South Africa really seems to be hitting the jackpot in terms of number of international bands coming to visit in 2014, and with so many of them being indie, my little heart is quite happy (and my bank account quite empty)! When I heard that Editors would be playing at Oppi Koppi, I was mostly excited, but also a little lacking in enthusiasm to watch them at a festival – not always the best setting to see a favourite band for the first time. And then one of the favourites came up with the idea of going to watch their Cape Town show instead. Genius. This is why I keep him around.
One Night in Cape Town was held at the Good Hope Centre, which is basically an exhibition hall, and somewhat lacking in amazing acoustics. Sadly, we missed the first band, an Israeli act named Tatran – seriously, who starts a show at 18:00 on a week night? Shadowclub was up next, and we arrived about two songs into their set. I must just note that in this instance, I was glad I acceded to the favourite’s insistence on only ever booking Golden Circle, because it meant we got reserved parking instead of having to scrounge for parking in the street, and we pretty much jumped the queue to get in. Winning. Shadowclub was as fantastic as always, playing their distinctive brand of bluesy rock. And there was none of this half sound, half lights nonsense you so often get for the local band supporting an international show. Or so we thought.
Much to my surprise (and chagrin, I will admit), Editors were not the headline act, and took to the stage after Shadowclub. I was beyond excited to see them! My love for them hit obsession level when they released their second album, An End Has a Start in 2007 and that album can often be found on high rotation in the car disco. Indeed, the song Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors from that album became somewhat anthemic for me when a dear friend died last year, with its line “We’ve all been changed from what we were, our broken hearts left smashed on the floor…”, so yes, excitement and emotion were running high. I even refused to drink anything prior to them playing so that I wouldn’t have to pee. Commitment.
It’s easy to be disappointed when you have built something up in your head so much, but I was not let down by my beloved Editors in the slightest. Tom Smith is sublime on stage, a study in intense emotion as he puts his all into his beautiful lyrics. The sound engineers turned the sound that was at the perfect decibel level for Shadowclub way up, so the only thing marring this gorgeous performance was that it was actually too loud. Smith’s vocals were lost in the noise at times but overall, it was still phenomenal. I was such a happy little panda – they played almost all my favourites and then some, and I would have been content to keep singing along and dancing to Editors for the rest of the night. Alas, they only played for about 45 minutes, but what a wonderful 45 minutes it was. Totally worth a trip to Cape Town!
Quite frankly, I could have happily floated home on my Editors cloud right then, but we figured we should stay for the headline act, Wolfmother. I thought I didn’t know the band at all, but then heard a couple of songs and realised I had indeed heard them on the radio before. We didn’t stay for their whole set, but from what I saw they are just way too much guitar wank for my taste. Meh. And the sound engineers had cranked it up again so it was LOUD guitar wank coupled with old-school wailing. So not my thing. But the rest of the crowd was lapping it up, so I bow to their superior knowledge. I wasn’t sad to leave though.
Editors’ fourth album, The Weight of Your Love, was released recently and it is as beautiful and riveting as An End Has a Start. You should absolutely get it. Nearly two weeks later, and I’m still on a little bit of a high from having seen them, and I don’t plan on coming down any time soon.