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Live: Spector

19 October 15 words: Jamie Barlow
The band played the Rescue Rooms in support of their second album Moth Boys
Spector live at the Rescue Rooms

Spector on stage at the Rescue Rooms. photo: Jamie Barlow

Frontman Fred Macpherson stood fist-aloft like Freddie Mercury, a celebratory triumph on stage with apparent joy writ across his face, as he watched his band’s final song – an encore of All The Sad Young Men, a number about life’s discontentment - result, ironically, in an extremely satisfied Nottingham audience who knew they had witnessed something quite special.

The band took to Twitter after the gig to say: “Notts, think that might’ve been the best yet y’know”, and the appreciation from all those who attended was mutual. The band are quintessentially indie; but with the brooding and lugubrious nature of Macpherson’s voice and the synths of the group’s newest material, you feel you are watching a cross between The Cure and Joy Division, which demands a specialist audience – and how they found it.

It immediately became noticeable that Macpherson was hell-bent on putting on a show for the near-full Rescue Rooms’ contingent to remember. Opening with the pulsating synths of Lately It’s You, the frontman won over his onlookers immediately, as he analysed his already volatile fans.

Macpherson is not just singer, he is a showman, but whereas many try too hard and inevitably fail, Macpherson nailed it – I compare his dry humour to that of Morrissey, and his passion and enthusiasm to glam-rock specialist, Brandon Flowers. “That’s the highest percentage of lyrics known by any audience, so it’s a valiant effort to see so many of you reaching for the high notes. I can’t do it, but you’re even worse”, he jokes, after leading a rapturous singalong to Bad Boyfriend which is met with laughter. The paradox - Macpherson created humour and communal ecstasy from the darkest of lyrics.

The dynamic of new and older tracks was perfect; the band’s Britpop-derived indie anthems Twenty Nothing and Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End, added uplift to the performance and stoked the crowd’s fire for the inferno of an end. Spector climaxed in a two-pronged attack of Chevy Thunder and Never Fade Away, before the night-defining encore.

Macpherson was spiritual; the singer’s long hair made him a Jesus-look-a-like as he jumped into his adoring pit of disciples - who ascended him in the air and duly worshipped, revving Chevy Thunder to the max. The baying audience got their encore, the only melancholy of All The Sad Young Men proving to be the band’s last song.

Macpherson was resurrected back on stage in the arms of synth guitarist, Jed Cullen to preach his last tune, before raising his fist in the air – he delivered.

Spector performed at the Rescue Rooms on Thursday 15 October 2015.

Spector website

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