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U.K. Rockers Spector Dressed to Pop

Group has been gaining attention over the last year for its dapper style as well as its melodic pop-rock sound.

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Appeared In
Special Issue
Menswear issue 03/19/2012

Five handsome, well-dressed, clean-cut guys in a band would pique anyone’s interest. So it’s no surprise London-based group Spector has been gaining attention over the last year for its dapper style as well as its melodic pop-rock sound.

Spector — made up of front man Fred Macpherson, 24; guitarist Chris Burman, 24; guitarist Jed Cullen, 22; bassist Tom Shickle, 21, and drummer Danny Blandy, 22 — formed in late 2010 after Burman heard songs Macpherson had recorded onto his laptop and convinced him to put a band together. Through friends of friends, Macpherson found musicians who were keen on his vision. “I had a concept for how I wanted to look and sound, so it was getting people who fit with an idea,” says Macpherson.

They all had similar taste in music, listening to American bands like The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs while in school, and shared an appreciation of British groups of the Eighties like ABC and Spandau Ballet. And their penchant for casually sporting suits and dress shirts solidified the group. “It wasn’t like we decided we had to work out how to look smart; it was more an extension of how we dressed socially, then it became a good way of differentiating our band from others,” he says.

When talking fashion, Macpherson has the same enthusiasm as he does when he talks music. “I don’t wear blue jeans, and I don’t own many T-shirts,” he says, describing his style as “modern” while trying not to dress too “retrogressively.” He shops at budget-friendly U.K. chain Primark, where he buys white school shirts in bulk, and Uniqlo, for suits. “I’m excited about their new collaboration with Undercover,” he says, the fellow Japanese label that has partnered with Uniqlo to create a capsule collection called UU.

Not that he only knows budget fashion: “I think Comme des Garçons is a really interesting label, and they have a good way of implementing different flourishes of style within a more basic look.” His Paul Smith eyeglasses supply the perfect finishing touch. “I’ve been wearing this pair for a few years, and I don’t think I’m ready for a change. It feels like putting on a face.”

The band is already finding its place in the fashion world. It has been profiled on Ray-Ban’s music Web site, ray-ban-rooms.com, and was featured on mrporter.com. “I think we’ll be doing more stuff like that, hopefully collaborations with brands as time goes on,” he says.

In December, the band was nominated for BBC’s Sound of 2012 following the release of three singles a few months prior. Its yet-to-be-titled debut album is scheduled to be released in the U.K. this summer and in the U.S. by fall, following a string of tour dates that includes a European tour with Florence and the Machine this month. Spector scored the gig through Florence Welch’s manager, who released the band’s singles on her London-based label Luv Luv Luv Records last year.

After that tour wraps, Spector will head across the pond in April for a mini tour, stopping in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Indio, Calif., for both weekends of Coachella. “I was really surprised we got booked [at Coachella], because we haven’t played in America yet,” Macpherson says. “I don’t know if anyone will be watching us, but it will be fun to be there.”