Live Review: Therapy? / Rews – The Parish, Huddersfield 02.12.2022

Phil Pountney

An old school gig in an old school venue (a bill with just the headliners and one support act in a room upstairs at a local pub), tonight Huddersfield’s faithful were welcoming Therapy? to The Parish and this gig had sold out shortly after going on sale, so it was surely going to be a cramped, cosey ‘we’re all friends’ type affair in the awesome confines of the upstairs room of The Parish. Like I said, this was a traditional setup, doors at 19.30 (giving the gathered masses plenty of time to sample the wares on offer in the bar) and just one support band in tow, namely the brilliant Rews who were obviously out to impress with tonight’s set. 

As Rews took to the stage they hit the ground running with an energetic and raucous fleeting visit, each one of the trio poured so much energy and emotion into the set that it was hard to believe that they weren’t the headliners here tonight. Shauna led the trio from the front, charismatic and magnetic, pouring out the lyrics with emotion and angst while managing to keep control of her fretboard with ease and natural flair, each word projected with excitement and sentiment while the six strings were manipulated and tamed with precision and vigour. The thicker strings only added to the depth of the tunes, adding muscle and strength, again dispensed with a hunger and thirst for delivering a lesson in desire and aptness. Now, let’s not forget Sian Monaghan on the kit, what an absolute beast of a shift she put in on the skins. Each track was pounded and beaten with aggressive delicacy, each beat was teased out with an onslaught which was so rampant it was mesmerising to witness, the energy which Sian must have expelled during her time sitting on the stool must have left her wiped out yet this only crafted a titanium backbone on which the set could safely perch and exhibit its beauty. An excellent start to the evening and a band I will definitely be on the lookout for on future line ups. 

The crowd in the room had swollen and there was a palpable excitement which could partly be down to the fact that we were in for an evening from the archives of Therapy?. Songs that they hadn’t played in a long time, this was certainly one not to be missed. As the band hit the tiny stage the whole place erupted, including the trio stood before us. ‘Meat Abstract’ was launched and from that moment on it was well and truly obvious that we were in for a loud, noisy and downright incredible evening. The set was punctuated with the classic and the obscure such as ‘Animal Bites’, ‘Fantasy Bag’, ‘Little Tongues First’, ‘Long Distance’ and ‘Polar Bear’, it also had the favourites, ‘Dancin’ With Manson’, ‘Potato Junkie’ and the huge anthemic and riotous ‘Teethgrinder’, and what would a Therapy? gig be without injections from the masterful ‘Troublegum’ and tonight the chosen segments were in the form of ‘Stop It Your Killing Me’, ‘Knives’, ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Screamager’, they also threw in a magnificent (which wasn’t written into the setlist) ‘Die Laughing’ due to the recent passing of Christine McVie.  

Andy was as humbling and grateful as ever, the emotion clearly on his face for all to see, constantly intertwining with McKeegan for every single second that they graced The Parish stage. Michael was an absolute beast on his bass, taking up residence stage right and straying only as far as centre stage in order to interact with the dedicated throng beneath him, each soul seeming to absorb the energy thrown out to them, only to soak it up and send it straight back at the stage tenfold. Together the partnership that Cairns and McKeegan forged at the front of the stage was bolstered even further by the mammoth shift that Neil put in behind the kit under the huge Gemil which sat behind him, the teamwork amongst all three was as concrete and impressive as ever, totally mind-blowing and a feat to certainly be well and truly admired

I’ve never known Therapy? put on a bad gig in all of my 18 times having seen them, from the huge Bloodstock stage to Sonisphere to the ‘Troublegum in full’ shows, even to my first encounter with them back in 1995 at the Town and Country Club in Leeds, and without a shadow of a doubt Holmfirth can now firmly sit proudly within that list.    

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