Titus Andronicus - Redemptive loser-anthems deliver total victory
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 22 Nov
‘We’re not a crowd, we’re just a bunch of people standing next to each other,’ grumbled one bloke, quantifying his dissatisfied response to thick-black-of-beard Titus Andronicus singer Patrick Stickles’ polite inquiry as to how everyone was enjoying themselves. It seemed harsh, but he was likely thinking relative to what audiences at the nihilistic New Jersey indie-punks’ shows are normally like – riotous, writhing masses of flailing bodies.
Of course, a truly great band will thrill even on a subdued Monday night, and thrill they did with their red-lining, ramshackle and wantonly un-zeitgeisty channelling of the spirit of Springsteen, The Pogues, Bright Eyes and, um, Big Country. The wiry Stickles’ redemptive loser-anthems, sung in an unhinged roar, are elementally uplifting. Guitarist and fiddler Amy Klein barely stopped bouncing on the spot all set, a broad grin spread permanently across her face.
Titus’ America Civil War themed concept album The Monitor yielded the best moments of the night, ‘A More Perfect Union’ with its joyously first-pumping riff, and quarter-hour epic ‘The Battle of Hampton Roads’. Save for one chap’s thwarted crowd-surfing intentions, victory was total.