During Spence's time in local bands, he was spotted by Mel Galley, who promptly offered Spence the bassist and vocalist position in Trapeze, which had been left vacant since Peter Goalby had left to join Uriah Heep. Spence briefly toured with the band, and during his tenure recorded one album's worth of material, which – due to Galley's departure to replace Bernie Marsden in Whitesnake – remains unreleased. Several of the songs from these sessions however (Demos exist in bootleg form), would form the basis for Galley's Phenomena project.
Following the break-up of Trapeze, Spence was offered an audition for Wishbone Ash while he was pitching demo material to various outlets. On the strength of his vocal range and enthusiasm, Spence became a member of the band. Spence would perform on one album by the band, 1985's Raw to the Bone.