By Jack Wilson-Mumford
With just his second line onstage at the O2 Academy in Liverpool, Spector frontman Fred Macpherson professed to being ‘a bad artist’. He then spent the next hour going a long way to completely disproving this initial theory.
The London band are reaching the final leg of their three week tour that has seen them play a different set list every single night and Macpherson promised this wide-ranging crowd the best set list possible, leaning forward and instructing them to expect only the “prime cuts”.
They were warmed up with the two most recent singles from latest album ‘Moth Boys’. Stay High’s irresistible riffs backed up the witty ‘Bad Boyfriend’, in which the bad artist claim came.
However, it wasn’t until the first song from debut album ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ that the crowd truly immersed themselves, pulling Macpherson into their realm as he tried to power on through ‘Twenty Nothing’.
It’s clear Spector believe their prime cuts involve a mix of both albums to date but it was also clear what the crowd had come to hear. They craved the anthemic pop beats of ‘Celestine’, ‘Chevy Thunder’ and ‘Never Fade Away’ from Enjoy It While It Lasts and Macpherson delivered. He was rewarded by a crowd determined to sing every lyric straight back at him.
It’s a shame, as this meant some numbers from Moth Boys, now two months old, that really push the boundaries of what Spector can achieve in the future had to be left out but this crowd didn’t want the more reflective ‘Lately It’s You’ or ‘Kyoto Garden’.
Speaking before the gig, a relaxed Macpherson said: “After Enjoy It While It Lasts we had to work on quite a few things. That included professionalism and technique onstage and now we’re playing all of our songs better than ever before and people want to hear that.”
This doesn’t mean Moth Boys was ignored, of course. How could they ignore an album that is their stepping stone on to bigger, more special places?
‘Don’t Make Me Try’, ‘West End’ and ‘Using’ were all given run outs but weren’t necessarily received as well as the profound and interesting lyrics would be on another night.
This didn’t stop them from ending the night on a song that Macpherson described as “becoming Spector’s hallmark”. Spector have always carried a dry wit and arch humour, but All The Sad Young Men is written and performed by a band that have potential to be so important to a vast number and varied range of people.