Spector, Basement at Rock City, 28th May 2016
At 7.30pm when I arrived at Rock City for Friday night’s show on Spector’s “Tenner” tour, there was hardly anyone present and for a while I wondered if this would be a show with a shockingly poor attendance. Even when Fred MacPherson and Jed Cullen entertained the crowd with their DJ set (ok, in my opinion the tunes were questionable but that’s just down to my musical taste), no-one seemed to be showing much of an interest. My worries were soon allayed as the crowd gradually grew and became more eager, whooping and shouting for their much-loved Spector to arrive onto stage. At 8.30pm precisely, they did exactly that, much to mass unrivalled joy.
From the onset, and with a look of a very well dressed gent crossed with a science professor, Macpherson instructs the crowd as a tutor does his lectures and they respond with vigorous rapture as if they are the most motivated students ever known. Performing experiments as “Never Fade Away”, “Friday Night, Don’t Let It Ever End” and “Chevy Thunder” results in an explosion of voices from the crowd and the arrival of a few extra worried looking security personnel after the first song!
Macpherson quickly and willingly succumbs to the clamours of the crowd and gets up close and personal. His crowd interaction is second to none, with personal dedications for the 23rd anniversary of the couple in front of me (her advice for a long marriage? “be happy, love each other and the rest will follow”), the two French girls who have journeyed to the UK for three Spector gigs, and for birthday girl Rebecca who is beautifully serenaded. No band is under any obligation to do this kind of thing, so it’s a heart-warming sight to witness one who does.
There is a constant buzz in the air, a certain charisma emanating from the stage and a charged energy in the eclectic crowd (teenage girls through to men in their late 50s and everything in-between). Every single song whips the crowd into a frenzy during which it’s difficult at times to tell one jumping, bellowing body from the next!
Following this 90-minute not entirely scientific experiment, I conclude that the whole evening depicted a love connecting the band directly to the audience, where the feeling between each party was entirely mutual.
If you ever feel a little bit lost, head for a Spector gig – I have no doubt that it will provide several moments of clarity and an overriding sense of all being right with the world. A point in time to cling to, that’s for sure.