Stereo, Glasgow, Sat 5 Jan
‘I haven’t been touring any of my Spectrum material for a while,’ explains Peter Kember, ‘because there have been other things I wanted to concentrate on. Through the internet there seems to be a whole new level of interest in my early work, though, so I’ve been going round playing to the kids who were only just being born when it first came out.’ That’s a sobering statement, given that the bulk of Kember’s ‘early work’ includes spending the best part of the 80s as one half of the progressively psychedelic and hugely influential Spacemen 3.
The other half of S3 was one Jason Pierce. The pair fell out in 1990 and Pierce went on to sizeable success with Spiritualized, although Kember (more familiar to S3 fans as Sonic Boom, a name he impressively still uses to check into hotels) has also carved a more leftfield career by recording as Sonic Boom, Spectrum and EAR (Experimental Audio Research) over the years.
Now, however, this one-man show precedes a full-scale return for the most Spacemen 3-like Spectrum next year, with a full-band tour and two new albums planned. ‘The first album’s called Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis,’ explains Kember. ‘It’s with a guy called Jim Dickinson, who played with Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin – he’s a Memphis legend, basically. Then the next Spectrum album proper comes out in March, which I’m really excited about.
‘I’ve never needed to be famous or rich, but the most important thing for me has always been to continue communicating with people who I hope are on my wavelength.’