Live Review: Therapy? – Birmingham

Live Review: Therapy? - O2 Institute, Birmingham
2nd February 2024
Support: Gallus
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch

Back in December Therapy? were booked in to round out a year of live gig coverage for The Razor’s Edge. Their December tour, and its penultimate date in Birmingham was set to be the ultimate in Christmas festivities. Alas life gets in the way and a personal matter for the band lead to the postponement of those final two dates of the tour. So as the bitter winter starts to ebb away we finally make it to the UK’s second city for the rearranged show.

Originally Bokassa were due to return to finish the tour as support, but as Jørn told us earlier they just couldn’t make the dates work, so instead we are introduced to Gallus from Scotland.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Therapy? are a band that span genres and indeed their fan bases, as popular on the Indie rock scene as they are in the heavy metal world. Therapy? are unique. Whilst Bokassa firmly slot into the heavier side of things, their replacements are rooted in the indie camp. From the open notes of their set we witness a band who obviously draw great inspiration from The Undertones. Mixed in with that influence are hints of punk and even elements of the Streets. But there is no doubt this is an Indie band.

The crowd reception is muted, demonstrating the mix of Therapy fans from both camps, the set itself a fine showing of modern Indie rock and that floats your boat, all power to you.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

For the hundreds of people crammed (literally) into this sweatbox of a venue it is Therapy? for whom they are here to see. The Northern Irish stalwarts, ever present in the music scene for near thirty five years now.

The evening was a well-curated blend of fan favourites and lesser-known gems, showcasing the band's versatility and depth. Opening with the powerful ‘They Shoot the Terrible Master’, Therapy? set the tone for an evening of sonic exploration with ‘Isolation’ getting the blood pumping in anger. The energetic pulse of ‘Nausea’ and the infectious melodies of ‘Joy’ had the crowd instantly engaged.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

As the night progressed, the band skillfully navigated through their extensive catalog, seamlessly transitioning between tracks like ‘Unbeliever’ and ‘Safe’, creating a dynamic ebb and flow. The crowd's enthusiasm peaked during the anthemic ‘Teethgrinder’ and ‘Bloody Blue’ showcased their heavier side, leaving the venue pulsating with energy.

The encore was nothing short of spectacular…. And far longer than your average encore. Kicking off with ‘Potato Junkie’, as it was Neil’s brithday the band treated the audience to a drum solo before a Black Sabbath medley, paying homage to Birmingham's legendary musical heritage, which merged back into ‘Potato Junkie’s ending. The surprises continued with a blistering performance of Judas Priest's ‘Breaking the Law’ showcasing another of the West Midlands heroes.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Closing the night with ‘Nowhere’, Therapy? left an indelible mark on Birmingham masses memories. The seamless integration of their classic hits, deep cuts, and unexpected covers made for a memorable closure to the tour. The band's tight musicianship, coupled with frontman Andy Cairns' charismatic stage presence, reaffirmed Therapy?'s status as the godfathers of modern British rock!

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Photo credits: Tim Finch Photography

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