WORDS DOM GOURLAY / IMAGES PAUL DIXON
Having first emerged in 2004 with incendiary debut single “Bullets”, Editors have gone on to establish themselves as one of the most consistent musical outfits of the 21st century. Since then, they’ve amassed a back catalogue consisting of seven critically acclaimed albums recorded and released while earning a formidable reputation as a live band. Editors continued success is testament to them refusing to stand still or indeed repeating the same formula twice. Instead, they’ve continually challenged both themselves and their audience culminating in last year’s seventh long player ‘EBM’.
So, it’s perhaps no surprise that they’ve chosen another band also constantly evolving to open for them on this tour in The KVB. Although not exactly a new band in the most pedantic sense of the word. The KVB have come a long way since their first EP ‘Into The Night’ introduced them back in 2011. The duo – keyboard player Kat Day and guitarist Nicholas Wood – honed their sound on the psych rock scene and have since become one of the most intense live acts on the UK circuit. Playing to a backdrop of colourful visuals designed by Day, their repertoire makes for an enticing proposition. Reference points include Suicide, The Soft Moon and OMD among others as their combination of guitar and electronic elements makes for a soothing concoction. Newer compositions “Sunrise Over Concrete” and “Unité” off most recent album ‘Unity’ sit comfortably alongside “Always Then”, the title track of their 2012 debut. While former single “World On Fire” – also taken from ‘Unity’ – sets the tone for the set and ultimately ends up stealing the show. Although half an hour isn’t necessarily long enough for The KVB to unleash their full potential, it’s an appetising taster for anyone new to the duo’s wares.
Nottingham has become something of a second home to Editors over the years. Tonight’s sold-out show proving testament to the band’s continued longevity. Having progressed their sound fusing more experimental electronic influences over the past decade, tonight’s setlist acts as a career spanning representation of each stage of the band’s development. Having collaborated with Blanck Mass on last year’s ‘EBM’, it comes as no surprise to see the album heavily represented here, with seven of the record’s nine songs appearing in the setlist.
Opening with “Heart Attack” then “Strawberry Lemonade” off the new record, 2007’s Bones providing the sole interlude to yesteryear before “Karma Climb” reinforces the strength of their most recent long player. “Kiss” and “Strange Intimacy” make welcome appearances towards the tail end of the set while “Silence” picks up the pace once more after Tom Smith’s acoustic segment delivers “Nothing” off 2013’s ‘The Weight Of Your Love’ and “Lights” off 2005’s debut The Back Room in an unfamiliar but soothing style. Returning to ‘EBM’, “Picturesque” sounds assured while a rare outing for “The Boxer” provides a timely reminder of 2009’s album In This Light And On This Evening’s understated greatness.
One thing Editors have in their locker is an array of certified bangers, so unsurprisingly “Blood”, “The Racing Rats” and “Smokers Outside The Hospital” are played to a rapturous fanfare. As are two of the band’s earliest compositions “Fingers In The Factories” and “Bullets”, both of which still sound as fresh as they did back in 2005.
“Violence” and “No Harm” evoke a sense of drama, the former’s brooding intensity providing a perfect gateway into the latter’s defiant lament. While a triumphant run through “An End Has A Start”, “Munich” then “Papillon” tears the roof off Rock City before bringing tonight’s proceedings to a close.
This might be the first night of Editors UK tour, but there certainly weren’t any nerves shown this evening from what has become one of music’s most well oiled machines.
1/ Heart Attack
2/ Strawberry Lemonade
4/ Karma Climb
6/ The Boxer
8/ Fingers in the Factories
16/ The Racing Rats
19/ No Harm
20/ Strange Intimacy