Spector: Voodoo, Belfast – Sun 3rd April 2022

On this sunny turned gloomy Sunday in the city centre, London outfit Spector were due in on the back of the release of their third studio album Now or Whenever. The band last performed in Northern Ireland’s capital ten years prior in 2012 at the Limelight. It was modestly attended. Though that was to change this time around.

Since then, the band have come on leaps and bounds with tours in Russia and China impressively under their belts as well as the humble success of their second album ‘Moth Boys’ reaching number 1 on the UK Record Store. It was to proven that hit track from the latter ‘All The Sad Young Men’ was indeed a fan favourite.

In saying that, it was an Irish band from Lucan that the crowd first took a shining to – Cable Boy, a well polished, delicate five-piece with enough groove to keep an ever-growing Voodoo crowd pleased. Nor did they hide their excitement about playing support for Spector. An outfit to keep an eye on as their sound has already triggered shockwaves in the Irish music scene.

As the smoke slowly filled the stage, the band – leading singer Fred Macpherson – made their way through the venue to take the stage getting straight into lead single ‘Catch You On The Way Back’, well received by the Northern Irish audience. Admittedly, things did pick up with Moth Boys favourite ‘Decade of Decay’, ‘Untitled in D’ and recent enough EP release ‘I Won’t Wait’, dedicated to the bloke who proudly shown Fred his Top Spotify 2022 songs with the latter as his number 1 song while he watched the support from the back of the venue.

Fred is a charmer. Despite slight band miscues in songs, his ability to appease the crowd is magnetic. The questioning of the crowd on their musical education, the persistence teaching (and correcting) of lyrics for crowd participation in ‘No Adventure’ or taking a lad’s white cap and serenading the front row, it’s a joy to watch. And then you have the brillance in the performances of ‘Do You Wanna Drive?’, ‘Never Fade Away’ and ‘Chevy Thunder.’ The band in tandem with smiles plastered on their faces. The songs don’t need to be a certain tempo to entertain. It’s the connection with the audience that is most important and that’s what Fred does incredibly well.

While this stop on the tour won’t be their loudest or most energetic, it’s fair to say that Spector rekindled the interest of the Northern Irish crowd. ‘All The Sad Young Men’ ends the show as a no-doubt standard procedure of a Spector performance but it’s hoped that the gap between this and their next show isn’t the Decade of Decay that Northern Ireland had to endure until now. Mark Dunn

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