Oran Mor, Glasgow, Thursday, October 11
Spector clearly crave massive, trans-indie success, though the title of their debut album, ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ is an admission of how remote it can often seem. Their tourmates appear less bothered: Birmingham’s Swim Deep are one of the most exciting bands in the UK’s most vital scene, but though being third on the bill rarely brings out the best in anyone, their performance tonight is rather passive and bloodless, right down to bassist Cavan McCarthy’s pyjama bottoms. Splashh, meanwhile, fare better. Though you have to work to excavate their melodies from beneath all the scuzzy guitars and reverb-drowned vocals, the opiated dream-pop of ‘Need It’ and ‘All I Wanna Do’ ensure the effort is worthwhile, and considering they only formed earlier this year, there’s a frightening amount of promise on show.
This, however, was always going to be Spector’s night, and from the opening ‘Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End’ (it’s actually Thursday, but the sentiment is undying) onwards, Macpherson’s smarm offensive proves irresistible. One minute he’s down on his knees, debonairly combing his hair during the guitar solo on ‘Lay Low’; the next he’s making wisecracks, like the last of the internet-famous international playboys, about how, “If you want to hear more music and less talking, you can buy our album. If you want to hear more talking and less music, find me on Facebook.”
The crowd are happy to indulge him, but Macpherson does more than simply give good quote. At their best – we’re thinking of the Springsteen-on-snakebite melodrama of ‘Chevy Thunder’, or the honest, unself-conscious emotion glimpsed at on ‘Grey Shirt & Tie’ – Spector write superlative pop songs with the only aim being to entertain you. What’s more, they frequently hit their mark: with luck and justice, the mass metronomic clap-along of set-closer ‘Never Fade Away’ will be replicated on far bigger stages than this one. Ultimately, they might not be a band you’d want to put your life in the hands of, but your weekend? Well, that’s another matter entirely.
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