With a ferocious performance full of vengeance, heartbreak and energy, Titus Andronicus leave Getintothis’ Zach Jones looking for room at the top of his gig of the year list a month early.
Post-2005 we were flooded with indie rock. The charts seeped with bluesy licks and everyone owned a telecaster. But in the wake of an army of carbon copy bands, the genre was tainted. It became stale as the innovation that had once made the scene interesting was watered down for mass market appeal.
Titus Andronicus however were a gem in the turd that was 2008’s indie offerings. Roaring debut The Airing of Grievances seeped with vengeance, heartbreak and above all, energy. It was exactly what indie should be, over-dramatic and emotional. Its clashes of guitar fuzz with soft lyricism made for an album that well and truly put the band on the radar as ‘one to watch’.
So tonight was time to watch it in action, with new album The Most Lamentable Tragedy under their belts the New Jersey punks prepared to tear The Kazimier into tiny pieces, but in the nicest way possible.
Support, Washington Irving, took to the stage of all the vigour of a headliner. The Scot’s launch into a set so catchy they would have passed the Old Grey Whistle Test like Steven Hawking sitting GCSE Physics. With big gang sing-a-longs and a drummer always two songs away from exhaustion, they leave no stone unturned in trying to keep with the titanic Titus Andronicus.
Titus Andronicus are ferocious. Good attempt Washington Irving, but no note falls flat on the crowd tonight. America may be responsible for many a crime, but fuck do they churn out brilliant bands. Titus Andronicus’ sheer song writing ability pulls through as the winner tonight. They tear through old and new songs alike, all of which makes no difference to the crowd who react to both with the enthusiasm of a crowd witnessing one of the rawest indie bands around. Patrick Stickles, isn’t holding back either. As he launches himself from one song into the next, he is the wild eyed frontman everybody wants.
In the last few weeks of The Kazimier each show seems to get better and better and, while nothing could top Liverpool Music Week, Titus Andronicus surely come close. It seems that their strength is in their simplicity; watching them you can’t help but think that their songs are hardly complex. Sure they’re more authentic than your average rock n roll band, but they’re hardly master jazz musicians. They’re a testament to how to write good songs. The simpler they are, the rawer they are.
So as they play their emo-tinged indie rock over a crowd on the other side of the planet, everyone connects. It’s the beauty of live music, it’s relatable.
They came, they saw, they conquered. A definite contender for gig of the year.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Jazamin Sinclair.