Watching support slots to the likes of Hole and No Means No in this city all those years ago have never left my mind. Similarly headline slots and also festival appearances from my annual bank holiday pilgrimage down to Reading. How I wish I'd kept uppdating in it as the Therapy? shows carried on well into my twenties, thirties, and now – twenty four years since my first meeting with them – back yet again in Leeds at The Brudenell.
A fourteenth (14th!) album has followed hot on the heels of their Troublegum twentieth birthday album tour last year. 'Disquiet' is that albums older brother in many ways, despite numerous other recordings between the two. More recent work such as 'A Brief Crack Of Light' and particularly 'Crooked Timber' have been darker affairs but 'Disquiet' typically marries the dark with the pop and is essentially one of their best pieces of work in my opinion. Good job really, almost the entire album gets an airing tonight and deservedly so. Album opener 'Still Hurts' is also the set opener. Andy Cairns, Michael McKeegan and birthday boy drummer Neil Cooper fill this room with an energy many bands half their age will never achieve. A happy looking, bearded gent also occupies the stage (Stevie a fellow Yorkshireman), filling in on backing vocals and additional guitar to beef these songs up even further.
There's a healthy mutual love affair between this band and their followers, always has been. Who's happier to see who I wonder? Us them or them us? It's very difficult to tell. The crowd are vocally in approval of the new songs if a little reluctant in (ageing) body initially. Some Troublegum gems - 'Die Laughing' and 'Turn' soon put pay to that and a rainy Sunday night outside The Brudenell is fast becoming a wild one inside.
More Disquiet follows - 'Torment, Sorrow, Misery, Strife' and 'Insecurity' typically Therapy? by names and nature, both rather upbeat excellent songs. The commotion that 'Screamager' and 'Teethgrinder' bring is temporarily halted with the riff heavy and stretched out album closer of 'Deathstimate' . Andy Cairns' vocals bellowing out '..the road ahead looks shorter than the one behind, either way I'm no closer to wisdom'. You'd be clutching at straws to pick fault with the set really. 'Diane' is an incredible rendition of the song taken from their 'Infernal Love' album, requesting us to sing the word over and over again. A personal favourite in 'Skinning Pit' from way back in '92 gets a dust off and sadly we don't go further back still with anything from 'Babyteeth', but now I'm just being picky. 'Potato Junkie' wrongly I thought was to be the closing song of the night, which quickly turned into the fantastic finale of 'Nowhere'.
Cairns and co have been there, done that, yet show no sign of compromising, slowing down or (whisper it) calling it a day. Thank heavens. Time to go update that little blue book...
Words - Pete Jackson