I’ve seen Spector about six or seven times over the last few years since first seeing them at the Camden crawl. Originally a young high energy band with a retro feel both musically and visual they were characterised by played 40-45 minute sets with no encores. I also remember a lot of intra song anecdotes (to make up for the fact they had one album of songs) in the beginning. They have maintained that high energy and from this night out in Scala still have some hard-core adoring fans who play off the bands energy.
It was a hot night due to being the fact that we seem to be experiencing summer currently and it was very sweaty from the start of the support acts, as a big proportion of the audience turned up early.
Support came from two acts I’ve seen before. Alan Powers started proceedings. Not everyone’s cup of tea his singer/songwriter/troubadour demeanour can be a bit marmite. For those of us who have a long musical history it’s great to have some different texture. Alan has a dry sense of humour singing songs of love and loss (more loss actually) but had the audience on his side from the off. He told a couple of funny anecdotes which I don’t intend to spoil by précising (clearly you had to be there) and also if you see him it will be fresh. His stage personality is similar to the fictional character of Steve Coogan, DJ Alan Partridge .Hope he doesn’t take that as an insult as it’s not intended to be. Is the first name a coincidence? Musically he had brought along a keyboard this time with some nice samba and bosanova rhythms programmed for backing. Definitely worth seeing with a sense of humour throughout.
Second support were Rhythm method who I have written about before. Again an act that brings a smile to your face. Two guys( female vocalist seems to have gone) they sound a little like a mixture of The Streets/Ian Dury/ with elements of Madness with a funky musical foundation mixed with a soup san of social comment. I did just read that they grew up on Madness and the streets has produced their last single so there you have some of the influences nailed down. They have also launched their own England football song for the World Cup which had elements of New Orders England song “World in Motion”.
Spector came on to great anticipation. The tour is to highlight the latest EP, “Untitled in D” which on a first listen seems to be a return to the Spector sound of the first album and moving away from the development witnessed on” Moth Boys”. As a live act this change of emphasis makes sense since the biggest audience reaction was for the songs from the first album such as “Twenty Nothing” and “Chevy Thunder” with the Wurlitzer organ sound. In terms of the set list it sounded like they were playing most of the first album. However the actual set list was five songs from each album plus the tracks from the EP.
Set list for Spector 24/5/2018.
Grey Shirt & Tie
Decade of Decay
Untitled in D
Fine Not Fine
Cocktail Party / Heads Interlude
Never Fade Away
Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End
All The Sad Young Men
Spector gave a solid performance with as previously mentioned an enthusiastic crowd ratcheting up the energy levels. I think they have been going since 2011 so not sure they can make the breakthrough to the big time (if that’s what they want) but they have a loyal following with quite a large demographic range. They also seem like they are going back to basics musically so it will be interesting to see if the new material is received with some of the reverence shown to the first album moving forward. I need to listen a few more times.