Inside many a brooding indie band, there is an aspiring stadium rock outfit eager to burst forth and do a Coldplay. Editors – for so long the poor man’s Interpol (who, in turn, are the poor man’s Joy Division) – have been travelling in this direction for some time, and they have the empty gestures and increasingly expensive lightshow as badges of their ambition.
An interesting but underdeveloped moody start, with stately Vangelis-like keyboards and some delicate cooing from frontman Tom Smith gave way to a set of manicured arena angst rock, which was superficially impressive especially when punctuated by a lavish strobe and spotlight display, but built on flimsy foundations.
Some of these big-for-the-sake-of-big tracks were blessed with more stomping momentum than others. Fans seized on these moments and worked themselves into a tizzy as Editors spun the illusion of urgency over mild-mannered melodies. Smith made a wired show of it too, like an animal whose only defence against being eaten alive by stronger beasts is to make itself look larger than it really is.
There was a welcome move away from indie worthiness into the more entertaining realm of pomp rock during one booming pseudo-gothic chant, and a brazen bash at U2 rocker territory with A Ton Of Love.
Smith applied a coating of melodrama to the banal premise of Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors during a brief solo acoustic stint before they returned to the safe indie haven of early hit Munich – in retrospect, still one of their strongest hooks.