April 20 2016, London.
Bristol band Spectres’ debut LP ‘Dying’ made it through 2015 as my album of the year. There was some great music released last year, but Dying got played a lot and gets played a lot in 2016 as well. A follow-up LP is due sometime this year, and both times I have seen the band they have played new material that may or may not appear on this new LP. I will have to wait and see.
While I, and others, wait for this new album Spectres recently released a remix album of Dying called ‘Dead’. There are remixes by a couple of artists I really like, such as Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai fame, Richard Fearless and Andy Bell from Ride. The vinyl copy arrived on the day we went to New Zealand, but I did get the download code and listened to the LP a few times while I was away. It is OK, not fabulous, there are some great remixes and some that do nothing for me at all. I do like guitar noise far more than synths and computers.
When the band announced two shows at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington I was definitely not going to miss out so grabbed a ticket before we went away.
I wasn’t overly keen on either support band, and being incredibly fussy I arrived at the venue at what should have been half way through the set of the second support. They hadn’t even started. I watched a bit of their set before retiring to the pub upstairs for a quiet drink and a seat. If I had arrived earlier and managed to have been closer to the stage with a better view I may have stayed as they looked like they could have been a bit of fun.
I went back down to the basement venue once the support audience had cleared and got my self a spot near the stage. I was hoping to get a few decent photos so took along the Canon 5d. I should have known from the last time I saw them that they would pretty much play in the dark. Sadly my old 5d does not do really low light – unlike the newer models, though I think even those would have struggled tonight.
I grabbed this one of the bass player during the sound check. The last time there was any light even closely usable for non-flash photography.
What did make some photography possible was the use of strobes from half way through the set, though they were poorly placed on the ceiling rather than down low, I managed to time a few shots right and got some images lit up by strobes.
Even though there is not much detail, and the guitarist is blurred, I like this photo the best.
The set was loud, I mean really loud, I have been to loads of shows over the years, but this was definitely one of the loudest I have been too. I am glad I took ear plugs. I usually take them but rarely use them, for tonight’s gig, they were essential.
The last time I saw them the set was just played on guitar, bass and drums. With the new remix LP they mixed it up a bit playing some tracks with a bit of electronica, it worked on some and not on others. It was still interesting. A fifth member came on stage for one of the tracks,
As they came on stage so late I did not get to see the end of the set. Disappointingly I had to leave to get the train home, so missed what was probably a good finale!
It was a good, and too short a show and I liked the venue as well.