With it being 25 years since Therapy? unleashed the ferociously on-point Troublegum, the rock trio are on the lips of many: of those who follow them continuously, and those who fondly remember how much that seminal record spoke to them in 1994. The thing about Troublegum, and indeed Therapy? in general, is that it is as relevant today as it was then. Above and beyond that record, Therapy? have a wealth of material spanning their glorious career which is delivered with such intense energy live on stage.
With Prague being the only Czech date on their European tour I quickly snapped up the tickets and jumped on the train for the country’s capital. Having seen them in the UK various times over the last number of years I was confident enough to expect a lively and hardworking performance – Therapy? are a band who always give their all.
Frustratingly, due to a late arrival in Prague and an out of town hotel, I missed local support band Hell Paso. The heavy and grungy sound of the Prague-based noisemakers would be a perfect starter for the main act and judging by the positive response given to Andy Cairns’ shout-out, that seems to be the case. I urge anyone who enjoys Therapy? to give them a listen, and I’ll try to catch them next time I’m there.
I also managed to miss the beginning of the headliner and walked into the Rock Café at the same time Therapy? were crushing through their opener, Wreck it Like Beckett, although finding a place where I could see the stage proved a tiring prospect. The Rock Café was absolutely teeming with people, and the best view I could find managed to provide a view of Cairns’ hair, which he’d conveniently spiked up so I could at least see where he was. Although claustrophobic, the atmosphere was also electric, with the Prague crowd in full embrace of the headliner.
Therapy? offered up an extensive set list that included a wealth of fan favourites, some sideswipes at Trump, the British Government and the fiasco of Brexit. It’s good to see that Therapy? have lost none of their bite. Songs such as ‘Trigger Inside’, ‘Teethgrinder’ and ‘Screamager’ were obvious delights, while long-standing covers of the Joy Division’s ‘Isolation’ and, particularly, Husker Du’s ‘Diane’ had the venue shaking.
Paying homage to heroes past and present, the band offered enjoyable moments of the Priest’s ‘Breaking the Law’ and The Buzzcocks’ ‘Ever Fallen in Love’ in amongst their own vast array of hits. With an encore lasting around eight songs, they tore into the roundly loved ‘Going Nowhere’, ‘Knives’, and the ‘Church of Noise’, before ending on Success? Success is Survival.
The Rock Café was packed to breaking point, but the sound was loud and relentless. Even though I could barely see them, I can honestly say this is the best time I’ve ever seen them. Therapy? truly at their best.
Author: Craggy Collyde