It’s tricky to tell where the stakes are set for Spector’s Omeara ‘homecoming’ show. On the one hand the gig sold out in just a handful of days, the band’s loyal following clearly on the ball; on the other, it’s been a good two and a half years since their last album, the teenage crowd that first fell in love with them are reaching their twenties and singer Fred Macpherson seemingly still hasn’t made it out of the quarter life crisis he proclaimed to be in the midst of during their debut record. Yet between classic crowd pleasers and a never ending supply of millennially inflected one liners, if this show is anything to go by, Spector have still got some steam in them yet.
The sprinkling of new music was promising, with the band premiering material from their upcoming Ex Directory EP (to be released “at the end of a month but we’re not going to tell you what month that is yet”). Opening with a deliciously spiky synth line, unreleased track ‘Fine Not Fine’ proves a driving, power-anthemic take on self delusion as a coping mechanism; a number that’s oddly mature in its insecurity. If the audience seems slightly subdued here it’s only because they haven’t had the chance to learn the words yet – ‘Untitled in D’, dropped just a month or so ago, goes down a storm. Judging by the gusto with which they’re shouted back, lines that teeter precariously on the wire between black humour smart and slightly cringe-worthy such as, “We broke down on the M1, you said call the AA but I didn’t know which one”, have clearly already been taken to heart by those who relish Spector’s acerbic take on the twenty first century personal crisis.
While it’s worth considering that it’s a small venue, filled with those happy to stick with them through thick and thin, the band seem sincerely grateful for being up there, working an audience that’s still happy to form a mosh pit (albeit in a shabby-chic venue owned by one of Mumford and Sons). A band that have always thrived live, it’s the Spector blend of emotional extremes and their trademark pinch of self deprecation, along with a heavy hand of showmanship that can still electrify a room.