Temples playing at the Brudnell Social Club, a dirty, beer stained stage, means having to navigate yourself through a sea of the coolest kids around and secretly hoping to be accepted as one of them, a hard sell when you left your denim shirt at home and are drinking Gin and Slim through a neon straw. The sold out gig filled up pretty fast for a band who have yet to release an album. But this is Temples, one of the hottest and holiest bands in Britain.
Supporting Temples on the second leg of the tour are Telegram, a band that look like they have been made at random on guitar hero, choosing one style from each of the past four decades. They have a stage energy that matches their seventies inspired guitar pop, whilst also being chaotic and buzzing; a joy to watch. Their single ‘Follow‘ is strangely familiar and a sign that indie music has clearly moved on, by moving back. They’ve kept the guitar heavy sounds of the late noughties but brought back the glam rock styling’s and vocal effects of the early seventies.
Temples set is short but oh so sweet. They clamour to the stage and the sight is so reminiscent of an Old Grey Whistle Test performance I expect to see Whispering Bob Harris quietly admiring them from the sidelines. Lead singer, James Edward Bagshaw (no, not a character from Rupert The Bear, I promise) looks amazing. His scoop necked, tasseled, long sleeved t-shirt is effortless. They have that essence of divinity seen in the sequinned eyes of New York Dolls and when they launch into ‘Ankh‘, the rhythm, keyboards and overall sense of happiness seem to pay a homage to the fanfare of songs such as ‘Get in the Swing‘ by Sparks (minus Russell Maels questionable choice of shorts).
Unfortunately there are some technical difficulties which are attributed to ‘fucking guitars’ although this seems a little unfair when at least a proportion of the blame transpires to belong to an amp. Although clearly pissing Keyboard and Guitarist Adam Smith off, it doesn’t detract from the bands performance, after a set re-jig and help from a techie, order is seemingly and rightly restored.
Their set continues and the sound takes an influence from an array of psychedelia and prog rock, big hitter ‘Shelter Song’ has a brassy guitar opening that rings through your ears and with their vocal layering there’s an echo of The Beatles in their hey day. When ‘Keep In The Dark‘ hits, suddenly the whole audience are clapping along in rhythm and joining in with the ‘lalala’s’ which bodes well for the four-piece, as their songs are already attracting stadium rock scenes.
With memorable hooks and blissful melodies Temples have set the bar high for their future releases and imminent headline nationwide tour. They leave the stage as swiftly as they arrived and amid the post gig high there’s a moment of sadness when you realise that this is probably the last time you’ll see this band at such an intimate venue.