LIVE REVIEW: Titus Andronicus, Jade Hairpins @ Pop Recs, Sunderland (11.02.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Titus Andronicus by Nicole Rifkin

Titus Andronicus are a band who feed off the energy of their audience, delivering raucous shows to ecstatic, packed-out rooms with sweat streaming down the walls. Not tonight.

Perhaps it’s the chill in the venue, or that most of us are no longer the adolescent/early twenties scamps who fell in love with The Airing of Grievances and The Monitor, but for all the band’s efforts the Pop Recs crowd – while appreciative – remains unyieldingly static. It’s no slight on Jade Hairpins either, a side outfit for Fucked Up’s Jonah Falco and Mike Haliechuk whose punchy, spirited power pop ought to have warmed the cockles nicely.

It’s to Titus’ immense credit, then, that they take this unusual gathering in their stride. There’s no relentless cajoling, or vain pleas to form mosh pits. Instead, Patrick Stickles’ New Jersey crew simply knuckle down and deliver the best, most committed rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza they have in them – and what a showing it is.

Sure, we’re only allowed a small sample of last year’s excellent The Will to Live (“It’s Saturday night. You’re here for the classics!”), yet as the quintet career through swashbuckling US Civil War-themed epics Four Score and Seven and A More Perfect Union, it’s clear they’ve nailed their brief to a tee. Personally, this rip-roaring performance transported me back to being an angsty, bedroom-bound 17-year-old – and in the current climate, that’s no bad thing.


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