The Forum, London

Indie Daze

Featuring: Therapy?, Swervedriver, Pop Will Eat Itself, Jim Bob(Carter USM), Utah Saints (DJ Set), Back To The Planet & Kingmaker

Well way back in the spring, my good friend and photographer (Mr. Chinners) announced that Therapy? were the chosen headliners for this year’s Indie Daze festival. To me, it was a no-brainer having never seen them outside of the South Coast. And scrolling down the list of supports there was always going to be enough there to quench my (musical) thirst. So, without any further ado, I booked a one night stay at a London B&B nearby and ordered the tickets.

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We arrive in good time, check-in and head for the Forum in Kentish Town. Kingmaker are the openers and I’m pleased to say have a decent sized crowd to welcome them. With a new main vocalist (Michael Wright) it’s just like the old days. A set list peppered with old songs and one or two anthems, the first song I recognise is “Two Headed Yellow Bellied Hole Digger”. John (drums) is having issues with his high hat (just keeping it upright) – where’s a tech when you need one?! “Armchair Anarchist” precedes the brilliant and well known “Queen Jane” as they ease into their set. “Ten Years Asleep” is their set highlight and they depart us on “High As A Kite”. Great to see Kingmaker on a stage this size with smiles on their faces, let’s hope they grace it again in the future.

Following them are one time “Peckham Squatters” Back To The Planet. It is a rarity these days to see an original line-up still flying the flag. I hadn’t seen BTTP since ’92 in Bournemouth, where their politically charged set was one to behold. These days they just look happy to be on a stage this size, but with no less enthusiasm. They open with ‘Human Error” and set out their stall early. Fil (vox) covers every inch of this stage while smiling throughout. “Geezer” (keys) is sporting less hair than I remember but is no less important. Henry (drums) is the powerhouse in the engine room and their early afternoon “Festy” vibe gets one or two punters dancing. “London City” is both apt and popular while “Please Don’t Fight” even gets me moving. I’m reliably informed “Teenage Turtles” was their other big song from back in the day and keeps the punters happy while singing along. They too end on a high with “Let It Go” and get great applause and we look forward to seeing them again sometime soon.

Back To The Planet
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With a 7pm curfew on leaving the venue we decide to have a late afternoon food break. After some truly awful food from just down the road we head back in and Utah Saints are filling the room with a DJ set to die for. This is no Utah Saints rebirth; this is two guys, banging out the big tunes and getting the place rocking. The pit area is packed with hands raised and people moving. Songs by KLF, New Order, and Prodigy are particularly popular but at no point is there any let-up, these guys are on it. They depart with “You Got the Love” which gets the euphoric singalong it deserves as they exit the stage to huge applause.

Next up is no stranger to this stage. One half of one of the most important duo’s from this era, one James Robert Morrison (AKA Jim bob) Carter USM. He arrives onstage in matching shades, footwear and socks, and a shiny grey suit. He then proceeds to acoustically make all our dreams come true with a set choc-full of Carter classics. He begins with a classic, “Suppose You Gave a Funeral…” and sets the mood early. “Lean On Me” gets an early singalong as the punters shout for songs. Jim announces he’s not usually this drunk so early, and the nervous/knowing smile is etched across his face. He takes great amusement when one punter shouts “do something that Fruitbat wrote”? “Prince In A Pauper’s Grave” gets the silence it deserves and is impeccably observed – you could virtually hear a pin drop before we all join in on the choruses. “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere” gets the more inebriated among us in good voice as Jim really begins to loosen up and let go. Arguably the set highlight is his only cover in the set. “This Is How it Feels” was always a live staple and gets a loud singalong, virtually from the off. The chorus takes us right back to sweaty mosh pits back in the day. He saves the best ’til last with three bangers – “The Only Living Boy In New Cross” starts the ball rolling while “After The Watershed” gets everyone joined in on the choruses. A chorus of “You fat bastard” precedes “Sheriff Fatman” and Jim tries to control his laughter. It’s the perfect ending and we realise why we loved Carter all those years ago, and still do.

