Andy Cairns (Therapy?) Acoustic, King Tuts Glasgow 25 May 2013

andy-cairns-acoustic-150pxLIVE REVIEW: An acoustic evening with Therapy? frontman Andy Cairns, in front of around 100 hardcore fans in Glasgow, was hugely entertaining with classics galore. If you’ve not been paying attention to them recently then you’re missing out. 

Since 2009′s stonkingly great holy-shit-is-that-really-therapy? Crooked Timber album there’s been a renewed sense of giving a fuck about what the band are up to. There’s a difference between having a soft spot for a band whose best work you presume is long behind them, and getting ridiculously excited whenever a new album or tour is announced. A Brief Crack Of Light may not have matched its predecessor in consistency but it was still more than capable of dragging out the screaming bodies of corporate friendly metal into a field and pulling the trigger at point blank range.

Before their next album is recorded, Andy Cairns tells us that he was offered these shows and figured, ‘why not? It’ll get me out of the house.” So here we are.

As the Andy Cairns acoustic reviews I’ve linked to will confirm, these shows have defied the notion that they simply wouldn’t work. Therapy? songs usually come with lots of distortion and a generous side helping of rocking like an insane bastard.

One or two dodgy moments aside, the vast majority of the acoustic set doesn’t get lost in translation. With the majority of the tour dates already played, the set is well-planned and executed. You only appreciate things like that when you go to see a band who were amazing the last time you saw them (Dinosaur Jr, mid-tour 2010) and then catch them on the first date of their 2013 European tour sounding unbelievably ropey. Last time I saw Therapy? was also at King Tuts on the Crooked Timber tour and this show was every bit as enjoyable – if very different!

Trigger Inside is a standout moment in the middle of new solo songs, b-sides, Therapy? classics and plenty of tales from the rock ‘n’ roll frontlines. It sounds cheesy but as always, Therapy?’s frontman can somehow pull it all off with his self-depreciating humour. Getting the crowd to sing the riff to Screamager is another fun highlight. Ending with a cover of The Misfits’ Where Eagles Dare wraps things up.

The song from the album of the same name remains one of my all time favourite songs by this band. If they can come close to making one more record as brilliant as Crooked Timber, that pile of corpses could get a lot higher in 2014.

“…my shame will comfort you”

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