With chunky riffs, hard-hitting drums, and some powerful bass moments, Bokassa merged their hard rock into a series of huge punk tracks. Think Rise Against mixed with Motörhead, with some heavy tone and fizzling vocals, while maintaining melody and punchy chorus anthems.
When you see a band live for the first time, you never know if a song is going to leap up and grab you. ‘Let’s Storm the Capitol’ did just that with ‘Garden of Heathen’ and again with ‘Let’s Storm The Capitol’, which turns out to be their recent single. We’ll have more to say about that shortly.
Therapy? took the stage to the echoes of the intro of ‘They Shoot the Terrible Master’, burst into energetic life, and treated us to all the songs from their latest album, Hard Cold Fire, alongside songs from their back catalogue (including a rare appearance of ‘Safe’, from Semi-Detached).
‘Unbeliever’ had a real punch and all the older tracks defied the years to sound fresh and edgy. Some songs were built to endure and Therapy? keeps adding to their collection. In fact, despite powering through two hours of great material they barely scratched the vinyl. Crooked Timber, Cleave and Disquiet have some great songs that didn’t make it into the set, but that’s the joy of bands whose careers have spanned decades.
Like many of the fans crammed into The Wedge, I sang along badly at full volume and dodged the beer raining from upraised flimsy tumblers as the band played.
The show marked Neil Cooper’s 20-year anniversary with the band, who are themselves on the edge of their 35th year (which officially begins in April next year, I guess). Their last three albums certainly prove they still have it – musically and lyrically. Velut arbor aevo, Therapy? are solid and strong.
The tour continues across the UK with dates in Sheffield, Northampton, Bristol, Manchester, Sunderland, Glasgow, London, Bradford, Birmingham, and Cardiff – all with Bokassa in support. After that, it’s back over to Europe in February.
Written by Fenton on