Editors: Liverpool O2 Academy 18th Nov 2013 – Photo review

Liverpool O2 Academy
18th Nov 2013

All photographs: Liz Phillips

Having been on tour since mid August taking in all of Europe from Sweden to Spain, from Russia and on to Ireland I kind of expected Editors to be tight; however watching their sold out show in Liverpool I was pleasantly surprised at just bloody tight this band of what I previously perceived as “Indie Boys” were – none of that fey, flop haired, jeans halfway down your arse stuff from Editors; this was a thrilling introduction to a band clearly at the top of their game.

Touring the 2013 released album ‘The Weight of Your Love’ the bands first album in four years, opening with ‘Sugar’ lifted from said release immediately see frontman Tom Smith prowl around the stage, wrapping himself about the microphone stand, the remainder of the band barely visible within acres of colour washed dry ice; Smith exudes brooding attitude, to his left Russell Leetch delivers the bands signature thunderous bass lines – the sound is crystal clear, much of the rhythm patterns appear to be machine driven, allowing Smith to immerse himself in the piano positioned at a 90° stage front – at times Smith clambers atop the piano his face contorted as his deep baritone vocal fills the rammed to capacity venue.

Smith is the frontman in every sense of the word, the remainder of the band seem content to be hidden within the smoke which I find disappointing – there is virtually no interaction with the crowd; the obligatory “hello/its good to be back in Liverpool” – none of the songs are introduced, no problem for a committed Editors fan but for someone unfamiliar with their material it becomes a bit of a struggle; granted I recognised ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ which finally energised the audience into some form of movement; this continued during ‘Munich’ and ‘Bullets’ which I’m told go back to their break through album ‘The Back Room’ – by now Smith has his arms splayed pushing against an imaginary wall, he twists, turns providing the only real visual fix which is were the Editors as a live proposition left me disappointed.

Their sound is huge, cinematic even – this is IMAX sound, the bands delivery is sold, practiced, assured…its just I didn’t find it that compelling; I was no doubt alone in my view; face it the gig had long ago sold out, the Editors as a musical force were outstanding, their source inspiration, Joy Division et al looms loud, but I just want a bit more from a live gig.

Please visit Liz Phillips Photography for further images.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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