LIVE: Fucked Up, Titus Andronicus, Metz @ Leeds Brudenell Social Club 27/05/13

By Chris Marshman

We all think we’re here for Fucked Up and Titus Andronicus, Metz aren’t even on the ticket, they’re down as ‘guest’. So it makes the performance they put in all the more impressive. Metz bring little in the way of fanfare. There’s no extravagance, no frills and little showmanship, just polite thanks and regular guitar-tuning. What they do bring, though, is a barrage of unhinged, rumbling raucousness. Music fans know what’s good for them and the venue is almost full when they take the stage at the ungodly hour of eight o’clock, but we’re all caught off guard for what was about to come. The head-nodding is contagious and the bouncing naturally follows. For half an hour we are pummelled by Metz’s olde worlde Rocket From The Crypt/Hot Snakes/Jesus Lizard onslaught. They sound every bit as ferocious as they do on record, and then some. Singer Alex Edkins shaking his face like a lunatic, surely losing close to his body-weight in sweat. They may (or may not) be the best live band since the amplification of sound.

The unenviable job of following Metz falls to Titus Andronicus, surely one of few bands up to such a task. ‘…COS TRAMPS LIKE US, BABY WE WERE BORN TO DIE!’ Thus Titus arrive, launching into A More Perfect Union, and that’s it: the night is still young but if it ended there we would all go home happy. Titus merrily proceed with their gravelly prog-punk, the enthusiastic bunch at the stage-front giving it what for, cajoling the rest to join in with the hip-shaking. Patrick Stickles gets his tits out for a remarkably on-the-nail cover of Killing In The Name, and they close with a song that lasts about half-an-hour and has about half-a-dozen endings, codas and reprises. A triumph.

Where to go then? Well wherever Father Damian takes us, that’s where! Fucked Up are the only band with enough feral rage in their system to make it physiologically impossible to remove your gaze from the stage, whatever may have come before. Every Fucked Up performance is a memorable one, for so many reasons. Old Pink Eyes berates the EDL, goes walkies (and rollies) amongst the audience, gurns like a child chewing a sour Haribo and scares the bejesus out of some unsuspecting students. He’s a lively chap to say the least. With Queen Of Hearts, Under My Nose, Turn The Season, I Hate Summer and Black Albino Bones it’s essentially a Fucked Up hits set, and the audience’s gratitude is clear. A few skinheads try their best to ruin it for everyone, foot-first stage dives and spinning fists, but overall it’s a good-natured set, helped by Damian’s personable nature, hugging fans, thrusting the mic into their faces to encourage them to shout along and dancing like a drunk uncle. A great end to an exceptional night.