22 April 2018 (gig)
29 April 2018
Having been present for Editors debut in Milan way back in 2005 at the tiny, now defunct, Rainbow Club, at the time four very skinny and very serious guys, with a cracking debut album ‘The Back Room’ to boot, it was obvious that they would make waves. Now six albums along the road, they have returned quite a few times to Milan in the meanwhile, but never yet have they played at the Mediolanum Forum, the city’s biggest indoor concert hall.
Band members now counting five, Russell leetch, bass and Ed Lay, drums both from the 2005 band, plus Justin Lockley, lead guitar and Elliott Williams on keyboards, and finally but not least is Tom Smith.
TS is really an unsung hero in the rock, indie world. An excellent song writer as the latest album ‘Violence’ ably demonstrates, quite the versatile musician and a superb singer, the real surprise is how he has grown as a front man and commands the stage.
The band, all dressed in black, come on together and take to their instruments. The forum is about two thirds full but for a band with not one hit single under their belt, its following is of the ‘core’ type as old Editors t-shirts testify, and it’s a good turnout I feel. They open up with ‘Hallelujah (So Low)’ from the new album, the track most like Coldplay on the record and so I suggest its most commercial, but the rest of the set has many of their standard dark and intense songs.
The sound mix as oft happens in this place is not wonderful and it’s the guitars to suffer tonight. So it seems to me the electronic based tracks from the later years of their body of work come off the best. ‘Violence’, ‘Eat Raw Meat- Drool Blood’, ‘the superb ‘Nothingness’ and sublime ‘Belong’ the best of the bunch. ‘Munich’ gets a special collective cheer from the crowd but its ‘The Racing Rats’ that hits the top spot from the guitar based songs.
Tom Smith does not stop for one second throughout the evening, completely involved in every instant. Theatrical yet more spontaneous than staged in his movements that are more punklike and obscure and such not dance, you just can’t take your eyes off him. A special mention goes to Ed Lay who’s big beats and sequenced drum parts are the backbone to Editors songs. Indeed the feel of the show is now more like The National meets Depeche Mode as opposed to 2005 of Interpol meets Echo And The Bunneymen.
Encores begin with Tom playing guitar, solo, on ‘No Sound But The Wind’, then the whole band on ‘Cold’ and ‘Magazine’, a wicked ‘Papillon’ and the excellent closing dreamy ‘Marching Orders’ from the ‘In Dream’ album. Overall a great set and a splendid ensemble performance. Editors are still an indie band, make no mistake of that, not playing to the masses but a faithful and appreciative audience. They are still evolving and deserve to be taken most seriously.
1. Hallelujah (So Low)
2. A Ton of Love
4. Darkness at the Door
6. No Harm
9. An End Has a Start
10. In This Light and on This Evening
11. Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
15. The Racing Rats
16. Ocean of Night
17. No Sound but the Wind (Tom solo)
21. Marching Orders