Openers Lions At Your Door planted themselves squarely at the junction of indie-rock and electro-pop from the very first song. With keyboards, violin and three vocalists, LAYD are what Operator Please could have been if they’d grown up on electro – or had taken the time to grow up at all.
Newcastle’s The Protectors are certainly friendly. Between sets, two of their fans did the rounds of the room with a clipboard for their mailing list. It’s a scene-savvy move, but they might have been better served taking names after playing.
Their sound is loud but intelligently melodic, and it’s engaging if not necessarily original – most of their tunes have a cookie-cutter indie-rock feel to them, and the grandstanding solo in their second number could have been lifted straight out of the Go-Betweens’ Streets of Your Town. All this aside, the Protectors are a lot of fun.
They have a fair way to go performance wise – lead singer Pete’s stage banter is almost unintelligible, and the rhythm section are occasionally sloppy – but their energetic, almost frantic playing, coupled with Pete’s wailing vocals create an atmosphere that is both exciting and easy to get caught up in. The crowd, impressive in itself for a Wednesday night, liked it so much the band came back on for an encore. And any band who can get an encore at Spectrum is a band to watch.