Review by Arran Dutton –
So, it’s fair to say that Tom Smith, frontman of the magnificent Editors, has one of the more unique voices you’re ever likely to hear. It’s chilling at times, but full of passion, and for some reason I can’t help but think that he could provide the vocal for a bad guy in a Disney film who belts out a number to the tune of being misunderstood. Really this is a compliment – Tom Smith finds power and elegance which matches the intelligence and intricacy showcased in Editors music, which often wraps social commentary with metaphors that hint to us all being doomed because let’s face it, it’s really quite bleak out there.
On this night, I’m excited. It’s my third time witnessing this fantastic band whose first album ‘The Back Room’ received a Mercury Prize nomination and like many who have been fortunate enough to be considered or even having won, they’re underrated by the masses. For me, it was working in Cheltenham’s Virgin Megastores and hearing the dark second album ‘An End Has A Start’ that got me hooked and although I wasn’t as fond of 2009’s ‘In This Light and on This Evening’ and this year’s ‘The Weight Of Your Love’, I wasn’t to be disappointed with any track on the set list for this one. It was breathtaking.
Opening with “Sugar” and then followed by “Someone Says”, I was in my element from the start and by the opening chords of the phenomenal “Smokers Outside A Hospital Door”, I had decided that this band were another perfect fit for the smaller, intimate setting of O2 Academy Bristol. I love these smaller venues where the sound is locked in rather and it feels somewhat raw and organic. My previous viewings of Editors were at Glastonbury and as brilliant as they were and it is you do lose some of that intensity and sound quality in those luscious green fields.
The precise and energetic opening riff of “Bones” came next and suddenly I’m hit by the realisation that Editors really do have some repertoire. Belter after belter arrived with tracks spanning across the four albums that all differ in style. “All Sparks” was a particular highlight but it was a few tracks later where the euphoria kicked in as a chain of the big hitters showcased how fucking good this lot are. The epic “An End Has A Start” was shortly followed by “Bullets”, “Munich” and “The Racing Rats”. For many in the audience it was the musical equivalent of a sex starved man standing in the middle of the play boy mansion and not knowing where to look. An absolute treat.
I say that “All Sparks” was a particular highlight and the aforementioned run that brought us to the encore was pretty damn special but the closing number of the encore hit a whole new level. An extended version of “Papillon” was outrageous and had a now frenetic crowd finding that escape that a gig should provide. It was beautiful. What a band.
For more on the band head to editorsofficial.com