Music review: Titus Andronicus, The Blue Arrow, Glasgow

This was essentially a solo outing from frontman Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus
This was essentially a solo outing from frontman Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus
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RESCHEDULED gigs are just one of the many knock-on effects of the fire at Glasgow School of Art, resulting here in the charming mismatch of a scrappy US indie punk outfit in Glasgow’s newest bijou basement jazz bar, The Blue Arrow – an atmospheric space which cannot be allowed to fail as a consequence of Sauchiehall Street’s current travails.

The Blue Arrow, Glasgow ***

This Titus Andronicus show was effectively a solo outing from frontman Patrick Stickles who entered through the audience, just about coughing up a lung in his crude vocal passion, the cracks in his delivery sorely in need of a full rocking backdrop. He continued at the same heightened pitch until the marginally more sensitive rendering of Woody Guthrie’s Lonesome Valley and TA track Above the Bodega, a low-slung rock’n’roller about the “alcoholic-industrial complex”.

Stickles made a virtue of the loose set-up with an amusing Q&A interlude, asking as many questions as he answered (and imparting the meaning of life as posited by Carl Jung), followed by a request slot which included a pleasingly ragged cover of Daniel Johnston’s I Had Lost My Mind.

Titus Andronicus guitarist Liam Betson materialised from the merchandise stall for the more contemplative, soulful number No Future Part One but the extempore nature of the show was both a blessing and a curse, and proceedings began to unravel when Betson was left to his own devices onstage before finally being rejoined by Stickles for an overwrought, soused piano number To Old Friends and New Lyrics.

FIONA SHEPHERD