Therapy? At The Button Factory – Review
Northern punk rock heroes Therapy? mark a long awaited return to the Emerald Isle with two shows in Dublin’s Button Factory, the first of which is full of punters mostly in their forties, yet still visibly ecstatic. The band has enjoyed a stable career in the punk and metal field for over 25 years now, their 1994 magnum opus, Troublegum being the high point of their success. With a new album, Disquiet having dropped this year, the icons set out to prove they’re not just in it for nostalgia factor.
As you’d expect, the boys open with volumes already at ten with ‘Epilepsy’ from 1995’s Infernal Love. The guitar skills of frontman Andy Cairns are sublime, and as the tunes come flying in, more classic numbers like ‘Bowels of Love’ and ‘Bad Mother’ evoke chanting and mosh pits amongst the seasoned crowd. The band themselves are utterly charming and visibly joyed to be there. The banter exchanged between audience and bassist Michael McKeegan is inspiring, and the cheery anecdotes of Cairns goes down a treat. Positive vibes and evil songs are what this band are all about, and more classics via ‘Diane’ and ’30 Seconds’ vamp up the intensity to the max.
After a short intermission and a run to the bar, the band and crowd resume in the joyful carnage with new tune ‘Still Hurts’. Classic sounding heavy riffs and chugging baselines set the place alight. The snarling vocals add to the sinister vibe, and only make the crowd more rowdy. Now returning to more classic tunes, 1994 belter ‘Trigger Inside’ marks the change in gear from the lads. While already riding high, at this point the show gets an extra dose of adrenaline pumped into it. Crowd surfing, moshing, and men of all ages tossing their shirts in a sweaty haze of testosterone. What more could you want? ‘Unbeliever’ sounds like an old school Nirvana song, and those that still have hair make use of it via energetic head banging. The place now becoming a bit of a heat house, the band are clearly giving everything they have, and it’s awe inspiring.
The set now wrapping up, the familiar riff of ‘Potato Junkie’ blows everyone off their feet. The dark and twisted refrain of ‘James Joyce is f*cking my sister’ echoes around the room by all, and is honestly a bizarre spectacle to behold. Ending the show with blistering performances of Troublegum classics ‘Screamager’ and ‘Nowhere’, this final hurrah reminds everyone of the powerhouse that Therapy? are. The latter has every voice in the house belting out the lyrics. This is true fandom.
Embodying pop sensibilities with hardcore and metal instrumentation, this band have the raw intensity of any metal band but also write bloody fantastic guitar pop songs. There is simply no wonder why this fantastic group are still around. Who ever said punk is dead?