Radar Band Of The Week No:59 – Spector

Such is the resilience of Spector singer Fred Macpherson, you imagine that if you smashed him in the face repeatedly with a cricket bat he’d merely jerk back up, momentarily readjust his glasses, and carry on with whatever he’d been doing before.

Whatever he was doing before is quite a lot. If there’s a niggling feeling that you recognise him, it’s probably because you were au fait with his Libs-lite also-rans Les Incompétents or black-clad Hoxton doom-ites Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man. Neither band would ignite, so after Ox.Eagle swallowed the suicide pill (Fred: “We’d just finished writing an 11-minute song called ‘Father To Son’ inspired by Gladiator. Time to take a break…”) the frontman decided to stop pretending to be Nick Cave’s nephew and began writing songs inspired by the music closest to his heart.

“It was about trying to connect with what music was from 2001 to 2003 – The Strokes, The Rapture, The Von Bondies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, music for my 15-year-old self,” he explains. “That’s in my blood – and always will be.”

With the songs in place Fred’s old bandmate, ex-Les Inc guitarist Christopher Burman, convinced him to piece together another band at the end of 2010, enlisting drummer Danny Blandy, synth/guitar player Jed Cullen, then bassist Thomas Shickle after spotting his picture online (Fred: “I saw pictures and thought he’s the kind of guy I’d like to get involved. A lot of girls knew him but I didn’t see any guys who knew him, and that was a good sign”).


The result of those songs is whooping, synth-laden rock reminiscent of The Walkmen mainlined into The Killers’ chugga-train drive, as demonstrated best on debut single ‘Never Fade Away’. An album is due to be recorded before the year ends and should be out at the start of the next one, thanks to a reportedly massive deal with Fiction. Musically, as Fred explains, their ambitions are simple but direct: “It’s about the misery of trying to have a good time. Going out at the weekend, trying to forget working, but ending in this dark netherworld that’s probably worse than working five days a week.”

Jamie Fullerton

Need To Know

Based: Dalston, London

For Fans Of: The Vaccines, The Killers

Buy It: ‘What You Wanted’ (single, out September 19)

In The UK: Catch the band this September – they play Leeds (11), Sunderland (17) and London (26)

Believe It Or Not: Fred says he’s “fine” with the band being called the “Dalston Kaiser Chiefs” – which is handy, as Spector are set to support Ricky and co in Leeds next month

This article originally appeared in the September 3rd issue of NME

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