Titus Andronicus - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
What better way to celebrate the hottest day of the year than to spend your evening in a sweaty venue watching one of America’s finest young bands rocking the house? As it turns out, an evening in a nearby beer garden with some friends would have been more enjoyable.
Having released a great album in The Monitor, hopes were high for an evening of unbridled entertainment. Opening with the raucous - and slightly shambolic - ‘A More Perfect Union’ set the tone for the evening. The shouted, albeit inaudible, vocals were soon to became wearisome as the lengthy set progressed. The ethos of stretching a perfectly good four minute ditty into an eight minute epic may work OK in a studio when you can fiddle around with structure to your hearts content but doing it live for almost every song felt unnecessarily indulgent and grated rather than thrilled.
Despite this the band - and the majority of the audience - were clearly having a good time but the whole set lacked any sort of a balance. A little bit of light and shade would have been nice and even when they did slow it down for a couple of minutes the urge to rock out couldn’t be resisted and the band would blast into more shouting and jumping around. Maybe I’m getting old but, unless you are an out-and-out punk or Oi! band, repeating this ad infinitum for a 75 minute set is simply bludgeoning.
There is no doubt that Titus Andronicus have talent and some great songs, they just need to reign things in the live arena otherwise they will fail to reach the heady heights of fellow luminaries such as The Hold Steady and The Gaslight Anthem.