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Editors live at Whelan's, Dublin
Editors lack showmanship. That’s what strikes you the most on a sold-out night in Whelan’s.
Steve Cummins, 04 Oct 2005
Editors lack showmanship. That’s what strikes you the most on a sold-out night in Whelan’s. It’s not the quartet’s bleak music. Nor is it the Interpol comparisons. No, what’s missing tonight, over 40 minutes of oft-cracking tunes, is the lack of any discourse with the audience.
Then again, that may be part of the show. Dressed in black, and with troubled expressions across their faces, the latest darlings of the UK media certainly acknowledge they’re performing to a crowd.
“I’ve got a million things to say,” sings Tom Smith during opener ‘Lights’ amid intervals of lifting his guitar, like a weight, above his head. This continues into current single ‘Bullets’ and intermittently throughout the set. In between, he stares blankly out at the sea of faces in front of him. He looks lifeless and stagey, like a pantomime performer. Smith’s expression appears to be saying, ‘Look, I’m a tortured artist!’
Such contrived antics begin to rub off on the music. There may be little to criticise sonically, but as the set wears on, the music becomes drained of any urgency. ‘Blood’ and ‘Munich’ disappoint and a failure to whip the crowd into a sustained frenzy means the quartet slowly begin going through the motions. Standing on his monitor during ‘Fingers In The Factories’, Smith begins to muster some reaction, but suddenly rejects this for some more guitar weight-lifting. As he does so, his lyrics of urban loneliness sound less honest. To Smith it seems less about feeling an emotion and more about staging that emotion and his band do little justice to some tremendous songs.