Live Review: Spector (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 28/10/12)

This review of Spector’s 28th October 2012 performance at the Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, was written for CRITICAL WAVE who kindly changed the word ‘wails’ to ‘whales’. Whether that was a mistake or a subliminal attempt to convince readers to donate to a wildlife charity, I am yet to find out. 

To find out whether they have noticed yet, please visit:

Tonight is opened by London-based rock trio LULS. Despite the giggly name, their set is hardly a barrel of laughs. Dripping with reverb and lost in a somewhat sorrowful trance, they are impressive and ones to watch. On the other hand there is Swim Deep, second on the bill, who are far chirpier. However by comparison, their guitar-pop is rather unremarkable and simplistic.

And so Spector take to the stage, sharp-dressed, with their entrance set to Labi Siffre’s ‘(Something Inside) So Strong’. As with the curious clash of emotions between the supports, that slow, calm beauty bears no resemblance to what follows.


“If anyone falls in the mosh pit, don’t bother picking them up. They’re done for.” It’s a bold statement from Spector’s frontman considering he and his cronies are an pop-tinted indie rock band. That said, he won’t rest until a frenzy is whipped up enough to match a metal gig. The show is constant high tempo, high energy and just waiting to be bounced and screamed along to. Right up until the clap-a-thon finale ‘Never Fade Away’, there is barely time to breathe.

“We were told not to bother even coming to Portsmouth, and that you wouldn’t be up for partying on a Monday, but we sold out tonight.”, lead singer Fred Macpherson wails with glee.

As if anyone there hasn’t noticed, as the perpetually piercing screeches of the audience, at a volume normally reserved for boyband entourages, make that pretty clear. The excitement about it being half term suggests that the majority of attendees tonight are in about the same age demographic too. It seems that everybody went by the band’s philosophy: “Every day is like a Friday.”

Failing attempts to teach attendees lyrics to seemingly overlooked album track ‘Grim Reefer’ is a rare sight to behold, as the band’s Jarvis Cocker-style quirky charisma successfully masks such blunders. Aside from this, and the inevitable shortness of tonight’s set, just 11 songs, the band’s newness, having existed since just last year, is disappointing, but certainly intriguing for any aspiring musician toying with start a band. That guitar in the corner shouldn’t be gathering dust. Give it twelve months, and that could be me.

Their debut album, released just weeks ago is entitled Enjoy It While It Lasts, a rather pessimistic statement as they feel that something is coming to a close. In a fast moving industry, bands pop-up and vanish like a Whack-a-Mole. However, if they keep up such joyous chaos and carry on pulling such crowds, they maybe shouldn’t fear for their careers for a while.

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