¡Forward Russia! and The ModernEdit this event
When a bloke wearing little more than a top hat, knee high boots and a touch too much rouge on his face clambers on stage to introduce The Modern, a feeling of wrong place/wrong time envelopes the room as the Rocky Horror Picture Show is taken back to 1940s Berlin and it's celebrated cabaret. Fortunately, normality ensues and what you actually get is a hybrid of Roxy Music's more experimental phase (in 1973 synths were considered to be something from outer space!) and 80s fashionista troupe Propaganda.
Naturally, all eyes are on singer Emma Cooke, potentially a Madonna for the electroclash'n'disco biscuits generation, and The Modern's ethos is summed up perfectly when Ms Cooke and fellow vocalist Nathan Cooper coo "Something borrowed, something new..." over and over again throughout the epic 'Discotheque Francais'. Contrived? Maybe, but it sure as hell beats watching four blokes in "R.I.P. Kurt" t-shirts churning out the same old tired riffs.
Which brings us nicely on to a band who probably wouldn't know where to find the word "contrived" if you made them read a copy of the Oxford Dictionary every day for a year. iForward, Russia! have certainly grown in stature since their last visit here, with frontman Tom even finding the time to engage in mini-conversation with the front row in between songs. A stage invasion ensues during 'Nine' while 'Thirteen' and 'Fourteen' are the arch nemesis of acoustic melancholia, each one sounding like a lubricated outtake from XTC's 'Drums And Wires' and The Cure's 'Boys Don't Cry' respectively.
And as for the bloke at the front who stood still throughout iForward, Russia!'s set, you are James Blunt.
And so we move swiftly onto the main course. If any band has risen from the brink of obscurity to national heroes in double quick time, then Birmingham's Editors must be the self-appointed flag bearers for any disheartened musician out there who's been plugging away for years without recognition. Current darlings of the pseudo-intelligent sector of the music press and seemingly everyone's favourite new band, the fact that the "Sold Out" sign went up weeks ago suggests that this will be the last time you'll see Editors playing in a venue this size for a while. And boy, do they milk it for all it's worth!
With the majority of the set taken from their debut album 'The Back Room' - released yesterday - it's a case of compare and contrast the way these songs have developed over the past few months. Indeed, Editors are fast becoming Nottingham's favourite house band, as they're scheduled to play here again in September - their fourth visit to the city in little over four months - but the fact that everyone joins in - no drowns out - with frontman Tom Smith's every last word suggests they've already converted many of rock city's traditional dwellers to their faith. 'Munich' and 'Lights' are delivered with such gusto that Smith manages to break a guitar string during each of them, while 'Camera' and 'Fall' are simply sublime, and infinitely superior to their muted recorded versions. Equally as pleasing is the rare run-out given to long lost b-side 'You Are Fading' while the blistering finale of 'Fingers In The Factories' almost lifts the roof off the Social.
Cynics may argue that these Editors may not be around in 12 months time, but where the here and the now are concerned, there aren't many better ways to spend a Tuesday night than in their company.
- Ten Years Of Camden Crawl: Then and Now
- Win: Constellations festival tickets + Leeds goodie bag!
- Leeds Day: 10 Years in... Leeds - Whiskas' Mixtape
- Leeds Day: Eating your way around Leeds
- In Photos: ¡Forward Russia! & Rolo Tomassi @ Brainwash Festival
- Get Brainwash'ed in Leeds this weekend
- Pulled Across The UK: Leeds rockers release debut single, hit the road
- iForward, Russia! announce last show... for now?