H&H // LIVE: SPECTOR, PALE – THE BOILEROOM – 07/10/13
In high anticipation of the follow up to last year’s debut album, expected next year, last week Spector hit the road as a newly rearranged four piece, since the departure of guitarist Chris Burman, and for a Monday night in Guildford, they successfully filled The Boileroom with the loudest guitars and a sea of flailing arms in the best way possible.
First to emerge were Pale, the appearingly now 3 piece (made up by former frontman/bassist of past LULS fame) crept onstage and brought with them a fluid soulful synth affair, though seeming all quite understated in appearance and small talk, the group’s sound gave all the impression of utter brilliance needed. The infectious pulses and vocals on tracks such as ‘Two Wrongs’ and the shadowed funk of balearic tinged ‘Fearing Faces’ swept through the crowd in an instant and there was at the very least a bobbing head from everyone across the eyeline of the solid packed venue, the sheer unique style of their grooves are unfaltering genius and the snapshot of a set proved they are more than one to keep an eye on in the long run.
After the laidback vibes of Pale had washed through, in no time at all, Spector burst onto the stage in their expected flamboyant nature to the tune of ‘What You Wanted’ and the room promptly collapsed into a dancing rabble fighting for air – and, of course, a starring role in Fred MacPherson’s world renowned stage chat. After we’d all been introduced, bar the unspoken new synth/guitarist filling in on tonight’s Burman duties, and flung from one side of the room to another already, a new track by the name of ‘Stay High’ was stormed through, fearlessly matching up to anything from the debut with a deceitful splash of funk shuffle. ‘Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End’ ensured the dancing mode was well and truly switched on and 10 minutes in and energy levels had reached all new limits, before the latest track to have been unleashed on the world, ‘Decade Of Decay’, was given a sparkling rendition, sounding even more anthemic live – they don’t hang around, this bunch.
At this point the aforementioned stage chat excelled to new levels, leaving guitarist Jed Cullen to fill with effortless riffs while reciting facts about Pokemon Yellow – if that’s not worth your £10, nothing will be – while talk of the new material was murmured but kept at a low and surged through as if an old favourite. ‘Reeperbahn’ was the perfect example of just this and the confidence the band so excel at sent half the crowd into mass singalong before the second chorus had even hit, the quality of each track the band unveil just gets better and better, and everyone in the room certainly agreed. ‘Celestine’ was the next to be unleashed, arguably their best single to date with the synth fueled guitar quality to throw any cautious member at the back into the centre of the increasingly energetic mosh pit taking up half the venue – an impressive feat regardless of it’s very much tiny size – before ‘Grim Reefer’ topped off the singalong of the night with MacPherson spewing raw emotion from every word that, along with the melodrama of the entire crowd, could have been a shining feature of any 90s romcom soundtrack – though this time undeniably brilliant.
One final moment of madness erupted in between yet more comedy acts onstage with ‘Chevy Thunder’, before a suspended synth caused the show to descend into a surreal sermon dictated by the words “Love Guildford, Love Spector” and into the claps of ‘Never Fade Away’ before the band did just so without a trace despite the, quite genuinely adoring, crowd’s desperate encore pleas.
Spector may well only have one album under their belt, but the utter confidence and musical brilliance they ooze in such a small amount of time and created by the new tracks all point to the fact, while egos may be growing, the sound is far from left behind.