Tonight was a truly special moment in Editors’ career so far, as singer Tom Smith put it, “this is the biggest thing we’ve ever done and its amazing that’s it’s just a stone’s throw away from where we are from”. Local lads done good – as some may say, they have certainly come a long way since playing such local venues as The Jug of Ale only a couple of years ago. The buzz of tonight’s show was huge; it was as much a local’s gig as it was a national scale show, so there was a very comfortable sense to the atmosphere.
The night started out early with the New York based Mobius Band, they impressed the Birmingham audience with some Depeche Mode style electro born rock songs, they were received by new ears but they entertained nonetheless. Check out single ‘Friends Like These’, it’s a real good feel song that really got the crowd started off well tonight.
The second instalment in tonight’s show was Glasgow indie-rockers Sons And Daughters. They opened up with their extremely toe-tapping single ‘Gilt Complex’ and were extremely tight as a unit throughout their set. Their first few songs were very dance worthy, which really lifted the spirits of the scene. The band have an odd mixture of country in their sound, which really kicked in towards the last couple of songs they performed. I think the mood of the crowd calmed down a little at this point but the set still ended on a positive note. They showed signs of a very confident act that will be heard of a lot more in the near future. Check out new single ‘Darling’ – this beat laden tune is sure to get any crowd moving.
Editors, until now, have been seen as just an exceptional band in today’s indie scene but I believe the audience witnessed a new level of accomplishment from the Birmingham-formed band tonight. They put on an incredible stage show with a large production aspect drawn in, a stage show you would normally relate with the likes of Coldplay or U2, and it helped the band to forge an extremely anthemic vibe to their songs. Vocalist Tom Smith introduced the set with ‘Camera’; the song has a great pounding beat that got the listeners really bouncing, as the rest of the band strolled in very casually. The light show was truly spectacular, setting the vibe to the beginning of a great show.
Despite a huge stage with a massive lighting rig and screens, the band still appear as the lads least likely to. They still emerge to be their humble and down to earth selves often seen in interviews as they pushed through their already very familiar set. Since the band’s debut full length release ‘The Back Room’ in 2005, they force you to realise just how many great songs they have written in such a short career span. It became very apparent that these guys are headed for a greater future, their set list already sounds like a best-of tour only after 2 albums. The crowd was singing along continuously.
Its amazing how this band has transformed into such a great live act so rapidly, that can almost pack out such a large venue as the NIA, they certainly have the set list to confirm their position. Amongst the familiar gems that the crowd were pleased to hear, they were treated to an amazing acoustic performance of ‘Push Your Head Towards The Air’ with Tom Smith on vocals/guitar and bass player Russell Leetch switching to piano. They were also treated to a cover of The Cure’s ‘Lullaby’, an unusual choice for the band but at the same time it worked so well with their signature sound. The show’s visual aspect grew throughout the night; the band added incredibly artistic videos with some great photography of very melancholic landscapes of cities, roads, flags and odd shots of short films. It suited well and added an entire new level to the ending of the set.
The encore was introduced with the latest single ‘The Racing Rats’ which appeared to have the greatest result on the crowd. Tom Smith announced their gratitude for such a great evening in Birmingham at the NIA and there was a definite presence of honour with his words as they were carried away into the end of their set of busy lights and visuals with a foundation of audio effects and noise.
The live music scene does not, of course, need one more Coldplay or U2 in this decade, or as the band are commonly associated with; Interpol, but Editors have managed to brush off their reputation for an average comparison with these bands and show off their true colours, which can only amaze and make for great competition in the very near future. It was well worth the night out to see them and I’m sure it will not be the last time their home city will see them at this level of entertainment.
Review by Ross Whitehall
Photos – Steve Gerrard