Three piece Victories At Sea play a very brief set (they have yet to release a full album), with current single and hugely danceable ‘Up’ getting a decent response from a half full room. Some nice atmospheric keyboards and a slight U2 guitar sound to ‘No Escape’ mean they could be one to watch.
Editors kick off their tour in the best mopped venue in Belfast, and in keeping with the new album (which had just entered the UK charts at number 5), opened with the atmospheric ‘No Harm’, Tom’s vocals switching between his more traditional dark and brooding and more recently discovered falsetto. ‘Sugar‘ from 2013’s less well received ‘The Weight Of Your Love’ quickly follows, the band leaving little room for formalities or audience engagement. Another new song ‘Life Is A Fear’ perfectly showcases the band’s (now established) electronic sound.
The first appearance of a song from their debut album ‘Blood‘ inevitably gains the biggest response so far, understandably as it has a huge chorus and an impossibly catchy riff running throughout it. ‘An End Has A Start’, the title track from the second album gains a similarly impressive reaction and singalong from the Friday night audience, followed by the highlight from the current album ‘Forgiveness‘. It’s apparent that a large portion of the near sell out crowd are already familiar with the new album (A small portion also refuse to stop talking loudly throughout and for much of the set, as seems to be the norm at gigs these days). The song itself is held together with a sublime bassline, is more reminiscent of the earlier albums and absolutely epic.
The live debut of the Jimmy Somerville sounding ‘Our Love’ leads into one of many highlight the throbbing ‘Eat Raw Meat=Blood Drool” and showcases the dramatic change in Tom Smith’s vocal range over the years, set against a simplistic light show. He remains a mesmerising frontman, his arms seem disjointed from the rest of his body, whilst his habit for climbing pianos hasn’t evaporated with age.
‘Salvation‘ is a slow paced, with an eerie minimalist sound-Smith’s dark vocals sitting alongside strings to quite stunning effect. A solo version of ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ is stunning, the temptation to shush the people behind almost overwhelming. ‘All The Kings‘ sounds huge in a live atmosphere, although a reworking of ‘Nothing‘ seems a bit of an afterthought. The main set surprisingly ends with ‘Munich‘, and a great crowd response. Nothing more than a polite ‘Thank you” is uttered until an hour into the set and even then it’s the encore before Smith fully acknowledges the crowd or his destination.
The band return to blast out a distinctly different version of ‘Ocean Of Night’, already a crowd favourite, the highlight of a great set and with an amazing drum performance from Ed Lay. ‘Papillon‘ nearly blows the roof off the venue, before future anthem ‘Marching Orders’ seems like a bold but understandable way to finish off. Certainly a band who are happy to let the music do the talking. Ross Scott, GiggingNI.com