Fan Blog: Bassist Leetch - Editors and Villa on the right road!
Editors founder member Russell Leetch on the band and his beloved claret and blues.
5th Sep 2013
Fan Blog: Bassist Leetch - Editors and Villa on the right road!


Birmingham band Editors formed in 2002 - and have gone on to achieve huge success. They have released four top albums and a series of superb singles - such as Munich - which have earned them critical acclaim. They have consistency enjoyed sold-out tours and headlined huge festivals, such as Glastonbury and Reading, with their dark indie-rock style. Bassist Russell Leetch is a big Villa fan and blogs here about the group's current set-up and his claret and blue admiration.

It occurs to me with my two big loves that music and football aren't too dissimilar.

Editors have had a tough time of late with our guitarist Chris Urbanowicz leaving.

We tried to continue the original line-up but in all truth it had run its course. We had to make a decision and we decided to carry on with different members. It's been a positive move and Editors are in a good place now.

Our new single Formaldehyde has had good feedback. It's been great. And the album 'The Weight of Your Love' has been received well too.

We've been away for a little while so for people to now be so enthusiastic about our new work is great. It's been fun doing it all again.

In terms of the album, it's the most Top 10s we've had across Europe and it's been No.1 in Belgium and Holland so that's been good-going.

The ups and downs have been the same with Villa.

You can't always have it going the right way. Sometimes you need a period where you rebuild. The future looks good and promising for Editors - and it's the same for Villa.

It was a tough couple of seasons but now we've come through that and there's real positivity for the future.

Paul Lambert's first campaign was hard but I was fully supportive. I absolutely love what he's trying to do. It's exciting again. There were a few years when it wasn't too stirring watching Villa. We struggled.

I know we've had ups and downs and that can happen but now there's an air of expectancy about the place when you go down to watch a match. You feel like you're going to be entertained.

I'm looking forward to the lads pushing on. We've got some top players playing top football.

Fabian Delph has come on a treat. He wriggles out of situations somehow? You think he's going to lose the ball but he creates the space to get through. He works really hard also.

Benteke

With Christian Benteke we have the No.1 monster! He's been brilliant.

I watched him in the last home game of the previous season - Villa v Chelsea - we were sitting in the Trinity. He picked up the ball and went all the way through. I thought 'this guy is pure class.'

I see another link with music and football too. I always believe that a band is only as a good as the people in it - the togetherness - and the way you play as a group.

Paul Lambert keeps using these themes when he talks about Villa.

He's not got any big-time charlies and is more concerned about the squad than individuals in it.

I reckon that approach - with the same players getting to know each other in the coming seasons - will see us push on big-time as a club.

For your background, I have been a long-time supporting Villa.

It's been a constant in my life, along my brother Matthew since we were kids.

It all started with my auntie Linda. She bought me Villa shirts from an early age. She decided for me!! My parents weren't really into football so she took us - me and my bro - under her wing. She was determined to make us follow the claret and blue.

We're still strong supporters. We will be in the Holte End for the Newcastle game no doubt. We'll have a few pints before and after the game and totally immerse ourselves in claret and blue maters.

In the early years, I had to force my dad to go. The first game I went to was 3-2 to Villa against Tottenham from 1991. I missed all three of our goals - a hat-trick from David Platt - because I kept having to go to the loo. We only saw the Spurs ones. It should have been a memorable match but we missed the best bits!

I had a better time of it for the first game of this season, though!

We obviously played Arsenal and our lead singer Tom Smith is a massive Gooner.

We were headlining the Lowlands Festival in Holland that evening. Me and Tom went to an Irish Pub in Amsterdam to watch the game. I was really excited for the show after that result. He wasn't so buoyant! I hammered him for that.

Not as much as I hammer our manager though, Rob Whittaker.

Unfortunately he's a Bluenose. Unfortunate for him of course! When he asked me to write this blog for the website, he couldn't bring himself to use the name Villa in the email to me, he had to use asterisks instead. I gave him plenty of stick and banter for that. I always just think if you're a Birmingham City fan, you're in a constant state of feeling sorry for yourself! You're unbelievably jealous of the Villa too, plain and simple.

As you can tell, football is still a big part of my life.

It's never formed part of the songwriting process - I've never considered Villa themes for the songs - but I'm always interested in how the team are doing, even when I'm heading around the world with Editors as I am at the moment.

We're on a UK and European Tour but we're all keeping an eye out for the football.

When you're away, it's nice to have some comfort from the beautiful game on Saturdays and Sundays.

Villa are certainly giving me that at the moment - and long may it continue!

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