13th May @ Hare And Hounds
/Templeton Pek/George Gadd
31st May @ Ruby Lounge
/Exit State/Greg Larkin
For the last 20 plus years, singer/guitarist Andy Cairns has helped redefine the global rock scene thanks to his work in Therapy? Opening their account in 1990 with the release of their incendiary first 7” single ‘Meat Abstract,’ the track saw Cairns and Co. lauded by the likes of the late great John Peel and by the time they released their first album [‘Babyteeth’] a year later, they were hailed as a more cerebral, much-welcome alternative to the then cock-rock cluttered musical climate and spear-headed a new wave of music whose impact is still felt to this very day.
Uniting punks, metalheads, indie kids and everyone in-between with their un-pigeonhole-able and unmistakable sound, the Ballyclare, Northern Ireland-born musician has happily straddled multiple genres over the course of 13 studio albums and counting. Inspired by the likes of Captain Beefheart, the Ramones, Husker Du and many more, Cairns’ songs have taken him to stages, stadiums and festivals across the world and Therapy? have shared bills with Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, the Rolling Stones and other household names along the way.
The last two decades have yielded plenty of career highlights for the tunesmith. For example, Therapy?’s fourth album, the Mercury Music Prize nominated, million-selling ‘Troublegum,’ was a huge commercial success that featured era-defining songs such as ‘Screamager,’ ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Die Laughing.’
1999’s ‘Suicide Pact-You First’ reaffirmed the band’s status as an ambitious, life-affirming act that evoked the spirits of Beefheart (‘He’s Not That Kind Of Girl’) and the Blair Witch (the acoustic ‘God Kicks’ was recorded in a wood at 2am) and 2012’s ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’ was a critically acclaimed tour de force which saw Therapy? at the peak of their creative powers.
This year, Andy looks set to enjoy yet another highlight in his ongoing musical journey and, with the blessing of his band-mates (bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Neil Cooper), is about to embark on his first ever solo acoustic tour. Planning to scour every inch of his back catalogue in preparation for the jaunt, Andy also aims to debut some new Therapy? cuts too (we repeat, Therapy? aren’t splitting up).
“I fancied a challenge,” commented Cairns on the upcoming trek. “I’m hoping to take around two to four new songs with me on tour and I’m also going to go through all of the Therapy? albums and see what works in that format. I’m really looking forward to the shows.”