Having looked forward for some time to see Airship as the first support for Editors it was more than a little irritating to find that the doors open time was clearly a figment of someone’s imagination and we toddled into the hall just as they walked off. It seems far from fair to have a band go on to just a handful of people – lets hope they don’t suffer the same ignominy elsewhere on the tour.
Wintersleep, the second support , were also a band on my ‘want to see’ list. Welcome to the Night Sky is a fine album and they dutifully rolicked through some of the tracks including Drunk on Aluminium, Archaeologists and the like. The lead vocals, certainly at first, sounded like a pale imitation of those on record, but they did improve through the set. A good set, well delivered, it unfortunately to my mind went out on a bit of a duff track and would have been better using a more accessible and immediate song to leave with.
Editors came on all black and moody onto a black and moody stage with an industrial scale light wall behind and went straight into the opener and title track from the new album. Straight through into another two or three songs, mixing old and new. Although not a big fan of the Dépêche Mode era synth stuff, it must be said that the additions make a welcome change and enrichment of the sound, away from what is now a little predictable indie crash and wallop. Of the newer tracks, You Don’t Know Love and Eat Raw Meat=Blood Drool stood out as of course did Papillon as the penultimate encore (should have saved it ‘til last methinks). Papillon, with its disco syth overtones and the slightly bizarre ‘Kicks like a sleep twitch’ line, got me as close as I ever come to leaping up and down in front of the stage (so inelegant and unbecoming at my age).
Stroudie Tim Smith was in fine voice, lets hope it holds up for the full three months of the tour, a strangely rich and sonorous voice. Physically he is an odd amalgam of Ian Anderson and some hybrid Dickensian character – all distorted face expressions and striking demented angular poses, throwing himself around the stage with abandon.
The whole show was at full tilt, high energy, roaringly loud, blinding lights, Smiths frantic activity counterpointed by his colleagues restraint. The relative lack of interaction with the crowd or backchat reinforced the sense that here might be a band hoping for stadium access and the detached pomp and bombast that the show leaned towards. The vacuity of some of the lyrics is all the more apparent live, however it was impossible not to leave impressed, energised and more enthusiastic about Editors than I had dared hope