Editors are one of those bands that you almost hope never quite make it to rock god status. There's an intensity about their sound that doesn't seem like it'll sit well with sell-out stadium tours and huge entourages.
Editors do what they do really well, and that's perform tight indie rock, with clever, thought provoking lyrics.And that's exactly what they did in a sunny but increasingly chilly Meadowbank on Sunday evening . No histrionics, no high drama, just a really well put together, controlled set.
With the obvious exception of Tom's eyebrows, which seem to have a life of their own and Ed's drumming, where he did rather seem to be counting out loud too - slightly disconcerting.
Interestingly, given the acoustic limitations of the venue (sorry Meadowbank, but thanks for having us), Tom's voice seemed altogether bigger than it does on record, which did no harm to the energetic versions of Blood, Munich and the beautiful, haunting Smokers outside the hospital doors - definitely the highlight of the set.
So, Editors - keep doing what you do, and come back and see us soon.
And then it was time to Go, Johnny, Go. Hot on the heels of headline sets at Reading & Leeds, Mr Borrell and the boys came on through a blaze of flashing lights on stage, to a huge cheer and lots of manic leaping around from the crowd, who were clearly expecting great things from this Anglo-Swedish quartet. It was certainly an energetic beginning, with tracks such as In the morning and Golden touch getting the performance off to blistering start and keeping the crowd up and bouncing.
Razorlight are about upbeat, up front indie rock. Their sound is both sharp and melodic, with some lovely quirky riffs and rhythms. Carl, Bjorn and Andy on bass, guitar and drums respectively, seem to be content to play second fiddle (or indeed, bass, guitar and drums) to Johnny B, and Sunday's performance was tight and slick, as they ran through most of the track listings from the bands two albums, Up all night and the eponymously titled Razorlight. That's right, just the two albums. And whilst these are definitely both great albums, it's fair to say that new material from the band would be more than welcome.
The main set ticked all the musical boxes, with the high octane sounds of tracks such as VICE, Before I fall to pieces and Rock and roll lies, interspersed with gentler performances of Who needs love, Los Angeles waltz and, of course, America. After a slightly indulgent rendition of Funeral blues, accompanied by a string quartet, the band finished on a high with full throttle versions of Stumble and fall and Somewhere else, to send the crowd home happy.
With his trademark skinny white jeans and low cut black t-shirt, Johnny Borrell is certainly one of the most distinctive frontmen currently performing. It seems to have become fashionable to knock Johnny, who has admittedly made some pretty outrageous claims about Razorlight's place in rock & roll history, but he has got definite stage presence. That said, a little more interaction with the crowd might help win a few more people over - maybe a bit less Jim Morrison and a bit more Dave Grohl, Johnny?
Whatever else anyone wants to say about this gig or any of the other T on the Fringe acts we've been lucky enough to have performing here during this festival, one thing much surely be clear - Edinburgh needs - and deserves - a really good venue for live music.
© Faye Gibb, 27 August 2007. First published at www.Edinburghguide.com