Live Music + Gig Reviews

Editors @ Scala, London

9 August 2005



Music is a funny old game – this time last year, no one had heard of Editors. Now, in August 2005, they’ve got an excellent debut album flying off the shelves, are being name dropped by everyone who’s anyone and are selling out shows around the country weeks in advance.

Up and coming bands take note – it seems that the recipe for success these days is no more than a clutch of good singles, a bit of hype and some highly regarded points of musical reference (Joy Division, Interpol, Elbow in this case, to name but a few).

Very much a band of the moment, tonight’s headline show at the Scala represented a capping off of a tremendous year to date, before a short break and another UK headline tour this autumn, visiting bigger and better venues, of course.

Indeed there was always the danger that they could be a gross case of style over substance, and no more than vagrants trying to cash in on our love for baritone voices and gloomy introspection, but after an incredibly resolute performance this evening, it’s clear that Editors are set for great things.

The misty smoke appeared at about quarter to ten, and Editors took to the stage to an expectant crowd. Failure tonight had the potential to derail months of good work, so it was crucial that they fired on all cylinders. As soon as set opener Someone Says kicked into action, however, it was clear that any such worries would be misplaced and unfounded. The guitars were crisp as ever, the percussion was tight and Tom Smith’s ultra distinctive vocal tones were out in full force.

The Back Room, their much-lauded debut, received a thorough outing – all but one track was showcased, as well as a couple of impressive B-sides to mix things up. There were no dull moments, even their more subdued material on the album such as Fall and Camera sounded far meatier than on record, and incredibly grand within the intimate venue. In both cases, Smith proved his worth as a front man, with his vocals taking the lead and resonating around the venue with remarkable ease, no doubt inducing shivers down the spines of many.

It is the urgent, more upbeat numbers that characterise this band, however – singles Blood and Munich both sounded rather majestic, but it was the set closer, the pounding Fingers In The Factories, that dramatically stole the show and left the audience captivated as the band disappeared through the stage door. These tracks are up there with anything in their genre, and are obvious trump cards in their quest for superstardom.

Crowd interaction was kept to a bare minimum, with occasional song introductions and words of thanks being the most we got out of a workmanlike Smith. Perhaps they’ll need to address this as they start taking to bigger stages, but tonight they played with such flair that it wasn’t an issue. Editors proved tonight that they are worth every hyperbolic word that’s been uttered about them and displayed a variety in their set that will ensure a longevity that many bands find difficult to secure. Britain finally has a serious answer to the likes of Interpol, and it’s rather thrilling.

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