Just over a year on from their “Troublegum” anniversary tour, Irish stalwarts Therapy? have returned with a new album, (the excellent ‘Disquiet’) and a new tour.

Opening for them on this run are the Midlands-based five-piece Thirty Six Strategies, who were new to a lot of the crowd but got a great reaction right from the off. Vocalist Marie Vockin’s raw vocals lead the band through half-an-hour of catchy, melodic punk-inspired tunes that showed the band had as much bite as they do an ear for a good tune. Considering the many line-up changes the band have gone through in their relatively short life (the sole remaining original member is former Stampin’ Ground bassist Ian Glasper), they looked a really tight live band and showed great promise for the future. Their debut album is out now and if you get the chance to see them, do it.

I can honestly say that I don’t think I have seen a band enjoy a show as much as Therapy? did tonight. From the very moment the band took the stage they were feeling the love from the crowd and you could see how much they got from it. The new tracks fitted in well into a set packed with classics and a few early tracks to please the large amount of long-time fans that were in attendance. With Andy Cairns stuck over on one side of the stage for much of the show, the rest of the stage was open for bassist Michael McKeegan to bounce around for most of the night, as he has done for most of the last 25 years. It’s always really difficult to pick any highpoint from a Therapy? show as they are one of those bands that always seem to be on form, even earlier on the tour when Cairns was suffering and recovering from illness. The most memorable moments for me were a brutal, cello-free version of their classic Hüsker Dü cover ‘Diane’, which gave the song a totally different feel to the studio version, and if that wasn’t enough they went straight from ‘Screamager’ into ‘Teethgrinder’ and the crowd duly lost it. The encore was as great as the rest of the set and drummer Neil Cooper got a bit of a birthday treat when Andy Cairns directed the crowd to start shouting “DRUM LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER!” at him, which we duly did. This was just one big party, and with rumours of another tour before too long, this is one band I will never tire of seeing live.

Therapy? setlist:
Still Hurts, Isolation, Die Laughing, Vulgar Display of Power, Idiot Cousin, Turn, Torment Sorrow Misery Strife, Stories, Words Fail Me, A Moment of Clarity, Good News is No News, Nausea, Tides, Insecurity, Screamager, Teethgrinder, Deathstimate, Diane, Knives, Skinning Pit, Potato Junkie, Nowhere

Therapy? – Facebook page
Thirty Six Strategies – Facebook page

Photos by Stephen Fallows.