Jim Bob

Jim Bob

The room quickly begins to fill for the entrance of PWEI. Today’s performance sees the band performing the “This Is The Day” LP in its entirety. They take to the stage one by one as the atmosphere builds, then launch straight into “PWEI Is A Four Letter Word”. An ever growing pit descends into wild abandon as they continue into “Preaching To The Perverted’. “Wise up Sucker” throws caution to the wind as this crowd are now jumping. It’s the set highlight for me, the dual vocals working in harmony while the crowd retort the chorus in loud voice. We catch our breath with the next two songs before parity is resumed on “Can You Dig It”. “Poison The Mind” is a gentle intermission and prelude to “Def Con 1” which again finds this crowd in good voice. I notice that the keys player (whose name escapes me) spends more time on the stand than the keyboard itself. It’s an interesting take on ballet – PWEI-Style!! “Satellite Ecstatica” sees more crazy dancing and keeps our middle-aged bodies moving! “Wake Up, Time to Die” is the perfect closing track but this crowd are baying for more. A brief interlude allows for one more encore track. Dedicated to absent friends they give a big shout out to the late Keith Flint, “a massive influence on this band” and leave us on “Their Law”. Massive applause rings around the room as they finally depart us.

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Penultimate band on the line-up are Oxford underachievers “Swervedriver”. With no setlist to go on I remember them coming onstage with little fuss, putting on their guitars and delivering a set of what would appear to be “Old Skool Shoegaze”. “Never Lose That Feeling” is the one standout track but sadly I have to report an appearance so lacking in energy and excitement, and looking around me I have never seen so much attention paid to mobile phones by punters. I retreat to the rear standing area but I’m afraid it doesn’t improve. I know they were a late addition to the bill, but one wonders with so many other bands at this ‘level’ if say another band from the era would’ve been a better proposition. They leave after almost an hour to decent applause but one canít help but hope for something better from the headliners – and we weren’t to be disappointed!

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At 9.30 on the dot Northern Ireland’s finest take to the stage. With a 29-year history Therapy? have compiled a “best of” setlist to please all. They begin with their now traditional opener “Wreck it, Like Beckett” and once again this now liquid-enhanced crowd goes wild. Decked out in black the band look focused, singer Andrew James Cairns has never looked in better shape. Michael (bass) is chief shapeshifter, cajoling this crowd to Andy’s right. “Die Laughing” soon follows as the main hits from their more successful days come thick and fast. There’s a sense of new song/old song as we go through their set. “Nausea” bludgeons its way into our senses with seemingly extra growling edits; while “Kakistocracy” is dark in the extreme, Neil (drums) thrashing those kettles throughout. Andy gives an interesting prelude to “Lonely Cryin’ Only” with a subtle nod to Roy Orbison and “Only The Lonely”. “Turn” is a headbangers delight, and looking around me there’s no shortage of takers. “Opal Mantra” sounds as strong as ever while “Callow” sees Andy deliver a song with such heartfelt passion and feeling, you feel he’s singing with someone in mind. “Innocent X” takes us right back and this crowd starts to go a little crazy. The beer-slinging is in full flow and the pit area is now a beer swamp. At £6 a pint I don’t get this mentality, but we’re all different.

Mid-set Andy gives a big shout out to an early influence on the band by covering Joy Division’s “Isolation”. Dare I say it, it trumps the original and is a set highlight. “Trigger Inside” is dedicated to past, current and future incumbents of Downing Street – which is applauded. They’ve saved the best ’til last, beginning with “Stories”. With the original “Teethgrinder” T-shirt being the only merchandise on sale it was always going to feature at some point during their set. “Potato Junkie” gets the crowd interaction it deserves before becoming a Therapy?/Buzzcocks mash-up in dedication to Mr. Pete Shelley. Their take on “Ever Fallen in Love…” is note perfect before Neil is invited to give us a drum solo. Once completed its back to Mr. Joyce! “Stop It You’re Killing Me” is just brilliant, before a rather heavy version of “Diane”. There’s a dark overtone to its delivery tonight and again it doesn’t disappoint. They depart us with “Going Nowhere” and leave the stage to loud applause.

