In association with Aiken Promotions, Northern Irish rock legends Therapy? return to the Nerve Centre after 10 years for an NI exclusive show, marking their 30th anniversary as a band.
The tour it's part of follows the release of the trio's 15th studio album, Cleave, their first recording for new label Marshall Records. Roughly themed around notions of duality and division, a sharply focused, fiercely intelligent, impassioned and empowering set of songs from a band operating at a creative and artistic peak.
From the thrillingly propulsive assault of 'Wreck It Like Beckett' via the addictive first single 'Callow' and the unsettling 'I Stand Alone' to the disquieting, bleakly beautiful 'No Sunshine', the ten tracks which make up Cleave coalesce to paint a portrait of a fractured, dislocated world rent by unprincipled, mendacious masters.
Therapy's story begins in Northern Ireland in 1989, when vocalist/guitarist Andy Cairns, bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Fyfe Ewing – bonded by a deep appreciation of post-punk, art-rock, Detroit techno and the most uncompromising sounds from the fringes of the US noise rock underground – embarked upon a mission to investigate the psyches of the marginalised, malcontent and misanthropic.
After two Number 1 slots on the UK’s Independent music charts, Therapy? truly hit their stride in 1994 with the electrifying, exhilarating punk-metal crossover set Troublegum, which served up no fewer than five UK Top 40 singles, sold one million copies worldwide and garnered the fast-rising band a Mercury Music Prize nomination.
The band spent much of the two decades which followed re-writing the rule book for what constitutes success for a modern rock act, issuing a succession of fiercely idiosyncratic albums, aided and abetted by the recruitment, in 2002, of drummer Neil Cooper.
In 2015 the trio conceived a sequel of sorts to Troublegum in Disquiet, a brilliantly-realised, bruisingly melodic punk/metal collection which took as its starting point questions of where the adolescent protagonist of their 1994 masterpiece might find himself 20 years on. Stepping away from that fascinating narrative, Cleave continues along a similar sonic path, alluding to the band’s ‘classic’ sound while opening up new paths to explore.
The result is one of the most formidable, provocative and impactful albums of Therapy?’s storied three decade career, once again proving that the band’s pre-eminence as one of the UK’s most inventive, fearless and individualistic musical artists.