Editors - O2 Academy, Bristol
Before tonight's headliners, the perennial support act that is British Sea Power, powering through 45 minutes of their charisma-free indie rock. They’ve got a great reputation live, and are a more than competent band, but there’s something about them that leaves me cold. Maybe they just lack the killer tune to convince the great British public that they've been wrong for the last decade.
Killer tunes are one thing that Editors aren’t lacking though, mixing the first half of the set with new tracks like ‘Sugar’ and ‘Two Hearted Spider’, and favourites like the excellent ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ and ‘All Sparks’. Bassist Russell Leetch, looking like a floppy-haired Josh Homme, is all over the stage like a lead guitarist, whilst guitarist Justin Lockey just stands hunched over his low hanging instrument. But this is frontman Tom Smith’s show - he’s like a Duracell bunny, fidgeting whilst on the piano, then scrambling atop the piano, wrapping the mic wire round his neck, leaning with outstretched arms into the audience, he never stops.
The second half of the setlist shows the band at their anthemic best and is a thrilling run through of their best tunes: a fantastic version of ‘A Ton Of Love’, catalogue hits ‘An End Has A Start’, ‘Bullets’, ‘Munich’, and a riotous ‘The Racing Rats’. And then the encore. Who wrote this one? After building the atmosphere up they come back on to an underwhelming couple of songs before ‘Papillon’ ends on a high.
Despite having two chart-topping albums there’s a feeling that, like Placebo, Editors are more feted overseas; our Euro chums love them, proven by headlining slots at the 85,000 capacity Rock Werchter festival in 2012 and 2013. On this evidence though there’s plenty of room for them to continue growing domestically and they’re certainly capable of more than holding their own in venues bigger than this.