02/04/2022 - The Waterfront, Norwich
14/04/2022 - The Warehouse, Leeds
Support from James and the Cold Gun (Norwich only)
(Leeds support was from Enola Gay who we unfortunately missed)
Back to where it all began on October 24th 2001, one of the first gigs I ever attended at the Waterfront and the first time I ever encountered Therapy? live. I wish I could say it was love at first song but alas that's not the case. I’d gone to the gig specifically to see, now long forgotten support band Defenestration (I still remember vividly singer Gen telling the crowd how the lads in the band had been giving each other piss patches backstage, funny the stuff your brain remembers) who were very good and deserved far more success than they got. I lasted for all of about three Therapy? songs before turning to my then boyfriend and saying something like “well these are shit, shall we go?” It would subsequently take me another 9 years and being railroaded into going to Sonsiphere by a different boyfriend to see them play Troublegum in its entirety before I’d even bother listening to them again. That is when the love affair started (with the band, that boyfriend has also long gone!).
The set was marred with technical issues but the band handled it with total class and professionalism which impressed me and musically something clicked and I couldn’t get enough of them! Many gigs in many different venues up and down the country later led me back to the Waterfront standing in the very front row getting goosebumps on goosebumps waiting for the band to take to the stage.
Nostalgic trip down memory lane done let's get on with talking about this gig and what a gig it was! Billed as the “So Much for the 30 Year Plan” Tour by the time it finally came around due to COVID cancellations it was the 32 year plan.
Support came in the form of South Wales four piece James and the Cold Gun. I'd managed to drag myself away from Therapy? to listen to a couple of tracks in the days leading up to the gig but knew very little about the band. I liked the fact they all took to the stage wearing matching Therapy? Tee’s was a fun little touch. I was suitably impressed they were just a good honest rock band with passion and gratitude but the bucket load. At one point the singer remarked he thought “no one cared about guitar music” which I thought was a little strange as I would say while it might not be getting to number one or even in the top 40 I feel guitar music is more relevant and appreciated today than it has been in many years.
The band rocked their way through riff heavy songs with strong choruses, they are all likeable chaps which comes across in their music. The whole set held my attention as I tapped my feet and bounced along, this is often a hard task when you’re totally unfamiliar with the songs. I very much enjoyed their set and will be looking them up further and would definitely go and watch them next time they play in Norwich.
Now to Therapy? I think the only word I can use to fully encapsulate their set is AMAZING, beyond amazing, beyond any words I can write on this page. They kicked off with Nausea and while they were walking on stage I found myself choking back tears, this band I’d hated all those years ago were now making me feel overwhelmed with emotion, it was quite unreal.
They blasted their way all the fan favourites with the crowd behind me getting more and more boisterous as the gig went on, I woke up the next day in pain from my own jumping and fist pumping but also sporting a few bruises from all the surging forward the people behind had been doing! If I’m honest, standing waiting for the gig to start I looked at the crowd and thought “I’ll be okay here, everyone's too old to mosh” I was wrong, so very very wrong!
They dedicated Die Laughing to the late Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters telling the story of how they’d met whilst he was drumming for Alanis Morrissette but didn't encounter each other for many years until the Foo’s were headlining a festival Therapy? we’re way down the bill. Andy explained how Taylor had made a point of coming to their dressing room just to say hello to them, which was a heartwarming story and a nice mark of respect to dedicate a song to him.
The band were in fine form, they always are, but this gig was exceptional. Michael smiled the whole way through, which was infectious. Every time I looked over at him I smiled too. I couldn't help it. They are so humble and come across as some of the nicest people in rock. It's like watching people you know personally play down the local pub. I feel like I know them despite having never met them because their demeanor is so down to earth.
They played Prison Breaker which prior to the start of this tour hadn't been played live since 1993, I always like it when bands throw a curveball into their set, something on one expects. They also played new song Joy which went down well with the crowd. Disappointed they didn't play Femtex, they were never going to and I knew that but it's my favourite so I lived in hope!
Opal Mantra, Stories, Church of Noise all sounded incredible, I like the fact they played Kakistocracy with its poignant lyric “it’s okay not to be okay,” Callow and Still Hurts all of which I wasn't really expecting to hear but all firm favourite's of mine.
Their cover of Husker Du is always one of the highlights of their set but owing to its subject matter, the murder of waitress Diane Edwards by Joseph Ture in 1980 it's also one of the most sinister songs I’ve heard live. At one point Andy tried with no success to get the crown singing the iconic line “Die! Diane, Die! Diane'' while he sang the last verse it was pretty hopeless and in the end he gave up!
The set “finished” with Teethgrinder which sent the crowd into chaos, then the band went off. No one shouted more or believed for even a second the set was over we knew they’d not played the big hits!
The band came back on and launched straight into Knives, then Potato Junkie with its infamous line “James Joyce is fucking my sister” which Andy got the crowd shouting over and over as he has at all the gigs I've been to where they played it which is always fun. He also announced during the song that it was drummer Neil’s birthday and both Andy and Michael moved off the stage to allow him to be the star of the show for a rather sensational drum solo!
Then the finale which was really obvious and expected but also the perfect ending! Nowhere into Screamager the crowd went crazy. It was carnage and I loved it! I love the whole gig! I jumped, I stomped and I sang my way through the whole thing and I’ve been buzzing ever since.
It's funny how life turns out, how a band you can honestly say you hated can become one of the most important bands in your whole world. Here's to the next 32 years fellas!
1) Nausea 2) Stories 3) Kakistocracy 4) Die Laughing 5) Opal Mantra 6) Prison Breaker 7) Turn 8) Callow 9) Trigger Inside 10) Church of Noise 11) Joy 12) Still Hurts 13) Disgracelands 14) Loose 15) Diane (Hüsker Dü cover) 16) Teethgrinder
Encore: 17) Knives 18) Potato Junkie (Including Drum Solo) 19) Nowhere 20) Screamager
1) Nausea 2) Stories 3) Kakistocracy 4) Die Laughing 5) Opal Mantra 6) Prison Breaker 7) Turn 8) Callow 9) Trigger Inside 10) Church of Noise 11) Joy 12) Still Hurts 13) Disgracelands 14) Loose
15) Diane (Hüsker Dü cover) 16) Teethgrinder
Encore: 18) Knives 19) Potato Junkie (Including Drum Solo) 20) Isolation (Joy Division cover) 21) Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover) 22) Nowhere 23) Screamager