It’s always a spectacular occasion when a band does something special for their fans, and Spector’s promise to play both their first album, Enjoy It While It Lasts, and their most recent release, Moth Boys, over two nights at the Moth Club in Hackney was no exception to that rule. We headed down on the first night to have a little dance to Spector’s older material.
The first band to take to the stage at the ex-service mens’ club in the heart of East London was TEAR, an indie rock outfit fronted by the mesmerising Camille Benett and featuring Spector’s guitarist, Jed Lines, on the drums. Inspired by 90’s grunge, the outfit ooze a beachy, distorted style similar to bands such as Surfer Blood and The Neighbourhood. It was easy to see why they were selected to open for Spector with the fact that they are a supremely talented group that can handle a live show just as well as they can record an EP. The crowd was, unsurprisingly, a little uninterested as first – something you come to expect from fans when they are being forced to sit through a support band, though by the end of the trio’s set they seemed to have successfully captivated the audience with their strangely beautiful sound. TEAR have played the likes of Liverpool’s Sound City Festival and Kendal Calling, and have some very famous fans indeed including One Direction’s hair stylist, Lou Teasdale so it’s no surprise at all that they’re on the up this year.
It was hardly shocking to see the venue only start to fill up around 9 o’ clock, just half an hour before Spector were due to start their set. It’s heartbreaking but true, people are just reluctant to show their support to opening bands – something that needs to change if the music industry is going to keep thriving. Regardless, fans packed in to the small pit space ahead of the five-piece’s performance time, and when they finally headed out on to the stage it was almost impossible to breathe, let alone pull your phone out for a quick Instagram photo.
Enjoy It While It Lasts was critically acclaimed when it was released back in 2012, and the effect of that was still evident, four years later, as fans screamed along to opening track ‘True Love (For Now)’, and then ‘Chevy Thunder’, the fourth single released from the album and by far the most popular track in terms of drawing in new fans. Not long after its release, Digital Spy wrote, “there’s a self-depreciating wit to [Fred MacPherson’s] wordplay that makes Spector all the more bewitching.” It’s clear to see where a view like that came from, as MacPherson and co. delivered an incredible performance unlike any they had ever done before.
Spector powered through the fast-paced ‘Twenty Nothing’ and the room was starting to get heated, everyone throwing caution to the wind as they started up moshpits, high on life and covered in sweat. ‘Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End’ was somewhat nonsensically seeing as it was a Thursday night, but as far as the crowd was concerned this was their time to shine as they hung on every word MacPherson was singing as he all but dove in to the front of the crowd.
Many bands don’t appreciate their first records, often snubbing them in favour of newer material when they change their sound and improve on their song-writing and instrumental performance skills. For Spector, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as they lovingly played their way through every track on the debut album that put them out there when it was praised by the likes of NME, The Independent and TimeOut London. There’s no denying that it’s follow-up, Moth Boys, isn’t a decent record… but there’s just nothing like a band’s debut, particularly when it’s as sold as Spector’s. For their encore, the quintet returned to the stage to deliver some stand out tunes from their second album – ‘Bad Boyfriend’, ‘Decade of Decay’ and ‘All The Sad Young Men’, which saw their audience go just as wild as the night came to its finale: overall, a stellar performance of an incredible record that will certainly be remembered fondly by its attendees for years to come.