The Joiners, Southampton


Summer’s here at last and a sold out Joiners awaits one of Indie/Rock’s Premier acts. Opening up are main tour support The Rhythm Method, an unusual pairing who will divide opinion. Never before have I seen anything quite like this. One could pick from many an influence, but if you like your Rap with a Cockney twang then these guys are for you. Rowan (vox/shapeshifting) looks resplendent in his Del Boy coat, while Joey (vox/keys) looks much more sober in his turquoise top and jeans. From the outset the vocals are interesting, not to say (semi) poetic. Rowan busts some shapes from a bygone era while Joey is concentration personified when hitting the keys. In fact, there’s a hint of Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds) in his vocal, while at times it’s slightly camp -but that’s not a criticism. There are one or two Madness samples we detect, and at a push, they could be described as a younger (The) Streets. However, this ain’t no Sleaford Mods karaoke show and they have a style and delivery quite unique to them. My only criticism would be they rarely sing together and they are over-reliant on the “la,la,la’s” at times. They do though garner decent applause and they aren’t a band who will be forgotten in a hurry. At times tongue-in-cheek they clearly don’t lack confidence, it will just be interesting to see how far they can take their sound.

The Rhythm Method
The Rhythm Method 

And so to the headliners. Although I only recently listened to the debut LP by London Indie/Rocker’s Spector, I am tonight expecting great things. And boy do we get them – and some. They open with “Never Fade Away” and it’s as if the whole room is singing. The atmosphere is simply euphoric! Fred (vox) has us eating out of the palms of his hands as he covers every inch of this tiny stage, encouraging this huge singalong. It really is a “hairs on the back of the neck” moment. This crowd both young and old are in the mood as they follow up with “Bad Boyfriend” from 2nd LP “Moth Boys”, inducing another singalong. “Decade of Decay” opens with Jed’s synth and takes those of us of a certain age back to the 80’s.

Despite being a small venue, the sound tonight is huge-and looking at Fred’s beaming smile he’s in the mood too. “Twenty Nothing” is next and looking around me, most of the younger members of the audience seem to know every word. “Cocktail Party/Heads Interlude” allows us to catch our respective breaths, while Fred shows his wide vocal range. “Upset Boulevard” sees Danny’s drums take centre stage while once again crowd participation is in great supply, particularly on the chorus. “Don’t Make Me Try” is such a simple song, yet live it sounds immense-again Fred orchestrating this keen audience during the choruses.

“Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End” really sees this Joiners crowd go wild. There’s even a circle pit, (not just a domain of the bigger shows)! The song sees a lunacy down the front, but it’s friendly and jovial. Once more this crowd are in fine voice. Jed (keys) takes centre stage this time while Fred needs no encouragement on the chorus singalongs. “I Won’t Wait” gets its live “Premiere” tonight-hopefully with the promise of a 3rd LP somewhere in the future. Quite frankly this crowd are loving every song so there’s no worries throwing in some newer material. Most recent single “Stay High” sounds great while “Lay Low” again finds everyone in great voice. I could say this is like a fan club only show, such is the adoration in the room. But this audience know a good song when they hear one and there’s no shortage on that front. While most of the songs seem to be written from a relationship/personal viewpoint, they are delivered in such an anthemic manner that it would be hard not to be impressed.

Spector 12345

The remaining 3 songs up the ante and increase the power. “Tenner” is the title of the tour, and just sets us up for a rampant “Chevy Thunder”. The room explodes with energy as band and audience give it everything. Moshpit/circle pit/fan adulation – it’s all on display during this, one of many set highlights. They end on a real high with “All the Sad Young Men” and we join in in unison one last time. I can’t stress how good tonight’s show has been. Usually, the opening date of any tour means ‘blowing off cobwebs” and ironing out any glitches for the rest of the tour. Tonight however, has been nothing short of epic. What I just canít fathom is why a band as good as Spector are still playing ‘smaller’ venues. With the greatest of respect to The Joiners; (a fine bastion of live music for many decades), Spector should be filling the Guildhall down the road. Only time will tell, but hopefully LP number 3 will see their trajectory take a sharp rise.

Never Fade Away
Bad Boyfriend
Decade of Decay
Twenty Nothing
Cocktail Party / Heads Interlude
Upset Boulevard
Don’t Make Me Try
Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End
I Won’t Wait
Strong Look
Stay High
Lay Low
Chevy Thunder
All the Sad Young Men



Words by Ross A Ferrone
Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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