Monday 4 March 2024

Editors - Guildhall, Southampton - 3rd March 2024

I'd been here before to see Editors and I wondered if, maybe, Bono was right and there's nothing like the first time.

I'd really enjoyed that last gig, being very impressed with Editor's live performance and it had been watching the TV coverage of their 2023 set at Glastonbury that had made me decide that I'd go and see them again if the opportunity arose.

A few months later, it did, at the same venue I'd enjoyed them at before - The acoustics at the Guildhall are very good, I think (although my last visit, to see the Amazons, was a disappointment) - so I booked a ticket.

Coming just a few days after Nouvelle Vague (and a couple before another gig) in the cold weather, I was beginning to feel a bit of gig-fatigue already, but my excitment grew as the day came closer.

I found some cheap on street parking nearby and arrived at the Guildhall about 7:30.

At around 8, the lights went down and the support act came on.

They were Wings Of Desire, who I knew nothing about, but their style suited the audience well (a 5 piece indy guitar band, with a woman on keyboards).

They'd obviously done a decent sound check beforehand, too, as the instruments and vocals were pretty clear, especially for a support act (and in stark contrast to the shambles The Amazons had been).

They were pretty enjoyable, I thought, and I can see them having some success (although, what do I know?).

The lights came up after their set and there was the usual 30 minutes of kit shuffling until the stage was ready for Editors.

At 9PM sharp, the lights went down and, without any histrionics, on came the band.

The tour was a belated one to cover the release of their most recent (but 2022) album, EBM, so it wasn't surprising that some of the tracks were from that album, but they opened with the slightly obscure "Two Hearted Spider" from The Weight Of Your Love album, the one I'm least familiar with.

They were soon into more popular and familiar territory, though, with "Sugar", before delivering "Karma Climb" from EBM.

P>From then on it was pretty much a mix of EBM tracks and older favourites, the exception being an enjoyable cover of "Killer" by Adamski.

I was slightly surprised to hear Munich, still their best known track, delivered in the main set (It had been the finale last time) and they round out the main set with "Papillon", "An End Has A Start", "The Racing Rats" and "Nothing", from The Weight Of Your Love.

The lights, of course, didn't go up after they left the stage and we went through the charade of clapping, stamping and cheering before they returned for three more tracks.

The first was "At All Cost", delivered with just Tom (on vocals) and the guitarists, pretty atmospheric.

That was followed by "The Phone Book", another track from "The Weight Of Your Love" - A lot of that album's lesser known tracks getting an airing.

The finale, tonight, though was epic - Tom delivered the first part of "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" solo on a piano and then said "Goodnight".

That would have worked just fine, but a split second later the stage was lit by a flash of bright white light and the full band joined in for the more familiar version.

Everyone cheered as the lights went up and the band clapped and bowed to the audience.

Their performance, once again, had left me impressed and enthusiastic. The mix of tracks was imaginative and varied, sure a few of my favourites were missing this time, but lots were there and it was good to hear tracks I was less familiar with performed live.

The sound balance had been good, too, something I always appreciate and that they had got spot on last time. Bands of their quality and experience should be able to get this right, but I've been disappointed many times at other gigs.

Highlights for me were 'Sugar', 'Heart Attack', 'Blood', 'Munich', 'Papillon', 'An End..', 'Smokers Outside...' and the 'Killer' cover, but I enjoyed everything this time as much as I had the first time I saw them and as much as I hoped I would.

They are a band that seem to fly under the radar a bit, despite their first album approaching 20 years old, but the Guildhall was full with people of all ages and everyone seemed to have a great time and there's no doubt in my mind that they're one of the best live bands around - If I'd been organising Glastonbury last year, I'd have made them the headliner, they were far better than the dreadful nostalgia acts that seem to dominate it nowadays.

It had been another brilliant gig by Editors and I will come and see them again.

Two Hearted Spider
Karma Climb
A Ton of Love
Heart Attack
Hallelujah (So Low)
Strawberry Lemonade
Killer(Adamski cover)
No Harm
Strange Intimacy
An End Has a Start
The Racing Rats
Nothing (full band version)
At All Cost
The Phone Book
Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors(Tom solo (on guitar) first verse and chorus)

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