Amy Gwinnett catches indie rock band Spector at Heaven and lets us know what she thinks
“If we were the kinds of guys who could catch shirts”, jokes Fred Macpherson, lead singer of Spector, arms wind-milling as he tries to keep hold of the sweaty fabric, “we wouldn’t have written these songs”. That’s Spector, a band for the people not smooth enough to catch; a band that turns this into something triumphant. Before Fred and co. take to the stage to exercise their outsider charm, there is support in the way of Spring King, a sprightly young indie band with a slew of bouncy and catchy hits in waiting. Their problem is how eager they are to please and their constant banter carries an unseemly hint of desperation – they could do with being a bit more aloof.
Spector, when they emerge to a stage set with melodramatic blinding lights and smoke, keep it short and launch into ‘Lately It’s You’ from recent second album Moth Boys without preamble. The four-year wait between Spector albums one and two means Fred can, without irony, introduce songs like ‘Never Fade Away’ as an old one (and what an old one it is) and genuinely produce a nostalgic tug. It’s a slow-burning, heart-swelling gem of a song that rises to a glorious crescendo and has the entirety of Heaven jumping up and down in unison. The old songs and the new blend together seamlessly, from the phone torches aloft buzz of ‘Bad Boyfriend’ and the new romantic sway of ‘Decade of Decay’, to the operatic ‘Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End’ (we all pretend it isn’t a Thursday night) and the pop sheen of ‘Celestine’. It’s a sweaty, intimate gig, the kind where every song starts to sound like it should be at number one.
Fred’s hair has been on tour too long and is unkempt, somehow managing to be both frizzy and greasy in the awful bunches he’s tied it in – yet he still charms. During ‘Chevy Thunder’ he offers stern instructions for the crowd to split into two halves, forming a corridor that he attempts to saunter down (quickly foiled by the fawning crowd) while singing the middle-eight, before clambering back on stage and ringing every drop of anticipation out of the lingering pause – the chorus kicks in again and the two sides run ecstatically at each other. They end with ‘All The Sad Young Men’, a song Fred says was written for a venue just like Heaven – for a night like tonight – and we can’t help but agree. The blaring refrain sings “I don’t want to make love, I don’t want to make plans” and rings through the venue, closing the concert beautifully, a sense of unity encapsulating the whole crowd.
Featured image credit: Spector