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As popular with the Europeans as with their home crowd, Therapy? return to Lund for the first time in ten years. Shilpa Ganatra catches up with the lads to find out how their tour is going and what the rest of the year holds in store.
Shilpa Ganatra, 25 Apr 2005
Things about Sweden: 1) they like their cobbled streets. 2) they really like their drink 3) Perhaps because it reminds them of home, there’s been a small Irish invasion. Not only have The Revs recorded their new album in Malmö as reported two issues ago, but in the next city along, Therapy? continue the Swedish leg of their European tour with a corker of a gig.
Lund’s Mejeriet (dairy factory to us) is treated to an 80-minute set which has something for everyone, with Andy Cairns and co flitting between songs for the diehard fans (‘Neck Freak’ and ‘Meat Abstract), those with an ear for technical performance (‘Not That Kind of Girl’ and ‘Teethgrinder’) and of course those who only bought Troublegum (‘Die Laughing’ and ‘Screamager’). All delivered with the enthusiasm of a band who act like it’s their first gig, but with the benefit of 14 years of experience.
Rewind a couple of hours, and Michael McKeegan explains the new Therapy?: “It’s become instinctive. In a live setting, there’s times where we’re playing off each other and it feels very comfortable, I always feel I know what’s going on.”
“It’s weird when you analyse it,” mulls drummer Neil Cooper. “It just happens, it just works.”
This intuition is grounded by the guiding principle that what feels right to the band, is right, whatever other opinions are. As Andy puts it, “we’re not Burger King, it’s our way or no way.”
The Lund crowd love 'em for it – unusually but quite rightly, songs from latest album Never Apologise Never Explain go down as well as the Troublegum era ones, and the encore callback is almost militant. The most novel sign of their warm welcome is that a bar in town invents a cocktail in their honour: the Therapy? features Vodka, Midori, grapefruit juice and Sprite, and is a bargain at a mere 45 Kronor. But with the band back on form and this tour the tightest yet, why no dates in Ireland?
“If you’re an Irish band playing Dublin, people won’t come out to see you because you’re constantly playing there,” answers Andy. “I’d rather play to a packed hall once a year. But we’ll see what happens at the end of 2005.”
Belfast residents will have a shorter wait. Therapy? are booked for a live studio performance for BBC NI on May 26, followed the next day by an open air gig to celebrate 25 years of BBC Radio Ulster. This is part of their busy summer schedule, which will see them play the UK’s Download festival and one in Estonia, and even appear on primetime TV in Second Chance, a Jim’ll Fix It-type show. None of which happen before No End In Sight’s This Is Menace album is released on April 24, which features Andy among its list of all-star guest vocalists.
So it’s understandable that work on another Therapy? record has taken a back seat until later in the year.
“We’ve not done much for it at the moment,” explains Neil. “With Michael in Belfast, Andy in Cambridge and me in Derby, we can’t meet for rehearsals every Wednesday like other bands. But we’re all talking, and we know where we’re going.”
What’s the direction then?
“That would be telling! But we have a plan.”
“A cunning one,” laughs Michael, in lieu of a proper answer. But with Never Apologise… still running its course, that will suffice for now.