[GIG REVIEW] Spector @ Thekla, Bristol, 13th October 2015

Usually, the first night of a UK tour is one that creates a faint tension in the air, yet has a sense of the unexpected brimming throughout the atmosphere of the venue. Encompassing the feeling of the unknown, the sold-out Bristol Thekla seemed to be inevitably buzzing with enthusiasm, eagerly awaiting for the appearance of London indie-rock band Spector onto the compact stage. Gracing the audience promptly whilst simultaneously receiving a reception of exceptional acclamation, dressed in sleek outfits of black and white, Fred Macpherson and his band launched into their enhanced set-list, ironically opening with the closing track on new ‘Moth Boys’ LP ‘Lately It’s You’.

Armed with atmospheric, eerie synths, ‘Lately It’s You’ was the perfect introductory number for the evening, let alone for the initiation of the UK tour. Accompanied by Fred Macpherson’s flawless lead vocals filled with sentiment, the overall portrayal of the track was precise, ensuring the build-up to the climax bursting with guitars and bass was established in complete effect. Swiftly following with up-beat ‘Don’t Make Me Try,’ the overall adolescent crowd became more animated, echoing back the lyrics with such commitment that there was an impression of familiarity circulating the entire room. Ingenious, anthemic single ‘Stay High’ was next, consisting of a driving drum beat combined with continuous guitar riffs, the instrumentation deliberately established the musicianship of the band. The comprehensive dark comedy embedded in every verse was explicitly evident, with Fred Macpherson ensuring that each lyric was portrayed as heartfelt as possible by connecting with members of the audience constantly.

Nostalgia became apparent as Spector performed hits from their 2012 debut album ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts.’ ‘Celestine’ and ‘Friday Night’ generated immense mosh-pits galore, whilst the compact space became extensively more humid every second. The energy exerted from the band ensured that the crowd maintained their devotion throughout the dynamic tracks. ‘Lay Low’ provided a warm tranquility to the ambience of the area, with Fred’s rich, expressive vocals creating an engaging and purifying sound throughout. The ultimate clarity exerted from this live track was magnificently spine-tingling, with solid refined layers which intricately formed a classic, compelling crescendo towards the finale of the tune.

Expressing their gratitude to the crowd for selling-out the famous Bristol boat venue, Spector undoubtedly exhibited themselves as a band of the people, demonstrating their humility as well as being a band who sing about the realities of contemporary lifestyle which makes them all the more relatable. New track, ‘Bad Boyfriend’ reflects the pains and challenges of the modern generation, encouraging effortless audience participation which overflowed with passion and meaning. Therefore, it was entirely evident at that moment that Spector are a band who ensure that they connect with the entire crowd. Comprising of catchy choruses and unforgettable guitar rhythms ‘Decade of Decay’ provoked a sentiment of unlimited vivacity, with Fred Macpherson bending over into the crowd of screaming girls making captivating eye contact to maintain a brief moment of correspondence. 80’s-inspired track ‘Believe’ was a performance in itself, consisting of electrifying synth sounds and varied colourful lighting the venue felt like it had been transported back in time.

As the set drew to a close, Spector launched into acclaimed fast-moving hit ‘Chevy Thunder.’ Proving to be an ultimate crowd favourite, the guitar-based, powerful track literally caused the boat to rock. The atmosphere was thrilling, and was without a doubt a memorable moment, the entire audience chanting, dancing, there was no stopping this exhilarating moment. Culminating with well-known tune ‘Never Fade Away,’ Fred encouraged the venue to join him in keeping the rhythm whilst he embellished the drum beat with his meaningful lyrics and vocal tones. Spector continued to present themselves as an expressive band who were most definitely eloquent in all aspects of this spirited track.

When Spector promptly exited the stage after performing the two old favourites, chants and screams flooded the compact space, encouraging a predictable encore to take place. ‘Grey Shirt and Tie’ proved to be the affectionate detail it was intended for, triggering a sense of reminiscence as well as slight melancholy yet still coated in a layer of elation, therefore smiles still resonated all around. ‘Moth Boys’ opener ‘All The Sad Young Men’ was the ultimate perfect ending to Spector’s sensational set. Incorporating melodious verses with an incredibly memorable chorus, euphoria and ecstasy bounced round the Thekla while Spector gave the performance their all. Fred’s vibrant, resonant vocals conveyed passion as well as commitment to the tune which aided in the overall feeling of a spellbinding atmosphere.

Initiating the first ‘Moth Boys’ tour with an extremely powerful and meaningful set, it is without a doubt that Spector are on track for exceptional things to come. Proving to be a compelling live band, as well as clever musicians, it is no wonder that they connect so well with the audience. Spector’s sound is one full of great clarity and perfection which is very hard to accomplish these days. Therefore, one shouldn’t miss them on their current intimate UK tour and catch this remarkably talented band while one can!

Check out the tour dates below:

Wed October 14 2015 - BIRMINGHAM Institute Library
Thu October 15 2015 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
Sat October 17 2015 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Sun October 18 2015 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Tue October 20 2015 - EDINBURGH Electric Circus
Wed October 21 2015 - GLASGOW King Tuts
Thu October 22 2015 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy2 Liverpool
Sat October 24 2015 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Sun October 25 2015 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Tue October 27 2015 - BRIGHTON Patterns (formerly Audio)
Wed October 28 2015 - OXFORD O2 Academy2 Oxford
Thu October 29 2015 - LONDON Heaven