Monday 18 December 2017

rock

eamon sweeney

editors

olympia, dublin

THE first time Birmingham band Editors played in Dublin, they performed an incongruous support slot at the now defunct Bud Rising festival.

They opened for Towers of London, a punk and glam rock hybrid fronted by mouthy Celebrity Big Brother contestant Donny Tourette, who Bill Bailey memorably called "about as punk as Enya."

In marked contrast, Editors genuinely progressed to bigger and better things and released two number one albums. Their fourth studio opus 'The Weight of Your Love' is their first after the reportedly amicable departure of lead guitarist Chris Urbanowicz.

As the hoary old chestnut of 'musical differences' raised its head, Editors revisited a back to basics indie rock template for an album that stalled in the lower half of the top ten. It was greeted by what could at best be described as mixed reviews.

Their live set for The Weight of Your Love opens with frantic blasts of strobe for 'Sugar'. 'Someone Says' and 'Smokers Outside. The Hospital Doors' set the tone for what initially looks and sounds like an elaborate sounding doom and gloom fest that offers precious little variety or spark.

Titles like 'Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool' hint at their rather dull indie goth pop contents.

Lead singer Tom Smith is the composite awkward front man who is never sure exactly what to do with his hands. He comes across like a more wiry and nervous version of Chris Martin of Coldplay and Michael Stipe, but when his band launch into 'A Ton of Love' about midway into the set, he suddenly becomes a mesmerising personification and extension of the song.

Editors still sound like the sum of their influences rather than a result of being inspired by them. Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen and early U2 loom so large in their repertoire you actually begin to visualise them in the room. The Big Music of the eighties is referenced in the booming sound of almost every track.

Aside from Smith's quirks and jerks, there is no real visual spectacle behind the flashing lights and walls of noise. The rest of the band is a purely functional cast who turn up and get the job done, but that's both the start and the end of it.

A fine run of songs in the last half and hour peaks with Smith's baritone puzzlingly repeating, "It kicks like a sleep twitch' on the catchy 'Papilon'".

Editors do just enough to remind us of their former glories, while suggesting that they're at least capable of occasional greatness, but they really need to find a few more tricks up their sleeve.

Irish Independent

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