Newport Centre, Wales Friday the something.

Well, thanks to the wonderful British motorway system once again clogging up on the M5 in Birmingham, the mad dash home wasn't successful enough for me to make it to see opening band Understand. So, no review of them.

Next up were Vent. Probably get some people all excited soon, featuring as they do, Miles Hunt, the one that was in the Wonderstuff, playing guitar and gargling, and Morgan ex of the Senseless Things doing weird yet wonderful things to his bass. Oh, and some other git on drums. The music seemed ok, a bit indie, and maybe experimental, I think it would need a few listens to before a real opinion could be formed. Besides I got distracted by the all the youngsters who were trying to form a mosh pit. It would've been ok if they didn't look like East17 fans, and weren't falling over as soon as they bounced into someone taller than them. Besides, after 3 1/2 hours driving instead of 2 1/2 my mood wasn't great.

Fortunately, Therapy? have the wonderful knack of being able to snap you out of a bad mood and into actually liking the world and thinking life is ok after all. So they hit the stage with Infernal Love, Micheal Mckeegan is pogoing like there'll be no tomorrow, and Andy Cairns continues to be the cool rock star without the rock pretensions. Earlier in the year, I saw them at Leeds, just when the album was coming out, this time they were so much better, partly 'cos now I know the new stuff, but they played more new, more old, just plain more. Besides trying to watch a band the night before one of your finals ain't the best thing to do.

So, under the heart shaped lighting rig, we get Isolation, Knives, Trigger Inside, Stories, Loose, You vs Me rattled off, Can't remeber the order though. Then, full marks to them for this, a mention for The Legendary TJ's, a Newport club which puts on bands and has been for more than a decade. Therapy? played there in the very early years, third on the bill to about half a dozen people, but were treated well,earned respect and gave it back, by playing there for years afterwards when they could fill bigger places easily. It's good to see a band that breaks the charts, plays second on the bill at Donington and can still remember and respect the places that made them. Sorry about that bit, but it had to be said, support the small local venues and small local up and coming bands, otherwise, where will the next Therapy? Wildhearts etc come from.

So on we career, through Stop This You're Killing Me, Teethgrinder, Potato Junkie and way too many classics for any band. The addition of a cellist for many of the songs does add a haunting and eerie feel to them. Rock music isn't just about guitars. The usual good natured banter carries on, tonight Andy accuses Michael of being Gazza, poor sod!

We reach encore time, and Diane is played. What can you say about the song and the performance that is given. Why didn't Radio 1 playlist it, cos it's about rape and murder? They could easily have given out the rape helpline number after the song (That bit is copied from Morat in Kerrang! so don't sue me). After that, a rip through 30 Seconds and gone again.

But they return to finish up a shot of Tequila and then it's Screamager, was there ever any doubt. A final mention for TJ's and they're gone.

Overall Dave Rating: So that's why I like this sort of loud music, cos it makes you feel good. So why some empty seats. Get off your arses next time. Only complaint, why don't they play Punishment Kiss any more, it used to kill.