A minimalist backdrop doesn’t give much away for what’s to follow from Birmingham indie rockers Editors. The focus is definitely all on them tonight, not the stage scenery. And they are eager to please, performing with even more gusto than their reputation owes them. As the looming synths of ‘No Harm’ sweep over the stage, the aptly darkly clad Editors step out onto the stage, frontman Tom Smith brandishing his microphone like a weapon through which his familiar baritone reverberates. After an ominous beginning, the show opens up to an electrifying ‘Sugar’ which spotlights a stomping bass line among the jarring guitars that transcend something of Nights of Arabia in a cinematic refrain. Editors’ energy constantly metamorphoses as the tempos of ‘Blood’ and ‘An End Has A Start’ bleed into the slow burning reflection ‘Forgiveness’. If one thing is consistent, it’s their unerring enthusiasm that never seems to falter, even on the steadier songs.
Tom Smith cuts a bewildering figure, writhing around onstage and gesticulating every line. Even when he’s constrained to the piano, he appears restless and almost incapable of sitting still, finding a way of climbing on top of the piano in between chords. From one dramatic chorus to the next, the set list demonstrates their versatility, seamlessly dipping into the nooks and crannies of their back catalogue as well as hits from their new album with ‘Life Is A Fear’ and ‘Salvation’. Both receive an equally pleased welcome from the audience, but it’s an acoustic rendition of crowd favourite ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ that provides the sing along moment.
For all their melancholy, Editors appear genuinely delighted to be playing. Bassist Russell Leetch intermittently checks in with the audience, throwing the odd double thumbs up in between the band’s dedicated head bobbing. There’s a profound sense of unity as the band – grins on their faces- joyously chant to the encore ‘Marching Orders’, proving they are still definitely “tryin’ to get more”.
photo: A.V.A Live Radio