Editors frontman Tom Smith has the voice of Ian Curtis, the cheekbones of Preston From Big Brother and the moves of Chris Martin, all of which combine to make a pretty damn nifty package.
He and the other Editors seem geniunely appreciative to have been able to add a second night to their visit to Brixton, delivering their Joy Division for the 21st century industrial energy with aplomb to a crowd who lap up every keyboard clash and bass crash they have to offer. Smith swaps confidently between guitar and edge-of-madness piano as the tracks demand it, his rich baritone swooping over the apocalyptic percussion and basslines Peter Hook would be proud of.
They’re confident and assured, interspersing hit singles with new material and obscure B-sides, proving to anyone who’s just come along for the show that they have more to offer than just their excellent first album The Back Room, one of 2006’s best so far.
Not that you don’t get pretty much all of the album (only the final track, Distance isn’t on show tonight) but everything else they have to offer is just as good. Someone Says opens the set to crashing effect. All Sparks, Bullets and Munich sound as loud, energetic and alive as ever. The haunting Camera sends as many shivers down spines live as it does on an iPod and the faithful who’ve been here for both nights (and you suspect there are several of them) are rewarded with rare older numbers such as You Are Fading. Editors look set to do anything but.
They look the part as well as sound it. Black shirts, skinny jeans and 1980s ties, dressed from a wardrobe that Gary Numan and Kraftwerk put together in between showing the rest of the band what you can do with keyboards and guitars and a desire to pretend that the last 20 years of pop never happened.
Backed with atmospheric images of art deco hotels and angels in granite, and bathed in harsh lights that flicker from red to blue to electric green, this is the perfect place to see them, inside a dark venue on a stage that’s large enough to do them proud, but not so far away they’re lost in the distance. Somehow, they’re not going to look quite the same on a beach in Spain when, come July, they play to the Benicassim crowds, but I bet they’ll sound every bit as good.
They finish on Open Your Arms, having giving us most of the greatest hits already, then come back out for a cheeky four-song encore that starts with album opener Lights, with its ‘Fortune favours the brave’ cockiness. They continue with loyal-fan-pleaser Head in Bags, then launch into a fantastic cover of Talking Heads‘ Road to Nowhere. It all finishes on Fingers in the Factories, thumping it out to a crowd they’ve done proud. So what if they sound just like Joy Division? Nothing wrong with that.