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Therapy? arrive in Portsmouth as part of a UK tour in support of their latest album  "Crooked Timber" which is their 10th full length album and quite possibly one of their finest to date.
Tonight's support comes from Ricky Warwick ex front man with The Almighty and more recently Circus Diablo with The Cult's Billy Duffy. Ricky has built up a decent following since going solo and this tour with his fellow Northern Irish friends Therapy? sees him promoting his third solo album called "Belfast Confetti".
Photo: Ricky Warwick
Ricky arrives on stage with just an acoustic guitar and a wicked grin , the appreciating audience were treated to a few choice covers including Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" and a version of Iron Maiden's "Running Free" done in a rather interesting Johnny Cash style which certainly got the crowd singing along. There was some good banter with the audience with Ricky telling them that they all had to buy his cd's as he lived in Los Angeles with four children to support who cannot be expected to live on potatoes alone. As well as a few "Almighty" classics he ended with "The Arms Of Belfast Town" from the new album giving the crowd the line "Farewell" to sing as part of the chorus of this song with which everyone obliged perfectly, Ricky left then the stage to a huge applause having really put on a truly impressive display.

Therapy? hit the stage as they did 19 years ago when they first started with same energy and enthusiasm which cannot be easy after all these years, however right from the start the crowd reaction is truly awesome and the band play through a wide selection of tracks from their huge back catalogue,  with probably their most well known hit to date "Screamager" getting the crowd singing the words straight back at the band. The new Slim line Andy Cairns, Michael Mckeegan known as "The Evil Priest" and drummer Neil Cooper are a really tight unit and technically play so well together as a three piece.

The encores arrive all too soon and Rick Warwick is back to pull the winning ticket for the Therapy? raffle, merch guy the infamous "Diamond Dave" has been selling tickets to eager punters hoping to win a whole batch of sort after merchandise. Tracks from the excellent "Infernal Love" album including a rocked up  "Diane", "Stories" and "Nowhere" from "Troublegum" have the audience eating out of the bands hands with a huge mosh pit created in front of the stage full of sweating bodies having a great night out. Andy promised in their 20th Anniversary year that Therapy? would return for another show and with a crowd reaction like this I can
understand why.

Set-List -
Rust, Punishment Kiss, Bad Excuse for Daylight,Exiles,Crooked Timber, Teethgrinder, Innocent X,Rain Hits Concrete,Fantasy Bag, Turn, Screamager, Isolation, The Head That Tried to Strangle Itself, I Told You I was ill, Enjoy The Struggle,Clowns Galore, Nausea, Opal Mantra, Loose, Diane, Stories,
 Die Laughing, Nowhere

Therapy? Video - 'Bad Excuse For Daylight'
Ricky Warwick - Video: 'Ace Of Spades'
Mudkiss was also invited to have a short chat with the band before they took to the stage:
Chinners: Firstly congratulations on "Crooked Timber" yet another great Therapy? album, that must me about 14 albums in nearly 20 years. What were the inspirations behind the album and did the recording process differ from the other albums at all?
Neil: The three of us just got together in a room with no real previous ideas, we were not pressurised as the record company gave us no deadline, we just let it grow organically and the band all worked together as a team, as we worked together the songs and the music came.
Chinners: Apart from "Crooked Timber" which one of your albums are your the most proud of ?
Michael: The 1st Album "Babyteeth" as it was our 1st one and also "Suicide Pact You First", it is strange when you look back at previous albums and this one is so aggressive and it was in reaction to what was happening at the time.
Chinners: Do you always stick to the set-lists that you have rehearsed or are you sometime spontaneous and change it depending on the reaction from the audiences?
Neil: We have a rehearsed set-list that we have, however we sometimes do change it during the encores or when a request is shouted out.
Chinners:  During your many thousands of gigs all around the world, you must have had a few "Spinal Tap" style moments do you have any funny stories to tell ?
Neil: We were playing one of our biggest gigs of the year at Donnington in front of a huge crowd, we came on stage and I looked down at my set-list and someone had put down a stage time sheet instead of the set-list, I was getting some strange looks from Andy as I did not know what I needed to play until a roadie bought on a copy of the set-list which was a relief.
Chinners: If you could get any band in the world to support you past of present who would it be?
Neil: The Stone Roses around the time when they were all drugged up and could not play very well and we would blow them off stage
Michael: Metallica from around the "Master of Puppets" era we would alternate who would headline each night of the tour.
Chinners: Do you have a regular gig routine ?
Neil: We like to have 30 minutes together in our dressing room before we go on stage, its our "Holy Grail" we get a chance to run through the set list and check the guitars.
Chinners: What sort of music are you listening to at the moment and have you discovered any new bands recently that you could recommend to our readers?
Michael: "Dutch Schultz" from Northern Ireland, I have seen them live quite a few times and they are really good.
Neil: I run a small record label "Stressed Sumo Records"  and I have a few bands on there that you might want to check out :
Die Chihuahua Die
Chinners: Thank you  so much for you time is has been a great pleasure.
Review/interview & photos by Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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