After the postponement of a pre-Christmas gig at The Globe – which followed a 2022 Tramshed date that was itself postponed twice amid this band’s 30th-anniversary celebrations – Northern Irish alt-rockers Therapy? finally make it to Cardiff, and they’re in the mood to make it up to their Celtic brothers and sisters.
There are no airs and graces about these guys as they bound onstage to They Shoot The Terrible Master: the hard-hitting opener to last year’s Hard Cold Fire album, and a song that wraps up everything the band is about in under three minutes. With the crowd happy to pogo and dance away, they keep the momentum going by taking it back to 1992’s classic Nurse album: Nausea is followed by their cover of Joy Division’s Isolation. But, unwilling to dwell on the past, the band kick out several tracks from Hard Cold Fire – including the fantastically-titled Poundland Of Hope And Glory, these are received just as well as the classic material, and suggest there’s plenty of life in this old dog yet.
Andy Cairns is not a bombastic frontman by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a workhorse of a guitarist/vocalist and he’s backed by one of rock’s most engine-like rhythm sections. The almost industrial noise of Teethgrinder follows a solid rendition of Hüsker Dü’s sombre classic Diane, before then we get the rock singalong of Die Laughing, all of which shows Therapy? are nothing if not versatile.
Ugly and Screamager seem to indicate that we’re coming to the end of the set before the alarm-call guitars of Nowhere signal the last chance to dance. Beaming smiles from the stage and in the crowd, as high-fives are thrown around, suggest a job well done.
Therapy?, The Globe, Cardiff, Thurs 1 Feb
words CHRIS ANDREWS photos JOSEPH ELIJAH