Having already seen these guys twice, once at an intimate show at the HMV Institute in Birmingham last year and then again at Leeds Festival only a few months ago, it was always evident that lead singer Tom Smith and co were definitely worth watching live, and have since become favourites. The gloomy alternative rockers put out a new album this year in the shape of ‘The Weight Of Your Love’, and while it isn’t up to the same level as their first three album efforts there are definitely songs there that can be used to bolster their live set.
First, however, comes British Sea Power, an indie rock band who have headlined the Festival Republic stage at Leeds and Reading a couple of times (and a headliner at Galtres) already and definitely have a growing reputation as their sixth album, ‘Machineries Of Joy’, hit shops and online stores this year. The veritable veterans put on a competent show that will perhaps mean more to those more familiar with their material than newcomers, but there is definitely a distinct feeling that they are merely the warm-up for the big attraction and while pleasant enough, really only serve to kill some time as the crowd gradually begins to expand in anticipation of the main attraction.
This sold-out Nottingham show comes at the end of an extensive European tour for Editors and it remained to be seen whether the show would be one final energetic outpouring or a more relaxed, subdued affair of the kind that marks end of year tour fatigue, but it can happily be said that it is definitely the former as Editors bounce on to the stage with their usual exuberance, and a short “hello” aside, burst quickly in to their opener, the powerful and euphoric ‘Sugar’. The show never loses this intensity for the entirety of its 105 minute duration, as they blast through crowd favourites like the anthemic ‘Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors’ and ‘A Ton Of Love’, sprinkling the set with new and old songs alike, with every song getting a lot of love from the crowd.
Particularly great are the action-packed and intense ‘Formaldehyde’, which features Smith gallivanting happily around the stage, full of passion, breaking out his usual brand of dancing, a sort of contorted, spontaneous movement that is a delight to watch. He definitely makes sure that he’s covered every single part of the stage, and we are definitely moving with him. The night builds to a rising crescendo after this performance as we reach ‘Fingers In The Factories’, definitely one of the bands’ greatest achievements and a joy to behold when performed as brilliantly as it is on the stage. We then moved on to an encore that was eagerly anticipated by the crowd, and seasoned Editors fans know what an encore means…
‘Papillon’. Rarely is there ever a closer with as much power, as much sheer dance-ability or drama as this song. It moves at a frenetic pace and Smith’s deep, powerful voice carries you on what feels like an epic journey for a whole ten minutes or more, since the band revel in extending the song just for this purpose. Exhausted and gleeful, they finally call a halt to proceedings and trundle off to rapturous applause from a crowd that definitely knows that what it just experienced was special. Editors have always packed their performances with heart, and when that comes together with musicality and a wonderfully produced set complete with a great lighting display it truly is a great experience. This makes three times now, and it’s a definite possibility that there are many more coming for us.