Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Therapy?


It’s Sunday night and (this time), not so long a wait for Therapy? to come South. Support tonight comes from Three Counties quintet Thirty Six Strategies. They deliver a bullish Punk Rock set, not short on subtlety or power. They open with ‘Treading on Angels’ which takes no prisoners. “Waging Wars” follows and Marie (vox) really finds her range. They manage to produce a huge wall of sound on most of the songs, yet I can pretty much hear every instrument! Marie has quite a distinctive vocal style, gravelly in places yet not inaudible. Ian (bass) however is chief shapeshifter and has a similar style to one Michael McKeegan. The star of the band though on tonight’s performance is Craig (drums); who makes an immense sound look so effortless, most notably on “We Disconnect”. While I cannot nail any firm influences to the mast I will say they have a unique style all of their own. They end with “Words of Cold Fire” yet there’s nothing frosty about their set. They receive moderate applause, but for this reviewer they make a decent impression. I wish them well.

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And so to the main event. On the back of a successful 20th Anniversary “Troublegum” Tour Therapy? wasted no time going back into the studio to record LP number 14. Tonight’s show previews tracks from new LP “Disquiet”. Opening with track 1 from the album, ‘Still Hurts’ is delivered with energy and power. While tonight’s show will see the band preview songs from the new LP, they keep the majority happy with the “crowd pleasers”! A truly epic “Isolation” follows before the first big singalong courtesy of “Die Laughing”. With the Wedge being a now regular stopping point on Therapy? tours the band seem happy and in confident mood. Michael is using every inch of the stage he can find while Andy is smiling throughout. Neil (Cooper) at the back is no less important and as ever provides the power. “Idiot Cousin” goes down well and sounds great while “Torment, Sorrow…” is just as pleasing on the ear. This new sound captured on Disquiet so suits the live arena. “Stories” gets the first bit of movement in the room started before they return to newer material. “Good News Is No News” once again gets everyone joining in while “Fall Behind” takes things up a notch once more.

Andy encourages some “Hey, Hey, Hey’s” on “Misery” and we all join in before they play the epic “Tides”. “Insecurity” is simply the forerunner to four Therapy? classics. “Screamager” induces the now regular dancefloor lunacy before the live favourite “Teethgrinder” gets the fitter among us jumping! “Knives” sees Andy once again encouraging participation, and who are we not to?! A passionate and heartfelt “Diane” sets us up for set closer “Deathstimate”. Whereas on the LP it’s the classic final track, tonight it sounds immense live. The band leave to great applause but the calls for an encore are somewhat muted. Encouragement comes via the bass tech as he starts clapping.

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The band return and Andy tells us we’re gonna get an oldie from “Pleasure Death”. “Skinning Pit” makes a welcome return to the live arena before a rabble-rousing singalong to ‘Potato Junkie’. Andy is in his element as he shouts “louder” in the final chorus – “c’mon Portsmouth, louder” – we duly oblige! They end as they begin with a classic. “Nowhere” seems a fitting end to what has been another great show.

25 years down the line and Therapy? still seem to deliver. The new material is fresher and more accessible live; and while some bands just re-hash old material, this band seem to just push themselves and not stand still. Disquiet as an album is a breath of fresh air and the band looked lean and fit onstage tonight. Long may this continue; as for as long as there is the “core” support, I feel sure they will carry on making these great records and performing live.

Set List
Still Hurts
Isolation (Joy Division cover)
Die Laughing
Nausea
Idiot Cousin
Turn
Torment Sorrow Misery Strife
Stories
Words Fail Me
A Moment of Clarity
Good News Is No News
Fall Behind
Misery
Tides
Insecurity
Screamager
Teethgrinder
Knives
Diane (Husker D¸ cover)

Encore
Deathstimate
Skinning Pit
Potato Junkie
Nowhere

Videos



Links
http://www.therapyquestionmark.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thirty-Six-Strategies/285566558130389

Words By Ross A. “Not that tall” Ferrone
Pictures By Jon “Look at my new lens” Musselwhite
Vidos by Dave “Directionless” Chinery

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