Live review: Editors at the O2 Academy, Newcastle

Editors frontman Tom Smith in Newcastle on Tuesday. Photo: Katy Blackwood.
Editors frontman Tom Smith in Newcastle on Tuesday. Photo: Katy Blackwood.

First, do no harm, doctors have been told since the days of the ancient Greek medical pioneer Hippocrates, and Editors are clearly heeding the same advice.

Though not in the business of healing, first, they did No Harm at their show at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Tuesday night.

The song, a slow-paced, moody number put out as taster for their current album, made for a bit of a downbeat start to their gig, but they had plenty of more uptempo material to liven things up afterwards over the course of a set lasting about an hour and three quarters.

No Harm was one of seven songs they played from their current album, In Dream, their fifth, accounting for a third of a fine 21-song set.

Other songs from the album, down to No 44 last Friday after peaking at No 5 the week before, featured were All the Kings, Forgiveness, Life is a Fear and Salvation, as well as two of their three encores, Ocean of Night and Marching Orders.

Their other encore, Papillon, their last UK top 30 single back in 2009, was given one of the warmest welcomes of the night by a decent-sized crowd, along, as was to be expected, with the four songs they played from their 2005 debut album, The Back Room – Bullets, Blood, All Sparks and set closer Munich.

Four songs from their previous album, 2013’s The Weight of Your Love – Sugar, Formaldehyde, Nothing and A Ton of Love – were also given a deservedly-enthusiastic reception.

The highlight of the night, though, was frontman Tom Smith’s solo acoustic version of their biggest hit, 2007’s Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors.

The proverbial pin could have been heard dropping as the 34-year-old, now looking more like a lookalike for the actor Matthew Macfadyen than ever, thanks to a pair of Ripper Street-style sideburns, delivered an impassioned version of the No 7 single completely free of the muffled vocal sound afflicting other parts of the set.

A couple more acoustic numbers wouldn’t have gone amiss at all.

Support act the Twilight Sad were also on top form, contributing as good a warm-up set as I’ve seen for a long while.