Live Review: Spector


Oval Space, London, 13 November 2019

Words and Photos by Amy Butcher

Before I start my review for what turned into my favourite gig of 2019 so far, I must admit I had very little knowledge of how Spector are as a live band. Having listened to their music only recently, I was completely in awe of their ingrained connection to their fans and passion for what they do, which really shone through in their performance.

On Video 2On Video were the first support of the night. The last (and only prior to this gig) time I saw them was in the relatively small Sindercombe Social during Bushstock, so I was intrigued to see what sort of band they were in a bigger venue like Oval Space. They were just as good as I remembered. Tight, powerful drum beats, fast frantic guitar riffs and singer Hass’ gutsy vocals during Past Tense showcased the sheer talent of the London based band.

Talkshow 1The next support act was a band I had been meaning to take in, but never got round to listening to, and boy did I regret it once they started their set. Talkshow are a force to be reckoned with; whether it’s the intense eye contact you receive from singer Harrison, the grinding bass lines, the harsh, impactful drum beats, or the sheer effort they put into each song, as an audience member I was transfixed. Let me tell you, Talkshow is one band to watch for 2020!

Spector stepped out one at a time with singer Fred joining the band on stage last. Donned in a long brown jacket, cream suit and pink shirt, he launched into the first track from the set, Half Life. The crowd went into an intense frenzy as soon as the first notes came out of the speakers.  Intoxicating synth melodies, fast drumbeats, and exhilarating energy on stage, made me sure I instantly that I was in for one hell of a ride. Spector showed character in both their performance and the little moments between songs. One memorable example came before slower number Bad Boyfriend. “This one is dedicated to my mum” explained Frederick. Further detail was supplied as he told a story of how his mum had come to their Newcastle show on her birthday, yet they didn’t sing ‘Happy Birthday’ or dedicate a song to her on the night; “I’ve not been a bad boyfriend, but a bad son”.

Spector 1Even as the venue became a sauna, sweating bodies moving against each other, this band did not tire (they even got someone to write Spector on the fogged glass to showcase how hot the room had become). I have never experienced a gig like it – whether it was Fred sharing a beer with a fan, or borrowing another member of the crowd’s belt to keep his trousers up, it’s clear Spector have a connection with their fans unlike any other band I’ve ever seen. This show wasn’t just a group of people seeing a band live, it was a full blown party between Spector and their fans, sharing a love for their music.

Ending the set with All The Sad Young Men, this crowd would not leave Spector’s gig sad, that’s for certain. Even now well after the event, I feel so grateful to have been a member of the crowd at this gig. It was sixty minutes of pure passion and energy in a room filled with euphoria and love for a band so obviously close to the crowd’s hearts. If the antics throughout the set are anything to go by, Spector come across as one of the most humble, caring and all round good egg bands in the music scene at the moment.

Oh and of course, Spector are one of the best live bands I’ve seen in a while if it wasn’t already obvious.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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