Editors @ The HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK – 27th June 2012

Posted by Bianca on Wednesday Jun 27, 2012 Under Alternative, Indie, Rock

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For the devoted, Editors’ monolithic volatility, stadium-cooked anthemic candescent authority, together with an embracing live-act rapport is celebrated because of, and equally, in spite of, their being proud, revivalist keepers of the eternal flame ignited by the like of predecessors, Simple Minds, Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen and not least U2’s early forays in to post New Wave.

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With singer, Tom Smith’s, signature resonant, oft-times funereal laden baritone vocals, (Scott Walker comes to mind) and the keening, dronal, minimalist guitar riff mantras, their goal to ‘ give the machines (synths) a human feel,’ bears rewarding fruition adding seemingly both contrary subtle textures and gothic gravitas. All this feeding off a bassist/drummer rhythm-section manic-bent on replicating a seriously pissed-off Decepticon dry-humping a scrap-yard.

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This was the second of a two night sell-out scoop for Birmingham Promoters, and fanned by the delicious air-con, the cool rammed HMV gave a raucous Brummie salute to local heroes back on home turf. And, the boys done well. A Stygian mist smothers the stage as primal whoops and neon circles hover as back-lights. The more cynical amongst us praying it might be an Olympics’ ring-piece send-up.

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Tonight’s set opens with ‘Sugar’ (a working title to be debuted on the long promised forth album) to sepulchral bass/drums and disembodied keyboards that wove hypnotic Arabic tonalities complimented by dissonant, haunting harmonies. With that retro fuzzy guitar and Smith’s lugubrious phrasing there were echoes of Jim Morrison in his ‘Strange Days’ tortured melancholy and visionary brilliance. There was an abundance of crowd sing-a-alongs particularly where a deluge of alien-invasion strobes lit up the deliriously sweaty throng bringing the hymnal ‘Smokers’ to a congregational climax of joy.

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The existentially intense self-examination of ‘Falls’ lyricism had a Scan-Noir glacial majesty and so it went on. Main set closed with ’Nothing’, it’s air-punching Big Country Celtic power-jiggery an emotive coda to a nearly ninety minute full-on performance.

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Tom Smith returns alone and to grand-piano tuning he solos the life-affirming spiritual ballad ‘No Sound But The Wind’ If you know it, what’s more to say – if you don’t – find out why. Throughout the evening, the band’s lyricism formed an empathic, poetic accessibility that embraced the air-punching participatory choruses: never bettered than with the enigmatic ‘Munich’ ‘So Glad I Found This’. Several more big-bang numbers. But, for many of us how could they top ‘No Sound’? They had a good go though closing with the God bothering ‘Papillon’. The World is their oyster – ever more pearls await their discovery.

Sound-desk set list: Sugar, The Racing Rats, Bullets, Smokers Outside The Hospital, Fall, The Sting, Blood, All Sparks, Eat Raw Meat=Blood Drool, You Are Fading, The Weight Of The World, Bricks & Mortar, Bones, An End Has A Start, Fingers In The Factories, Nothing, (encores) No Sound But The Wind, In This Light And In This Evening, Munich, Two Hearted Spider, Papillon.

Gig review by John Kennedy
Gig photos by Ian Dunn

(Thanks to Carlo)

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