'The Pogues ignored us,' say support act Titus Andronicus

Singer Patrick Stickles 'furious' after the Pogues failed to watch his band during a nine-date tour of North America

The support band for the Pogues' latest tour are "furious" at the arrogance of their former idols, who refused to speak to them. "It makes me sick," said Titus Andronicus singer Patrick Stickles. "[The Pogues] sing about celebrating the individual and they sing about everyone having dignity, even the downtrodden ... yet they are happy to step on whoever they have to so that they can line their coffers."

Titus Andronicus opened all nine dates of the Pogues' recent "farewell tour" of North America, but it was scarcely the dream-gig Stickles imagined. Being offered the tour, he said, seemed "like the best thing that ever happened to me". "One of the greatest bands ever, and they clearly love us; we're going to be best friends, just like all the old songs."

Instead, Stickles told Spinner he "hated the tour". The Pogues "never took the time to introduce themselves or watch any of our performances. The closest that we got to them was when we would have to load-out after our show so they could have a nice clear backstage area. We would be out in the alleyway, and they would pull up in their hotel shuttle bus."

"It made me furious," Stickles continued. "I didn't think that we were treated at all with the respect that we deserved, not even the respect as saying 'we're an important punk band', but respect that we're human beings." Only one member of the Pogues, tin-whistle player Peter "Spider" Stacy, even bothered to introduce himself. "We talked for about 45 seconds and it felt pretty good."

While the Pogues' two-week jaunt across America was billed as the Parting Glass tour, the band has made no promises that it will be their last visit to the US. Last December, the Pogues played a UK "Farewell Christmas" tour – described by their guitarist as a "marketing ploy" – and already the group have booked several summer festival dates. "We're not saying this is absolutely, definitely the end," Stacy said in February.

Playing in support of the Pogues "raised a lot of questions about the intersection of punk rock and commerce", Stickles said. "This is the greatest punk band from my ancestral homeland of Ireland, and it makes me sick."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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