Imogen's first guest-post was so successful, we've invited her to do another! This time she's introducing Spector, a five-piece outfit from London. Enjoy! -G
Spector: Sartorial Sounds
Combining elements of everything that was glorious about pop music from the seventies and eighties (and leaving out everything that was bad) Spector are a five piece indie band from London who have been causing a real stir on the music scene in the last few months. Hotly tipped by the NME and receiving rave reviews for their live performances and sartorial elegance they are tipped for great things this year.
Who Are They?
The band comprises Fred MacPherson on vocals, Christopher Burman on guitar, Thomas Shickle on bass, Jed Cullen on synth and guitar and finally Danny Blandy on drums. MacPherson is something of an indie stalwart (well, as much as you can be when you’re still so young and fresh faced) having been in two other bands - Les Incompetents and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man both kind of folky, punky, prog rocky outfits (yeah, nice mixture of styles there!). However, MacPherson left the latter along with Burman to form Spector in order to create something completely different.
What Do They Sound Like?
Completely different. Polished. Accomplished. Just a few of the words that spring to mind when hearing them for the first time. Considering they’ve only been together a short time, the sound they produce is nothing short of electric. MacPherson has such an assured and competent vocal – a rich, strong sound that really draws you in. That’s the sort of voice that can only improve over the coming years and it surely will (so long as he stays off the lemonade). As with any new bands comparisons have been drawn with all sorts of other acts – reviewers saying they sound like The Vaccines (MK II) or Franz Ferdinand (again MK II). There are elements of Roxy Music in there, for sure – a slight nod to Brian Ferry here and there in MacPherson’s treatment of the songs, the way he sings certain phrases.
Chevy Thunder is a real energetic pop stomp, brilliant punchy vocals – powerful synth vibes and it straddles so many genres it’s untrue – hard to know even where to begin with what it alludes and pays homage to. It’s the sort of thing you could imagine picking you up when you felt really bad – a stomping song.
But aside from the music (at the moment, they’re writing and recording a debut album for release later this year) one thing has to be said about their look. In a society that’s becoming more and more obsessed with looks rather than sounds, Spector look the part. Smart Smart Smart. Dressed in sharp suits for their video performances as seen here:
They’re sharp haircuts and edgy moves just look so good. MacPherson’s geeky glasses make him look like the musical equivalent of Harold Lloyd. They just seem so out of kilter with the rest of the musical world, but in a good way. Sometimes it’s good to be different from the crowd and these guys are. It’s nice to be reminded that it’s cool to dress smartly and look the part as well as sounding the part. You could imagine them in a cliff hanging tense situation in a black and white movie – some sort of bank heist or share dealing scene, in which they’ve got literally moments to save the financial world from collapse and they do it with seconds to spare. And then get the girl. Or something.
Can They Cut It Live?
Oh boy, they can cut it live:
It takes real talent and strength to be able to not only sound good in the studio but to be able to replicate that in front of a live audience. They manage it so well. It’s hard to find a critical angle on them – some bands you see and you think they’re just OK; the singer wasn’t that good– off key, shouted rather than sung or whatever. Here, you’ve got a singer who can definitely hold a tune, not a flat note in the performance – seems so assured on the stage and oozes confidence without being cocky or full of himself. It’s a rare thing, but one to enjoy. Hopefully Spector will keep up the good work with the coming of their debut studio album this year. In the meantime, seriously, do yourself a favour and check these guys out properly. They deserve your time, your ears and your downloading finger.