October 1, 2023
Therapy? Nurse artwork

Therapy? seemed fearless and sure-footed in 1992. They had the tunes, the noise and magnificent wit. They were tour-ready and fit to hurtle out of the dirt-rock circuit onto the festival stages. Their indie status had been endorsed by the label imprints of Wiiija, Southern Records, and Touch and Go in America. The music media admired them and it was an era when fierce-sounding, alternative music had never been more popular. 

Vocalist/guitarist Andy Cairns, bassist Michael McKeegan and drummer Fyfe Ewing worked out of their base in East Antrim, Northern Ireland, touring in an orange Transit van called Big Bertha, surviving on cornflakes and coleslaw. They were young and impetuous, but also frustrated by the budget constraints of the DIY lifestyle. An American tour was unaffordable. The momentum was perhaps faltering. Therapy? realised they were in a precarious place. They also appreciated the fun in walking that line. And, most always, they were singing about disturbed human beings. 

“There’s something macabre in all of us,” Andy told Siren magazine in that messy year. “Why do we like watching people on a tightrope? It’s not because of the skill, I’m sure. It’s because we like watching someone else put their life on the line.”

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