Therapy? / Triggerfinger / Thirty Six Strategies [Live Review – The Scala, London, 1/4/2015]
This wasn’t so much a show as a celebration. Judging from the pre-show chatter, Therapy have been very sorely missed – and when their set came around, it was easy to see why. Before that, Thirty Six Strategies opened the night up with a set that was cool and passionate, although to be totally honest the music felt too safe. That may seem an odd word to use in the context of punk-oriented rock, but the fact is that thousands of bands are pursuing exactly the same direction as Thirty Six Strategies right now. As instrumentalists, TSS are good, and their lyrics hint at tough, hard-knock experiences – but given that no two life experiences are precisely the same, it would be awesome to hear those experiences expressed in an idiosyncratic way with a generous helping of weirdness.
It’s one thing to refuse to conform to the standards of mainstream society – but it’s a whole other game to break away from the standards of literally everyone else, and forge your own 100% individual path. That’s where the best, most timeless and relevant music gets made – and Thirty Six Strategies certainly have the potential to push into that area.
Triggerfinger were explosive, and one of the most unique I’ve-no-idea-how-to-categorise-it-but-it’s-definitely-rock-related-anyway bands I’ve come across in a while. If Muse donned suits, hired a cross between Buddy Rich and this guy on drums, and played furious rock’n’roll with plenty of odd-time sections, they would be…well…a completely different band. One called Triggerfinger.
If you fancy the sound of a band whose entrance music brings to mind Jurassic Park, who take the stage looking like Mafia dons, who can project right to the back of a room, and who bring the house down with a song in 11/4, Triggerfinger are the only band who will fully satisfy that particular desire.
Back to Therapy?. The band of the night were on fire at the Scala – and the level of passion they inspire in their fans is flat-out undeniable. Whether freaking out to old favourites Isolation, Die Laughing (dedicated to Cynthia Lennon), Nausea, Turn, Stories, A Moment of Clarity, Knives, Skinning Pit and Potato Junkie, or patiently studying new songs Still Hurts, Words Fail Me, TMMP highlight Good News Is No News, Fall Behind, Insecurity, Vulgar Display of Powder, and the RATM-riff-driven Deathstimate, every fan’s eyes were filled with an awesome mix of joy and catharsis for the duration of this epic-length set. When the house lights went up and MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This began oozing through the PA, I walked away absolutely certain that even after 14 albums, Therapy are as relevant to listeners from the latest generation of rock fans as they have been to generations before.
On the way out of the Scala, everyone was talking about how good it was to have Therapy back. No doubt the same vibe will follow those guys around for the remainder of their touring schedule.
Check out Therapy’s official website for future tour dates.
Thirty Six Strategies on Facebook.
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