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LIVE: Editors / Coach Party – Liverpool O2 Academy, 28/02/2024

It was July 2005, when I first saw Editors but remember it like it was last week. It was a blistering show at the Liverpool Barfly ahead of the release of their classic debut album The Back Room.

And ever since then, like most bands of that era that are still an active proposition, they’ve had peaks and troughs where a lot of people (including myself) have dipped in and out of enjoying some of their seven studio albums more than others, even though each one has hit the Top 10 in the charts.

The latest was 2022’s fiercely synth-based banger EBM and they are now back in Liverpool to entertain a sold-out-long-ago O2 Academy.

But before that, is there anything better on an evening like this than a high quality support act? Tonight we are to be treated to the purveyors of one of the best albums of last year which was Killjoy, the debut from the Isle of Wight’s finest (take that, Wet Leg), Coach Party and they’re first up tonight.

Fresh from their recent spell supporting Bombay Bicycle Club in equally decent sized venues, they admit to being in a weird mood tonight after an attempted robbery on the tour van, which could have been so serious for them and the anger they feel from this comes across in the set as they  roar into opener ‘What’s The Point In Life?’

There’s a swaggering ‘All Of My Friends’ amongst others, before they end with ‘All I Want To Do Is Hate’ and a riotous ‘Parasite

It’s hard to believe Killjoy hasn’t seen them go stratospheric already. Hopefully festival slots and album number two will do the trick.

It’s an early start for Editors and at 8:30, all clad in black, they come onto to something of a head-bobbing opening trio of tunes, before upping the pace.

The newer songs from EBM, such as ‘Picturesque’ and ‘Strawberry Lemonade’ are turned into fierce dance numbers. Singer Tom Smith is full of swagger, with the dancing skills of Tim Booth and a look of a young Marti Pellow, albeit with almost no interaction with the crowd.

On a side note, does that lack of interaction annoy people? Paying £35 and not being acknowledged seemed to be a grumbling point on the way out for some.

Not surprisingly, its the older tracks that get the crowd’s hearts beating faster, the likes of ‘Blood’ and ‘Bullets’ from when they were lined up to be the new Coldplay and there’s still hints of that when Smith heads for his keyboards and piano as the set goes on.

And then halfway through, they go and spoil it all with a truly pointless cover of Adamski’sKiller’, a cover which makes no real sense with no context. Thankfully this is quickly forgotten as they start the second half of the set with a stunning ‘No Harm’.

There’s something for everyone tonight – whichever album of theirs is your favourite – and so the constant stream of both singles (The Racing Rats’, ‘An End Has A Start’, the Bunnymen-aping A Ton Of Love’) and various album tracks show a constant high bar of quality and a big shout for the lighting, which is truly stunning and deserving of a much bigger stage than this.

All Sparks’ is an unexpected bonus and when it segues straight into the indie-disco classic ‘Munich’; it’s like that night in the Barfly all over again.

It’s a weak-ish encore compared to what’s gone before, but only because they’ve already played most of what you came to hear, but the closer ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Door’ reminds us that they had two Number One albums when that still meant something.

If you’re one of us that have also dipped in and out then now is the time to get stuck back in. Editors are currently on fine form and there can’t be many other bands with such a strong 100 minutes’ set.

Long may they continue.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.