“Go and see Spector , Go and see Spector” the fact that this had been uttered more than once in a sentence and the insistent tone of the voice that had given the advice made it sound vaguely hypnotic. So what’s a girl to do but obey, so off I went to Tramlines Festival in Sheffield and tonight as the Leadmill await the arrival of Spector there’s already a buzz and an air of expectancy hanging like the sword of Damocles. They have been recommended to me so highly but can they live up to the hype?
As the opening chords of Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock n Roll pt 2’ blares out to announce the arrival of Spector to the stage you know this will be a night to expect the unexpected. They are straight into their Single ‘Celestine’ and the crowd are already in full voice and bellowing out the words for all they are worth. An energetic start and both crowd and band show no signs of letting the tempo fall. One song in and they are already bringing the house down – wow !
The iconic Sheffield venue The Leadmill has seen its fair share of charismatic, intellectual, geeky but ultimately very stylish frontmen over the years and that must have also been in the consciousness of lead singer Fred Macpherson as he shouts “Hello – Sheffield Sex City” – as way of introduction, winning over a large portion of the crowd who get the obvious nod to Sheffield legends Pulp. Indeed, Fred himself seems to encompass the cheek and cockiness of The Hives frontman Pelle Almqvist, coupled with the style, wit, charisma and stage presence of Pulp ‘s very own Jarvis Cocker and from where I’m stood its an extremely intoxicating mix.
Then with no let up in the energy levels they are straight in with
‘Grey Shirt and Tie’ with its ‘if you want me you better come and find me’ hook line the crowd are buying into this hook, line and sinker . I could say that they are playing to a sell out crowd but as Tramlines is a free festival it’s impossible to say, all I know is that The Leadmill is close if not full to capacity and there will be disappointed people who did not make it into the gig.
Fred then announces that they are often seen as a London band but imparts the information that 20% of the band are from this very town, drummer Danny Blandy is a Sheffield lad! ( something that is hammered home later when we are talking to a couple that we have been screeching along to the songs and dancing in a very immature manner next to all night only to find out at the end of the gig when we get chatting that they are Danny’s parents!)
Upbeat youthful anthem ‘Friday Night Don‘t Let it Ever End’ and ‘Twenty Nothing ‘ are greeted like old friends, and to say the album isn’t released until mid August, the crowd know all the words and every song feels like it could be a hit single.
During ‘What you wanted’ The Leadmill crowd are rocking and are clamouring for the microphone as Fred points it crowdwards. He asks the crowd how long they have been Spector fans and pretends to be affronted and threatens to walk off the stage immediately when he apparently gets and answer that he doesn’t like.
With ‘Lay Low’ there’s a more subdued feel and the zealous bounding has now been replaced by arm waving – encouraged by the band – which seems to be the equivalent to the ‘lighter in the air’ moment for this slower song. Chris the bands guitarist takes the limelight momentarily from Fred as he steps forward for his guitar solo before another rousing chorus with both Fred and the crowd belting out the words like their lives depended on it.
Firm crowd favourite ‘Chevy Thunder’ instigates a mosh pit scrum and the boundless energy of both band and crowd are now at maximum levels. Ending on ‘Never Fade Away‘ theres not an arm in the place that isn’t held aloft and clapping in time to the heavy beat.
Anyone witnessing this mind-blowing performance from Spector knows for certain that Spector should be taken to the nations hearts as their favourite new band. So now it’s my turn to repeat the mantra “Go and see Spector , Go and see Spector” ….catch them while you can at a small venue or you’ll be kicking yourself when they are on the front of every music magazine….and frankly I’m shocked that they’re not already. Sooner or later you will become obsessed with this band and, I think, Dear Reader, your time has come….as they themselves say ….’Enjoy it while it lasts’.