nicely the front of stage begins to join in, think they came as a bit of a shock to the later arrivals tho even if the barrier were lapping them up, more a band for those on the other side of 50, the ones here tonight might not have liked it but trust me, their kids (or possibly grandkids) will probably love it.
With what is now a packed venue, Therapy? enter the onto the stage and kick into Don’t Want To Feel Anymore, instantly its easy to see that they still not lost any of the energy over the years and I’m probably in for an enjoyable night.
It’s Ok Not To Be Ok is dedicated to care workers and NHS and it won’t be the 1st time lead singer Andy Cairns rips into the Tory government tonight and it’s got the crowd going, not quite straight to the circles stage but with the average age of the majority of the crowd, going early might put a few hips out as it’s been 32 years since they 1st came to Leeds and it’s clear that many in the crowd were there that night. Later Die Laughing gets a dedication to Taylor Hawkins, appt as it has a Foo’s feel to it and possibly a few “borrowed” riffs, all good stuff but it’s when the 1st of the 90’s stuff fires into life that the fans start to come alive and while there’s not a circle happening a small pit forms, who knows there could yet be a riot before the last song is played tonight.
Therapy? are yet another band that have taken the 2 year lockdown and used it to good effect by writing a new album and from it they play Joy, a track full of driving guitar, drops and hooks that modern metal seems to be somewhat full of these days. Later Andy rips into the Tory chancellor telling bands to give up everything they’re learnt, rehearsed and played and retrain while all the time, well ya know….
A lively version of what would appear to be a fan favourite Dianne has the front pit growing as do the next few songs, might be a circle before the nights out yet…
… And Boom Screamanger just before the encore has it, it might have only been a little circle but it was a circle none the less.
With time moving on its getting close to the early curfew and it’s into what turns into a early hits packed encore kicked off with Potatoe Junkie, “James Joyce Is Fucking My Sister” is being belted out by the crowd as they chant towards the stage only interrupted by birthday boy Neil’s drum solo with crowd interaction that Angus Young would be happy with during one of his guitar solos Further tracks include Isolation, Nowhere and very respectable cover of Judas’s Braking The Law, dedicated to a popular fan who’s been going through a difficult time. Giving up on you finishes the gig just minutes before the curfew and the crowd, clearly covered in sweat and running out of energy give it one last mosh.
There’s something quite joyous about seeing men and women of a age well south of 40 bouncing and enjoying themselves like they’re in their 20s once again that I’ve missed during the lockdown and Therapy? certainly delivered the entertainment.
I won’t leave it another near 30 years to catch them again, if you’re anything near a metalhead then you too should check them out, they really have horned their craft over the years.
*Current dummer Neil Cooper is from the East Midlands but please don’t hold that against them, or him.