Joiners, Southampton

Andy Cairns

It’s Friday and it’s acoustic night at the Joiners featuring 2 members of Rock Royalty. Headlining is none other than Therapy? mainstay Andy Cairns. Opening for Andy is InMe vocalist Dave McPherson.

Dave quietly makes his way to the stage, introduces himself then opens with “Snowball” which he describes as a song about “shitty relationships” and being in them. It’s a theme that crops up later in his set. Dave’s searing vocals carry well in this intimate setting and clearly he is at home onstage alone, as he is with a band. “Spring/Hearts Need Blood” follows as we see Dave reaching for every layer in his vocal. He then tells us he is suffering with a lack of sleep having gone to bed late and rising early after a few beers – Rock n Roll! “Lady Luck” is next, a gentle little number followed by the InMe classic “Turbulence”.

Dave Mcpherson
Dave Mcpherson 1

Another slab of relationship strife is delivered in the shape of “Loverats”, Dave smiles as he tells the story of the song origin-one imagines this to be quite personal. He ends on a song from new LP Dreamoirs called “Kingdom”. He thanks us (and Andy) for the gig and leaves to good applause. I meet him later at the merch stand where he is both warm and humble, happy to talk and pose for pictures.

Headliner Andy Cairns steps onstage, explains the reasons behind this; his first acoustic tour, and how it’ll be a while before the next Therapy? tour. With this in mind, he explains how it might be good to get out on the road and do something different. What we get is Andy the musician, singer, storyteller, and comedian! He opens with “Die Laughing” and continues with tracks from his extensive back catalogue. Peppered between we get stories of song origins – “Opal Mantra” for instance about being stopped by the police after crashing said car, whereupon the policeman says “watch a lot of Dukes of Hazard do we sir?”, “Stop Killing Me” and “Nowhere” are highlights and we are encouraged to sing the chorus to “Church of Noise”, to which we all oblige.

Andy Cairns
Andy Cairns 1234

First new outing of the night is a song penned around a time of illness in Andy’s life called “Bedridden”. He then goes on to explain how his son doesn’t want his mates to see him in “joggers” or TO have to listen to “his” music – the joys of a teenage son! Once again this anecdote gets good laughs. “Our Love Must Die” is bouncy while at the other end of the spectrum we get the haunting “Gone”, which is nothing short of brilliant. “Evil Elvis” proves popular while “Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing” works well acoustically.

On “If It Kills Me” Andy tells the story of annoying the neighbours in Cambridgeshire while “searching for a chorus” to said song! “Turn” is another highlight while “Self Help Books” is another newie. Andy says he’s been filling his time listening to 80’s Hardcore Punk-so much so we get a cover of Discharge’s “State Violence, State Control”. He then proceeds to talk about the Thatcher years and all the bad she did – immediately a punter shouts “yeah, but she had great tits”! This gets the biggest laugh of the night while Andy momentarily loses concentration!

He then welcomes roadie/friend/musician Steve Firth onstage to accompany him for the remainder of the set. The very personal “6 Mile Water” is observed in impeccable silence while “Lonely Crying Only” is superb. Andy enlightens us to the origin of “Screamager” – he and Michael (McKeegan) are watching the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party (back in the day). Michael looks at the kids and exclaims “look at all those f*cking screamagers”! 3 songs are aired from “Infernal Love”, “Stories”, the excellent “Loose”, (another singalong), and live favourite “Diane”. Andy thanks everyone from staff to punters and they end with “Potato Junkie”. We all singalong for the last time before he exits the stage to long loud applause. Andy Cairns – singer, songwriter and all round entertainer! He should do this more often! Great show,great crowd,great support,great night.

Andy Cairns (in no particular order!)
Die Laughing
Opal Mantra
Stop Killing Me
Church of Noise
Our Love Must Die
Evil Elvis
Living In The Shadow of A Terrible Thing
If It Kills Me
Signed DC
Meat Abstract
Lost In Care
Self Help Books
State Violence,State Control (Discharge cover)
Six Mile Water
Lonely Crying Only
Diane (Husker Du cover)
Potato Junkie

Dave McPherson
Spring/Hearts Need Blood
Lady Luck

Band Links

Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

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