Live Review: Spector at Venue

Spector were the latest band to bring the roof down at Newcastle's Student Union......

Lucy Bower
5th December 2023
Spector are a band that have got it right. With four albums and an EP compilation under the belt, the quartet have mastered the art of performance. Ahead of their latest album Here Come the Early Nights released only last week, Newcastle University Student Union was the second stop on their high energy tour.  

The evening kicked off with fuzzy quartet Mama Oh No, who brought a gentle, beach vibe that felt nostalgic for the summer days. Guitar riffs cascaded throughout their set over their velvety sounds. The second act (yes, we were treated to two support acts!) was the folk punk band Brògeal from Falkirk, Scotland. This band brought high energy and went above and beyond to prepare the crowd for their main event. Fusing accordions, jaunty guitars, and tight harmonies, they were a treat for the ears.

Image Credit: Lucy Bower

And onto the main course. Spector entered with a swagger that felt so uncool that it was in fact cool. Entering with a stripped back start to ‘Never Fade Away’, the crowd – although small – proved to be mighty. Frontman Fred Macpherson’s powerful vocals echoed across the room as the music matched their recordings stunningly.

Throughout the gig, the combination of old and new music kept every attendee singing and dancing. I was reminded just how much I love this band in the intimate space, and it felt as though every person had Fred’s attention. ‘Untitled in D’, ‘I Won’t Wait’, and ‘Celestine’ each proved to be extreme successes as the energy throughout the crowd didn’t appear to waiver.

Spector’s ability to be candid was equally impressive. Asking us all to rate their new album out of ten on the count of three, the resounding “seven” that faced them only seemed to add unvarnished humour to their lives. “Let’s play some of this new album that you all seem to be enjoying so much” was their sarcastic gateway back into new, 10/10 music.

As one of my favourites, the slower ‘Wild Guess’ felt deeply special as the crowd preached the lyrics to the magnetic electric guitar. There was a hypnotic quality to the paradingperformance as their lyrics were screamed back to them.

And of course, it couldn’t have been a Spector gig without the frantic ‘Chevy Thunder’. With a jumble of distorted guitars, ferocious drums, and lightning lyrics, the song emanated a high-speed journey that each of us were in the car for.

With their inevitable encore looming, Spector reappeared to the classic demands of “one more song” and gave us two. A crossover of the brand-new song ‘The Notion’ that already felt like a fan-favourite, the final song was a feature from their 2015 albums Moth Boys. ‘All the Sad Young Men’ had been highly anticipated all night, and it did not disappoint. With everyone’s arms firmly up in the air “I don’t wanna make love, I don’t wanna make plans” was sang with resounding force.

Electrifying guitars, powerful drums, and even a kiss between Fred and a crowd member, Spector had it all. Not bad for a 7/10 band…

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