It’s been a while. I’ve been busy. Mostly growing another person inside me, expelling it and trying to keep it, and it’s older sibling alive. All that is quite time consuming. I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that. I have been to some gigs, and done some other interesting stuff, I have frequently composed blog pieces in my head, but have failed to commit them to the screen. Also when I logged back on to WordPress I found it had undergone a makeover, so that took some getting used to. Anyway, here I am.
Gigs. I saw a few bands since I last wrote. Actually I just checked and it has been yonks since I wrote about a gig. Hmm… Let’s see. I saw Tall Ships at the Art School (good, and getting better) Mystery Jets somewhere….Oran Mor? Oh dear. I can’t remember much about that gig, maybe it wasn’t that good… Frightened Rabbit (band were great, Barrowlands crowd were horrific as usual) and The Airborne Toxic Event (awesome, and I even got a lift home from a family I met there after we waited for aaaaaages to meet some of the band).
Maybe more. That’s all I can remember. However on Tuesday night I saw Editors at the Barrowlands. This has spurred me on to dust off this blog and get my thoughts out there.
I have been ambivalent about Editors recently. Well, for about 4 years since I got In This Light and on This Evening, listened to it a few times and really didn’t like it. I remarked to a friend at the time that it was like Chris (lead guitarist and responsible for a lot the the band’s signature sounds) wasn’t there, and Tom (lead singer) had produced it alone in his bedroom. They dropped from my playlists. Then Chris left. I couldn’t imagine how the band could carry on as Editors without him. But they did. They issued a new album. I didn’t listen. I couldn’t bring myself too. This was a band I had loved for years, who had brought me into contact with so many other bands that I then fell in love with. They mean a lot to me, but it was like they had split up. It wasn’t Editors without Chris, it was a new band.
One day I heard their new single on the radio. Dammit, it was good! I didn’t want to like it. But, ugh, Tom’s voice! All the feelings about the band came flooding back. I felt torn. Then I saw tickets on sale for their tour. Double dammit. I had never seen them live. They have come to Glasgow several times, but each time something has prevented me from going. Should I? I agonised. I had pretty much given up on them, I had mourned their passing. But the chance to see Tom and the rest of the band live, and hear some of the old songs that are such a huge part of my musical experience? I couldn’t resist, I bought a ticket.
I remained torn. When the ticket arrived I felt guilty. I didn’t want to go. Then the rational being inside me won and I thought I should at least go and give them a chance. I had spent good money on the ticket and opportunities for nights out are few and far between these days. I embarked on my bus journey filled with trepidation.
The support was British Sea Power, who I have heard good things about, but unfortunately by the time I had fed the baby, got ready to go and endured the slowest bus journey in history, I missed them. Even with 5 minutes to go I was nervous. What if I hated it? What if some random bloke was pretending to be Chris? What if the Barrowlands crowd were their usual rude, drunken, don’t-care-about-the-music-just-here-for-a-piss-up selves? I got a (non-alcoholic) drink and tried to find a good spot. Barrier felt wrong, but in the middle I’d get crushed/see nothing and at the back I’d be in the middle of the bar highway and chatterboxes. I stayed on the bar side, and found a perch on the raised section quite near the front. Close enough and high enough to get a good view, near enough to the proper fans not to have the experience spoiled but still with an easy escape route should I need it.
They came on. They started with a song I don’t know. As with all songs I didn’t know it could have been new, or it could have been from ITLAOTE. I never got to know that album well enough to recognise the songs. It was good. Tom commanded the stage and his voice was as rich, clear and utterly sexy as it is recorded. They sounded like Editors, but also different. The signature sound was altered. Still recognisable, but new, different. I breathed a sigh of relief, relaxed and immediately knew I was going to enjoy the show.
There was a good mix of old songs and new. The crowd went crazy for the oldies, but were still appreciative of the new ones. The band played pretty much non-stop, Tom said the occasional “Thank you!” and gave us a thumbs up, but otherwise it was back-to-back songs. Chris-replacement-guy was a beardy bloke who pretty much just stood there, did his stuff and got on with it. He played a Telecaster, which endeared him to me somewhat, but I was pleased that he didn’t try to replicate Chris’ sound. The riffs and guitar lines were still there, but modified just enough to make them sound different, but still recognisable. I still regret not seeing Chris play those parts live, but I liked what they did with them. I accepted beardy-guy and almost forgot he was there most of the time. Partly cos he wasn’t in-your-face but mostly, frankly, because I was fixed on Tom. Tom Smith, the ordinary name belies the wonder that is the man who holds it. Gorgeous voice, sexy moves *sighs dreamily*. Ahem, where was I?
Yes, so I had come to accept the new line up, but my side-on view meant that I could only see Tom, Russell and new-beardy-guy. During Racing Rats, some other random dude ran to the front of the stage, guitar in hand, and started rousing the crowd. I was jarred out of my acceptance, “Who the f*ck are you?!?” Then I remembered, they had “replaced” Chris with 2 guys. He must be Chris-replacement-number-2.
They played for a good 90 minutes solid, something I approve of having seen too many bands in recent years come on for 45 minutes then bail. After a short pause they came back to do a decent encore, ending on Papillon, which I was pleased about as I actually liked that one from that album. I was kind of hoping for a slower, maybe a wee acoustic section at some point in the show, but that wasn’t to be, however I can’t complain at nearly 2 hours of non-stop, energetic, live music.
And for once, no idiots ruined my night, almost unheard of at the Barras!
So my faith in Editors has been restored, I am extremely glad I decided to bite the bullet and get a ticket, and FINALLY see these guys (most of them) live, it was a long time coming.
For those of you who don’t know Editors, check them out, and if anyone, like me is a sucker for an acoustic track, this is a must see: