Saturday, 18 February 2012

Spector, The Cockpit, Leeds

Whether they go on to forge a career that awards retrospectives or crash and burn before the year is out, there is no getting away from the fact that the hype surrounding Spector is going to polarise opinions. With the band popping up on a number of ‘ones to watch’ lists at the start of the year and an enthusiastic appearance on Later with Jools, the air in the sold out Cockpit hangs heavy with anticipation. It is clear from the off, however, that not everyone in attendance tonight has the band’s best interests at heart. Having asked a member of the crowd to unscrew the lid on his water bottle: ‘My wrists are too weak’ lead singer, Frederick Macpherson is met with a barrage of obvious heckles including my favourite: ‘You need to do some more wanking then, you WANKER!’ With this kind of response, you would have expected Macpherson to get on with singing some songs and leave the band/crowd banter to the professionals (hello, Jarvis). If only. After each song, Macpherson awkwardly engages the crowd by wittering randomly about the movie Twilight, Twitter competitions and asking the crowd to name a good bar for the band to have a post-gig drink (Tiger Tiger, apparently). If he fancies himself as a frontman cum raconteur, then he needs to work on his delivery. If he was padding out the band’s allotted stage time, then he needs to work on some new songs. The other problem with Spector, is that despite sporting some fancy duds, the rest of the band have the look of a shell-shocked wedding party who are still coming to terms with what they witnessed during a debauched stag night in Magaluf. There were times tonight when members of the band stood blinking out into the crowd with a look of bewilderment on their face, as if to say ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’  Despite having two or three great pop songs in their repertoire (Chevy Thunder and set closer Never Fade Away are the night’s highlights) I wonder if the band themselves actually believe the hype. On this performance I would suggest not.

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