Spector - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 15 Feb
Blending the anthemic and the generic to pleasing effect
‘What a pleasure,’ notes Fred Macpherson. ‘I thought Newcastle on Tuesday was something, but this…’ Wearing his hair gelled to one side and a pair of thick-framed black glasses, the suited singer recalls Buddy Holly or Crispin Glover as Marty’s dad in Back to the Future, although it’s a pitch-perfect impression of Jarvis Cocker’s wry sarcasm that most defines his demeanour. ‘We’re gonna play a few songs by the band Spector,’ he announces before the marvellously overblown ‘slow jam’ ‘Lay Low’, ‘if you can bear it.’
The Pulp comparisons don’t continue on into the music, though, with the London-based group – already touted as stars of 2012 ahead of their April-due debut album – blending the anthemic and the generic to fairly pleasing effect. There are some finely moulded pop songs here, from the dynamic ‘woo-oo-oo’-chorused pop of ‘Twentynothing’ to the dry ice-demanding Roxy Music balladry of ‘Grey Shirt and Tie’ and ‘Chevy Thunder’s gratifyingly melodramatic rock’n’roll, all bearing the stylistic influence of their namesake. Yet lyrical depth or insight is light, with only ‘I know the night is young/but tomorrow we might not be’ in ‘Self-Esteem’ standing out as a sentiment worthy of true pop greatness.