Saturday, May 26, 2018

Live Review :: Spector :: Scala, London - May 24 2018



Scala, London

May 24 2018

Words/Pictures: Joanne Morris

With only a handful of tickets left on the door, by the time this hometown Spector gig at London's Scala saw the band actually arrive on stage, it was officially sold out. Inside the venue, fans packed every available standing space, from the main auditorium to the galleries and balconies above.

The five-piece (including recently recruited new drummer, Nicolas Py) arrive on stage sporting white long-sleeved t-shirts displaying the title of their recent EP 'Ex-Directory' on their backs, somewhat going against the title of opening number 'Grey Shirt & Tie'. Singer Fred Macpherson was greeted with huge applause as the band followed on with 'Local International' - from the aforementioned EP - and 'Decade of Decay', before ‘Bad Boyfriend’. The frontman didn’t have chance to even sing the first verse as the crowd chanted in unison the first few lines as he looked proudly on.

The bar was set for the evening and an extremely warm and participating crowd were fuelled by Macpherson’s energy and drive forming a symbiotic relationship. He may look like a bookish, computer nerd, but his vocals, flawless, clear and remarkably powerful, sometimes vocally resembling those of The Vaccines' Justin Young, are able to hold an audience of this size.

Criss-crossing back and forth with songs from both albums, the fast-paced songs, ‘Twenty Nothing’ from their debut, ‘Untitled in D’ from the new EP,
the epic, ‘Stay High’ from their last album 'Moth Boys' - which had Macpherson and the crowd pogo-ing in synchronicity; at one point during a crowd-surf, even losing his glasses briefly.

“You know, when you’re a 14+ child and you come to a venue and think maybe one day I could be playing up on that stage?" he relates at one stage, on thanking the crowd, "I never had it about Scala in particular, but looking back now I don’t know how wrong I was because it's everything it's cracked up to be and more!”

The evening reached its pinnacle with the extremely addictive ‘Chevy Thunder’. It was difficult to hear his vocals as the crowd chanted the lyrics so loudly over him. This was followed by the beautifully epic 'Never Fade Away' (one of my personal highlights of the evening). The auditorium had a real feel-good festival atmosphere with a few fans hoisted up on shoulders for a better view and to sing back the lyrics to the anthemic songs, such as 'Friday Night', Don’t Ever Let It End', before finale, 'All The Sad Young Men', concluded the 80-minute set and an extremely happy crowd left the venue still humming and chanting, "Chevy Thunder, Chevy Chevy Thunder."

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