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I have to say the shouts to bring them back aren’t the loudest. That said, this crowd have left it all out there down the front – fatigue in your fifties canít be easy! Anyway, they return with five “big hitters”. A track rarely played these days, “Church Of Noise” goes down a storm. It’s fast and furious and gets us moving again. ‘Meat Abstract’ follows with its now-familiar intro “Wake Up, Time to Die…” it’s a great return to the past with virtually all albums represented this evening. Troublegum’s two finest cuts get a familiar end of set airing. “Knives” sees this audience in fine voice and they go mental one last time during “Screamager”. Andy takes one last chance to thank us all for our support, before wishing Neil a Happy Birthday. “Without you guys there is no show” – it may be a clichÈ, but after thirty years we are still here. They depart on the now sobering “Success? Success is Survival”. And with that ringing endorsement we await news of their 30th Anniversary Tour.

Apart from the random beer throwing there is nothing to dislike about this now annual event. Get seven acts from the era, a credible headliner and a room full of like-minded souls going down memory lane. We await next year’s line-up with interest.

Set Lists
Wreck it, Like Beckett
Die Laughing
Lonely, Cryin’, Only
Opal Mantra
Innocent X
Isolation (Joy Division cover)
Trigger Inside
Still Hurts
Potato Junkie
Drum Solo
Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldnt’ve) – (Buzzcocks cover)
Stop It You’re Killing Me
Diane (H¸sker D¸ cover)

Church of Noise
Meat Abstract
Success? Success Is Survival

Pop Will Eat Itself
PWEI is a Four Letter Word
Preaching to the Perverted
Wise Up! Sucker
Sixteen Different Flavours of Hell
Inject Me
Can U Dig It?
The Fuses Have Been Lit
Poison to the Mind
Def Con One
Radio P.W.E.I.
Shortwave Transmission on ‘Up to the Minuteman Nine’
Satellite Ecstatica
Not Now James, We’re Busy…
Wake Up! Time to Die…
Their Law (The Prodigy cover)

Jim Bob (Carter USM)
Suppose You Gave a Funeral and Nobody Came
My Second to Last Will and Testament
Lean on Me, I Won’t Fall Over
Shoppers’ Paradise
A World without Dave
A Prince in a Pauper’s Grave
Midnight on the Murder Mile
Falling on a Bruise
The Final Comedown
Anytime Anyplace Anywhere
This Is How It Feels (Inspiral Carpets cover)
The Only Living Boy in New Cross
After the Watershed (Early Learning the Hard Way)
Sheriff Fatman

Utah Saints (DJ Set)
Flash (Queen cover)
Just like that
What Can You Do for Me
What Time Is Love? (The KLF cover)
Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics cover)
Open Your Mind (U.S.U.R.A. cover)
Blue Monday (New Order cover)
Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash cover)
Breathe (The Prodigy cover)
Let’s go Crazy (Prince cover)
No One Knows (Queens of the Stone Age cover)
Sabotage (Beastie Boys cover)
Lights Out (Royal Blood cover)
Something Good
You Got the Love (The Source cover)

Back To The Planet
Human Error
Where is Humanity
London City
Lighten the Load
Please Don’t Fight
Kick Out
Teenage Turtles
We Let Go

Everything’s Changed (Since You’ve Been to London)
Two Headed Yellow Bellied Hole Digger
Really Scrape the Sky
Armchair Anarchist
Queen Jane
Ten Years Asleep
When Lucy’s Down
High as a Kite






Pictures & Videos by David Chinery (Chinners)
Words by Ross A, Ferrone.

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