A gig at the Thekla is always a treat to behold; there is something unique about seeing a band perform in the bilge of a boat. There’s a buzz when embarking, an excitement in the air. It says something however, when a band formed in 2011 and once hailed as “the UK’s answer to The Killers” is just selling out shows for 500.
When Spector emerge the, mostly teenage, crowd go wild. It can’t be denied; lead singer Fred Macpherson’s vocals are impressive. Spector waste no time in diving into their set; starting with ‘Stay High’ before moving to ‘Celestine’. The band are tight, with a strong on-stage presence. It’s undeniable the crowd loves it.
Peppered through the set there’s lyrics like “friday night, I don’t want to wake up alive”. In contrast to the catchy melodies that accompany them, the lyrics seem almost perverse. Combined with the lead singer’s out of place dance moves, it’s hard to take Spector as seriously as they would like. There’s a disharmony between their lyrics and stage presence; an arrogance that leaves an air of pretentiousness.
“This is the first time in my life we’ve sold out a gig in Bristol”, Macpherson starts, “And it’s the first time I’ve been proud to be in Bristol”. Statements like the latter go some way to explaining the former.
Support by Spring King was superb, and arguably providing a more exciting set that the headliner. ’Mumma’ was an instant hit with the crowd, getting the boat rocking and warming the cold October air. Their set went from strength to strength. Finishing up with, ‘City’, the crowd were well and truly psyched. With performances like this, it’s easy to see why Zane Lowe chose Spring King as the first band to play on Beats 1.