Spear of Destiny – Metal? Rock? Punk rock? Turning up at The Arts Club, we were not sure what to expect. The venue definitely has an intimate atmosphere, but the band layout was not set up for a small acoustic gig. As we were having our drink, the support act, ‘The Expelaires’ made their appearance. Although not having played in Liverpool for 35 years, they caught our attention instantly with a catchy rhythm section and some quality musicianship – the lead guitarist, in particular. One of the songs which stood out for us in was ‘1990’. However, the rushed feel to the set and the fact that the lead singer had to read the lyrics off a tatty piece of paper that was hidden in his blazer pocket for one of their songs, highlighted the fact that they may have been somewhat unprepared for their set. All in all though, they did captivate the crowd considering the small audience that was there.
A half hour interval increased the size of the crowd considerably, giving us more clues as to what we were expecting to see and listen to. The 80’s band tees and the average age of the audience being 45-50, gave us a strong inkling as to what the genre could be. Around 8:30pm, the 5 piece band made their way to the stage, with their dedicated fans eagerly awaiting the opening song. The strong guitar riffs and impressive showmanship from the lead singer (Bill Nighy’s doppelgänger!), created an energetic and charismatic ambiance – instantly lifting the mood of the crowd.
‘Spear of Destiny’ really knew how to play their genre well. The strong 80’s rock vibe carried on throughout the whole set, apart from when we were invited to join their “magical mystery tour” with the single ‘Sputnik’. The keyboard being more of the focus here, added a slight techno-feel to the performance, really creating a different dynamic to the set – one which we were not expecting.
As the show progressed, the strong relationship the band had with their dedicated fans was evident. The intimacy of the venue also enhanced this aspect, really allowing both the crowd and the band to get involved with one another. However, as a younger audience, we were slightly out of the loop when inside jokes were being made. Clearly our fault for not being born in the 80’s…
Although there was a slight dip in energy towards the latter part of the set, the band really came into their own near the close. Their musicianship and stage presence combined to the best effect here, proving to be the highlight of the show. The imposing guitar solos and lead vocals of the finale wowed the audience enough to attempt to rally an encore, however, they (and we) were left disappointed when the band did not reappear.
Even though our initial thoughts were apprehensive about ‘Spear of Destiny’, we left The Arts Club with a feeling of surprise and new found respect for this long standing band. These guys really know what they’re doing, and if the opportunity arises to see them again, we would definitely recommend taking the opportunity.