12 March 2016 at The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Therapy? brought their Infernal Love tour to a fine close by visiting The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham last week. I got there nice and early and took up position on the balcony so I could take in the evenings proceedings.
The support act were The Membranes who are led by the marvellous John Robb and are still going strong and obviously still loving performing after many years in the business. I watched them with great interest and enjoyed John’s banter with the audience and his amazing stage movements. It was a great start to what would be an interesting night.
Therapy? took to the stage and began what would be a complete run through of their album Infernal Love. The album was released in 1995 and was their third major release following Nurse and Troublegum. It was met with mixed feelings at the time as it was a shift in direction and sound for the band. Nevertheless, as the album had hit its 20th anniversary it was due to be celebrated in some form and what better way than to share it live in its entirety.
The audience got in the spirit early on and some serious moshing was happening down at the front of the stage as Andy Cairns on fine form took us through the album whilst clearly thoroughly enjoying himself in the process. This could well have been a tired, going through the motions end to the tour, but no. Andy and bass player Michael McKeegan bound around the stage like teenagers, grinning at the audience and loving every single moment.
They were part way through Loose when there was some sort of commotion down at the front of the stage as a chap got into some difficulty whilst crowd surfing. It was hard to tell what had happened from where I was standing, but it was serious enough to halt the proceedings for just over half an hour whilst medical assistance was called and the band left the stage. He was stretchered out to caring applause from the rest of the audience and the band returned to let us know that the venue had kindly lifted the curfew for the evening to enable them to finish their set.
The album resumed to thunderous applause with Diane and was then fully completed. We were then treated to something of a ‘best of’ set of songs from past and present as classics such as Teethgrinder and Potato Junkie were belted out alongside new songs Tides and Still Hurts. We were also given an amazing version of The Ace Of Spades which was dedicated to the late Lemmy. The wondrous Nowhere ended the proceedings with everyone singing along. The crowd loved it, the band loved it and it was a shame that it had to end.
What I love about watching Therapy? is the total adoration they have for the audience. Andy is always quick to thank the crowd and make it abundantly clear that without them, there would be no gig. The gratitude is something to behold and whenever I talk to people about live bands I will name these guys as one of the best due to this fact. Making that connection to your fans is a massive thing and we are in no doubt that the band are there for us, not the cash and it’s so heart-warming to see.
Despite the unfortunate events that happened earlier in the evening, by the end of the night the crowd are dispersed out onto the cold streets feeling very happy indeed. We have since heard that the chap who was injured is fine and was out of hospital the following day. Andy reminded us that we aren’t youngsters any more and that we need to take care of our own safety and each other. A timely reminder that gigging is about companionship and that we should look out for our fellow fans.
We were lucky enough to nab a set-list on the way out and also bump into the band on the stairs as we left. Let’s just say being kissed by Michael McKeegan was a very pleasing end to a great night. Roll on the next tour!