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REVIEW: Editors Olympia Theatre > Chris Wasser

THE first thing Tom Smith does on stage is click his fingers. As the night progresses, Editors' wiry front man demonstrates new and bizarre ways to avoid keeping still. This includes orchestrating what could be an invisible puppet show with his hands. Or, maybe, he was just playing an imaginary piano (the real one beside him works better).

Smith (32) also wraps his arms so far around his body you fear he might cut off his air supply and keel over. The tunes are twitchy, so clearly, Smith should be too. In 2012, the Birmingham band lost their lead guitarist. Naturally, the way to respond to one member leaving is to hire two. But Editors have always been bigger than their counterparts – sound-wise, at least.

These days, they care less about tipping their hats to Joy Division and more for their own brand of deranged synth poundings and huge rock choruses. The Topman look is just for show – Editors are a lot more interesting than you might think (and still reasonably popular, chart-wise). Probably because they refuse to be pigeonholed.

The gargantuan Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors recalls a time when they almost pulled a Coldplay. A Ton of Love sounds like a Foo Fighters knock-off. And the apocalyptic buzz of Papillon should have sound-tracked a sci-fi movie.


Smith carries his guitar like a shotgun, treating his piano as if it were a mountain. Eventually, he climbs to the top. Bassist Russell Leetch has a blast – and he sounds great, too. It helps that fourth album The Weight of Your Love's key ingredients come across better in a live setting, and Smith's daunting vocal is this band's strong link. He takes himself seriously, keeping chit-chat to a minimum, but everyone here is used to Editors' trendy despair. They wouldn't have it any other way.

It's not until the encore that both band and audience remember to spur each other on, but all is forgiven as soon as that tune named after a dog blows the roof off. HHHII