One of life’s certainties is that death comes to us all. If you’ve heard the latest album from British rockers Editors, you may start believing that not only is death unavoidable but that the Grim Reaper shadows our every step. While there is no denying ‘An End Has a Start’ has more than a whiff of the morose about it, the Birmingham four-piece shouldn’t be dismissed as morbid pseudo-Goths.
On closer inspection, many of the songs on the band’s follow-up to 2005’s debut ‘The Back Room’ are less about rushing to meet the void and more about embracing life while we have it, the embodiment of which can be seen in their gloom-free live shows. “There’s nothing morbid about our shows, absolutely not,” drummer Ed Lay told The Bulletin. “In fact, so far on this campaign our performances have been as boisterous and as lively as we have ever been. It’s about confidence, and with this album, we feel more confident about every
aspect of our live shows.”
The band’s dynamic concerts and the slow-burning success of ‘The Back Room’ have helped Editors make a measured transition from a brooding and interesting support act in to the Premier League of British rock groups. Despite their elevation to the A-list back in the UK, European audiences are only now fully beginning to appreciate Editors after having their interest piqued by the clutch of choppy, guitar-driven singles from the debut album and their first few energetic forays onto the international tour circuit. However, the band feels that spreading the word is an important part of what Editors are about. “It’s important to have the desire to tour in places that may be outside our comfort zone,” said Ed Lay. “We never want to just turn up, plug in and play. When we begin every show, we want to turn it into more of an event than rock concert. If there is a moment that every member of an attentive audience can say moved them, surprised and excited them, we will have played a good show.”
Just as the small clubs have given way to more cavernous venues in their home country, the spiky urgency which punctuated ‘The Back Room’ has grown into an expansive and sweeping sound capable of enthralling arenas and stadiums. The new songs have been well-received on the European summer festival circuit and now epic tunes like ‘When Anger Shows,’ ‘Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors’ and the new album’s title track get to stretch their muscles in more intimate environments on the continent.
“We all enjoy playing club shows, so it really doesn’t matter where our songs would be most suited,” the drummer added. “There are grand moments on the album, but we don’t need massive arenas to create the intensity we need in the music onstage.
“We are a very ambitious group, and as long as we don’t compromise our performance we will step down to smaller venues. It was a huge privilege to play Glastonbury and the other festivals this summer, but it is equally exciting and rewarding touring the world.”