Tom Smith: Article & Image Published w/ Harp Magazine
Toronto, ON Canada
January 22, 2008
by April S. Engram
Waiting to see The Editors for my first time, I patiently stood in line for 20 minutes—not so smartly, wearing canvas Converse—in the freezing -4 Celsius, Toronto cold and snow. At precisely the moment when I was positive I was about to lose my appendages, the doors finally opened, and I hurried inside past the ticket box to claim my tickets and photo pass from security—only to learn that the tickets were indeed at the kiosk… outside. Back into the cold I went to endure another lengthy frostbitten wait. By the time I finally entered the Kool Haus venue I was tempted to take a good slug of scotch just to warm my blood (and I’m not even a drinker).
Nevertheless, all was fine; I would see The Editors, as would my guest—my mother, who has been singing Editors songs for weeks in anticipation of seeing her new favorite band. And even though the oversexed Louis XIV and the energetic Hot Hot Heat were also on the bill as opening acts, The Editors genuinely stole the show.
Supporting their sophomore release An End Has a Start, singer/guitarist Tom Smith, lead guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, bassist Russell Leetch and drummer Ed Lay were all excellent and practically rendered their album a cheap imitation: live from the concert stage is most definitely the best way to absorb this band’s songs. With their piercing, wailing guitar, hypnotic, bouncy drums and punchy bass mixed with Smith’s dark vocals, the UK four-piece kept the crowd dancing from beginning to end; the band’s formula quickly became familiar, and feel-good—brooding lyrics mixed with high-adrenaline music.
Even slower paced songs such as “Spiders” and “The Racing Rats” were crowd favorites as many sang along with Smith. He’s a brilliant front man, climbing his piano and reaching outward towards the stars and at the crowd, embracing his guitar and singing his heart out. It was surprising he hadn’t lost his voice yet on this North American tour. Indeed, as Smith ended one song with a long and powerful note, never losing his breath, the crowd roared and I heard someone next to me shout to their companion, “Oh man, that voice!”
Melding together songs from debut album The Back Room as well as the new record, The Editors also performed fan favorites “Bullets,” “All Sparks,” “Blood” and “Munich.” After a solid hour of performing, Smith and crew bid the crowd farewell, but with nonstop applauding and cheering, they were quickly back onstage for an encore. The band leapt into the first of three more songs, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (my mother turned to me in delight—they didn’t forget to play her favorite song after all). Smith gave mention to Louis IVX and Hot Hot Heat and stated, “If you didn’t come to see us tonight, thank you for sticking around, hope you’ve had a good time,” then after a quick thank-you to the audience, The Editors were officially done for the night.
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