This was a memberable gig for a couple of reasons. One due to the gig itself, the other due to the riot taking place outside that kept us locked in the venue and gave us all a police escort to Stockwell tube station as Brixton Station was still in the middle of the riot. But I get ahead of myself…
I’d been looking forward to seeing Therapy? again since catching them earlier in the year at Monsters of Rock in Donnington Park (GIG 227). I was also determined to get to the venue in plenty of time so we could also see Joyrider, as I’d missed them because we turned up too late when they were supporting Terrorvision back in May (GIG 210). I’m glad we (Angela, Matt and Simone) did arrive early as there was already a large police presence and growing crowds on Brixton High Street as Wayne Douglas, a 26-year old black man, had died in police custody earlier that afternoon and a peaceful protest was being held.
At the gig Joyrider were brilliant. It was such a shame I’d missed them earlier in the year when I got chance but they more than made up for it here. Honeycrack, the second band on the bill, were pretty good, but were definetly in third place in my books for the evenings entertainment.
This was Therapy?’s Infernal Love tour, supporting the album of the same name that had come out in the summer and already spawned several hits. There set was packed with hits – Isolation, Duie Laughing, Stories, Stop It You’re Killing Me, Trigger Inside, Diane, Knives, and so on. In fact there initial set quite surprised us as it was a massive 18 tracks long. After they wrapped with 30 Seconds we weren’t sure if there would be an encore as it was getting pretty late – but they surprised us and came back on.
They played another four tracks, and then came back on *again* and played some more – including a couple of big hits they’d already played earlier in the evening which was really unusual – and reinforced in our minds that something was up.
I popped out of the main arena to area before you got to the entrance where security told me the doors had been locked and no one was currently allowed out due to an ongoing incident. The police were trying to clear rioters from the road, pushing them back to the High Street, which would then enable everyone to leave the Academy.
It wasn’t too much longer before we were told we could/should now leave – and to be honest having to listen to *more* Therapy? live tracks was hardly the worst thing to be doing while a riot was going on outside – and certainly our delays were nothing anywhere remotely compared to the issues that had caused the riot.
We were informed that Brixton Station, and the High Street, was closed due to rioting and we’d all have to walk up to Stockwell to get the tube or buses. When we left the venue you could see the police lines at the end of the road, hear the riots the helicopters flying overhead.
The riots lasted for five hours, resulting in 22 arrests, three police officers hurt, and quite a bit of property and vehicle damage.