One band references Renaissance art and literature, the other released a concept album set in Thatcher’s Britain: as punk line-ups go, this double-header offered brains as well as brawn.
F***ed Up/Titus Andronicus - SWG3, Glasgow
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Toronto outfit F***ed Up are a preppy-looking crew with a cuddly bear in a skirt for a frontman, who played at frequencies intended to cause agitated palpitations. Sounding like a spikier My Bloody Valentine, sweet bubblegum backing vocals were discernible through the ferocious thrash and throb of their set but the main attraction was the wounded howl and flesh-pressing of that bear on the loose.
As is his habit, singer Pink Eyes (Damian to his mum) spent most of the set on walkabout in the crowd, his shifting location plotted by the angle of the many cameraphones trained on his antics. As the soundtrack mellowed slightly to include some scuzzy power rock numbers, he sought only to entertain, pose for pictures with fans and share his love of deep fried chocolate bars and the back catalogue of Edinburgh independent label 53rd and 3rd.
New Jersey quintet Titus Andronicus had a tough job following this display, and about five minutes to prepare, thanks to their delayed arrival in the venue. Even though their approach to songwriting and performance was considerably more conventional than that of their tourmates, there was a gonzo charm to their ragged, rootsy passion which owed as much to the Celtic punk of Stiff Little Fingers and the Skids as to their CBGBs forebears across the Hudson.