Irish alternative rock staple Therapy? played Amersfoort’s FLUOR and we were there to check it out.
No matter how hard they try, Therapy? seems forever unable to shake off their spot of nineties fame they had with the albums Troublegum and Infernal Love. They can release better albums and better songs, but the crowd never seems tired of going bananas over tracks like Nowhere, Knives, Screamager or the Hüsker Dü cover Diane. You can’t help but wonder if that eats at the Northern Irish trio now and then. Tonight, in a snow-covered Amersfoort, it does not look like it.
We arrive at the FLUOR venue as Amsterdam based rockers Maple are wrapping up their half hour set, so we sadly can’t say too much about them. What we can say is that Therapy? are as tight tonight as they have ever been. No bullshit, no intro, no outro, just a barrage of songs and a bucket full of energy courtesy of messrs Cairns, McKeegan and Cooper. Also on the menu are a whopping eight out of ten songs from the latest studio album Cleave, proving once again that Therapy? refuses to rest on their laurels and become a novelty greatest hits band.
And it must be said, the new material fits perfectly between the older stuff, and is played with the same infectious enthusiasm. Opening strong with Cleave‘s album opener Wreck it Like Beckett it takes the band two or three songs to arrive from Troublegum‘s Die Laughing, and it would seem a large part of the crowd is here tonight for specifically those songs, as everytime Therapy? dives into the past like that they turn into one big pogoing sea of heads.
The superfluous Diane aside, featuring Andy singing over a tape recording, there’s nothing wrong with the set tonight. It’s quite enjoyable to see a band still give it their all on the stage after so many years, and not making it easy for themselves by playing hit after hit. Therapy? could have played only stuff from Troublegum and Infernal Love and swept the crowd off their feets, and instead chose to put the emphasis on newer stuff with some crowd favourites thrown sparsely into the mix. Of course, we’re treated to our Knives, Teethgrinder, Screamager and Potato Junkie in the end, and although I would have enjoyed some deeper cuts like Opal Mantra, Dancin’ with Manson or Neck Freak, there is something good for everyone to enjoy here tonight.
Seeing Therapy? live is always a joy and feels like meeting up with a good friend you haven’t seen for a while. Andy’s still leering madly into the crowd, Michael McKeegan still darts and hops around the stage with a big, stupid grin (and does not seem to age one damned bit too) and Cooper’s drumming is still as tight and effective as ever. Therapy? seems to have more life and creativity in them than they’ve had for a long time, and I already look forward to the next tour.
Review by Ralph Plug