(Planet Me)
Monday, March 24, 2014
 
EDITORS Camden Roundhouse 18 March 2014
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As Editors bring their world tour to the near close, they bookend with two shows in London, at the beautiful converted train shed that is the Camden Roundhouse, a wonderful piece of Victorian architecture, and the show that combines deftly this band of two halves in one night. On the back of what is, for me, the record of 2013 – a year made of very stiff competition, the best year for albums in nearly a decade – Editors, the newly configured five quintet, roar with confidence in their own material. Around the core of Thom Smith, Russell, and Ed, the new members slot right in, as if they have always been there. The members may be different, but it's still the same band, even more so. The moment in the opener “Sugar” where the guitars suddenly roar in, and Thom emotes it breaks my heart to love you – the sound matching the exact realisation that love is pain and joy, both sides of the knife – and the sound is clear, the meaning obvious, the audience – a sea of balding indiemen, twenty-somethings-that-had-made-an-effort-to-look-like-they-haven't made-an-effort, old and young, men and women, and this band, these songs cut across everything with a roar of sound and emotion. A second later, and they are into a veritable greatest hits of earlier, faster stuff, with “Someone Says”, “Munich”, “Bones”, dispatched now with three guitars in a roar. Like other bands of a similar mindset, REM, Suede, and so on, Editors have become bigger, more ambitious, no longer making the racket to be heard over the competition in a rehearsal room, able to use silence as a weapon, and able to reach the space beyond people, beyond souls. It's a determindedly retrospective look, with a 12 song stretch of oldies populated only by one new song, and lots of songs brought back after a break with “Lights”, “Camera” and the rarely played “A Life As A Ghost” all back. Nonetheless, the band are powerful, cohesive, and – even if you don't like a band, you can tell when a band are on point, when they are firing at full strength, and tonight Editors are in that space, in their world. If anything, this band remind me of New Order, the evolution from one style to another, from a darkness to a similarly intense, but more electronic, synthetic, form, and when songs such as “Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool” (such cheery titles from the random miserable indie generator!) fall into the confident groove from repetition to tedium to trance are effective and then to carthartic.

I couldn't care less if this band headline Wembley or Willenhall, as long as they continue, because they are a band that taps into and accesses the repressed emotions, these songs are about the rarely seen part of us, loves, hopes, dreams, hurt and joy, light and shade, as these songs are snapshots of moments in life, and songs like these make my life better. Just some kind of life with the edges taken off. “Bricks And Mortar” goes down with an enthusiasm roughly similar to when U2 play “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. There's lines in here, so slight yet so powerful, “The arms of the solider / those arms will never hold her / again”, and written down, they are so small, yet sung, they are about love, loss, lust, life, and longing. Not long and then there is “Nothing”, which is probably in my top ten songs of all time. Around me strangers I have never met are singing the same words with the same meaning and passion as me, for it connects too. Every conversation within you, starts a celebration within me. Thom leans out to close the gap between stage and crowd, and the crowd reach back, but the gap has already been closed in every sense but the physical. In the meantime, this is the band that Radiohead could have been, had Radiohead not perversely thrown away their talent to communicate in favour of laptop obscurity and electronica noodling. Where do they go from here? Who knows? But, as the closing song of the main set has it - “Honesty” - and this is what Editors contain, a honesty to communicate the emotional life we live.

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Sugar
Someone Says
Munich
An End Has A Start
Formaldehyde
Lights
Bullets
Racing Rats
A Life As A Ghost
Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
All Sparks
In This Light
Bricks & Mortar
A Ton of Love
Bones
Honesty
Camera
Smokers Outside Hospital Doors
Nothing
Papillion

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