Live Review: Temples, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (19/06/13)

temples harehounds

Recreating a sound that was popular half a century ago is difficult. Recreating such an old sound and doing it successfully is all too rare. Four lads from Kettering, who call themselves Temples, have managed very well so far. Very, very well.

Temples arrived in Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds with fellow Heavenly Recordings band, Charlie Boyer & the Voyeurs, as main support, who impressed a sold-out crowd with their updated take on 70s American art-punk. I can’t recommend their recent debut album Clarietta highly enough.

Onto Temples. My previous experience with them had been an underwhelming one, plagued with technical difficulties and glitches in Nottingham’s Chameleon. This time, they did not disappoint, as their 60s psychedelia made a lasting impression on the largely youthful Birmingham crowd.

Shindig, a music magazine aimed at 50-somethings and dedicated to psychedelic reissues, included a warm review of Temples’ April gig in London in their latest issue. This just goes to show that Temples are the real thing. There is no obnoxious pretentiousness here, just a clear love for the music…and sparkly t-shirts.

‘Shelter Song’ is quite clearly their best and currently most well-known song, with its infectious chorus and neat keyboard licks. Forthcoming single, ‘Colours To Life’ is given a warm reception, as is its ambitious b-side, ‘Ankh’. There isn’t a dull moment in the set, however, as the tight band show just how good their songwriting skills are. When they eventually release their debut album, it is sure to be a stunner.

There is no over-zealous showmanship on show here, nor any overly large egos. Temples are, thankfully, just about the music, with frontman James Bagshaw only breaking his inter-song silence with the occasional ‘cheers’. When they finish their set, there is a definite air of satisfaction in the venue, a satisfaction only gained from the knowledge of seeing the beginning of something very special.

Unlike most unsigned bands, Temples recorded flawlessly-produced demos prior to being signed. This quest for perfection only bodes well for the young band’s future. Given time, Temples might be spoken in the same sentence as psychedelic greats from bygone eras. Let’s hope so.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to The Amazing Snakeheads – ‘The Truth Serum’…


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