Therapy? - May 15, 2009 - The Academy, Dublin, IR
By: Ken McGrath
It’s been years since Therapy? last played in Dublin and even that was only a support slot, opening for Motorhead, which is nothing to be sniffed at but it just meant that one was a short set. It’s no surprise then that the fans are out in force. Therapy? exist in that state where they can put out new albums and have a dedicated fanbase who will buy and enjoy them, while also still appealing to those fans who haven’t bought a Therapy? album in donkey’s years, but will still head out to see them live, because a great show is guaranteed. And tonight is no exception to that rule, even though the set does favour the more hardcore fan.
At the outset Andy Cairns promises a lot of songs from a lot of albums and on that point they do deliver, even if the hits are mostly left to the end. Opening with “I Told You I Was Ill” and the bass-heavy “Enjoy The Struggle” from new record Crooked Timber it’s clear Therapy? are in top form. Somehow they manage to fit the entire new album into the show. They do throw up some other surprises too though.
“Fantasy Bag” is unleashed on an unsuspecting audience and obscure non-album track “Summer Of Hate” latches onto the hearts of the diehards, Andy kindly letting those not familiar with it to sing “fuck Woodstock” in the chorus. The ever fantastic “Teethgrinder” slices through the air, that chopping drum beat resulting in mass pogoing and singing along, the guitar line drilling nicely. “Bad Excuse For Daylight” is a brilliant metal moment with it’s chugging, massive riff and will hopefully become a stable in future sets. The ringing chant of “James Joyce is fucking my sister” during “Potato Junkie” is a definite high point that leaves voices hoarse and sore, but with smiles all round. The unserviced diesel engine rumble of the bass flows though “The Head That Tried To Strangle Itself” and after the ambling, mediocre “Magic Mountain,” it’s into the final straight. A fiery “Stories” leads into “Die Laughing,” “Screamager” and “Nowhere” which brings things to a rapturous conclusion.
Overall a thrill for the hardcore fans, but the more casual Therapy? fan, who may have been expecting a few more ‘hits’ sprinkled throughout won’t have been disappointed. They really do still have the material as proven by the huge amount of Crooked Timber material that permeated the set, but never bogged it down. They may be nudging at being a classic rock band at this stage, but they’re not content to rest on past achievements and they’re still an absolute thrill to see live. Just don’t leave it so long next time to come back.