With their new album Hard Cold Fire, Therapy? have deservedly found themselves completely reenergised with a collection of songs that are catchy, fiery and above all vital. The album has already provoked an overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans and reviewers alike, garnering comparisons with the band classicTroublegum, and while there are similarities with the songs on both albums having an energetic immediacy, Hard Cold Fire is very much its own entity and is a truly brilliant record from start to finish.
With the album having been released the previous Friday, Therapy? embarked on a series of intimate instore live and signing showcases for Hard Cold Fire, and we were lucky enough to catch them at the second of the four dates at Rough Trade in Nottingham.
As Therapy? take to the Rough Trade stage to a sold out audience, vocalist /guitarist Andy Cairns salutes those in attendance mentioning about playing these songs with L plates as these shows were the first at playing material from the new album. There was no need for any apprehension about the new material at all though as Therapy? tore through all the songs from Hard Cold Fire, playing the album in full, albeit in a very slightly different order.
Opening with ‘They Shoot The Terrible Master’, the band are on top form throughout as they fire through the album tracks like ‘Woe’, ‘Bewildered Herd’ and ‘Two Wounded Animals’ with passion, with Cairns, bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Neil Cooper all on top form from start to finish.
Andy Cairns mentioning gigs from Therapy?s past in the East Midlands including a gig they did at Nottingham’s Boat Club back in the day receives hearty cheers, and it just demonstrates the loyalty that Therapy? fans have to this day, as they are still out in force for this new album.
As the band blast through the setlist, it is obvious that they are having such a great time playing this new material and there is a celebratory feeling in the air tonight. Before each of the tracks, Cairns tells tales about each song. and what they are about, while mentioning the various influences on the songs on Hard Cold Fire such as the early Alice Cooper influence on ‘Ugly’ (and the likes of Jesus Lizard and Fugazi) and this adds to the nights intimate and special feel.
As the set marches on, the likes of ‘Mongrel’ and ‘Poundland Of Hope & Glory’ sound absolutely massive and are sure to be live favourites in the future; and as Therapy? finish things off with ‘Days Kollaps’ and ‘Joy’, they do so in triumphant fashion, having launched Hard Cold Fire in fine style before they set out to meet the fans at the signing session – no doubt being told just how good the new album and the live set were.
Tonight proves without doubt that Therapy? are back and still a formidable force as a live act. All the songs on Hard Cold Fire sound simply immense, and the thought of hearing them again live when they tour later in the year is definitely an exciting prospect.