We have been after Editors for a while. Since we started filming sessions the Birmingham-based band has been around in Vienna for several times, playing shows in support of their first two albums „The Back Room“ and „An End Has A Start“. The venues got bigger with time passing by, but the answer to our requests stayed the same: „No, sorry.“ All the more surprising was it, when we got a message that this time, in late November, singer Tom Smith – knowing that he had turned down our requests a few times – wanted to give it a try. So we meet him backstage at the Gasometer venue in the afternoon before the show, he grabs the acoustic guitar and we head out quickly in order to catch the last snatches of sunshine. Without success, obviously, as the sun disappears behind some clouds just as Tom sings a few lines from Bob Dylan’s „Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right“. „There goes your light“, he says smilingly, „the clouds don’t give a fuck, aren’t they?“ Probably not, but Tom – standing just next to a Gasometer tower – still has a nice view over the outskirts of Wien-Simmering as he starts into an atmospheric acoustic version of the Editors hit single „Papillon“.
With a height of about 70 metres the four Gasometer towers are visible from afar. Although they are a bit out of Vienna’s centre in the 11th district, the sight attracts numerous tourists nowadays, and especially those who have an interest in architecture. The cylindric towers were built from 1896 to 1899 and have served as huge gas tanks – each capable of holding 90,000 cubic metres of gas – for more than 80 years. With natural gas becoming more and more important, the Gasometer towers became useless and were closed in 1984. The closedown marked the beginning of a long discussion about the future utilization of the buildings. During the following years the towers have seen Gazometer raves happening, exhibitions taking place and even the shooting of some sequences of the James Bond movie „The Living Daylights“. In 2001, however, revitalization was finished. Each tower was designed by another architect (Jean Nouvel, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Manfred Wehdorn, Wilhelm Holzbauer). With the exception of tower B – where a shield-like building was added – the towers kept their old facade, whereas the interior is completely new. Apart from flats, the Gasometer towers now feature a concert hall, a cinema, a shopping mall and a students’ dormitory.