(Credit: Alessio Bacchielli)

The view from Far Out: Temples live at the Botanique, Brussels

After two-and-a-half years, Temples, the English rock band from Kettering returned to Belgium to play a psychedelic show at Botanique. It was in the very same ‘Orangerie’ hall that they performed and it was for their, previous album, Volcano tour. Apparently, in this time window, Temples kept faith in the same hairdresser and clothes shops. Their look recalls inevitably the ’70s as their vintage glamour switched on almost immediately screams from wannabe groupies, scattered among the public who couldn’t wait to see their idols. For the remainders, more interested in using ears rather than eyes, we all hoped that the band wrapped up warm as the outside temperature in Brussels takes a turn for the festive.

Hot Motions is their latest album and, it has to be said, holds less verve than their previous releases. Fortunately, the latter had enough songs and by throwing a random grab from Sun Structures and Volcano would, without exception, produce a lot of beautiful things and, by contrast, our opinion about Hot Motions did not change last night.

Overall, their sound was great. A first-class mixture of the psychedelic guitars and bass blended with the elegant drums of touring drummer Rens Ottink. Despite some songs sounded rather stiff like Holy Horses, it was mainly the masterpieces that convinced us. The heavy riffs of A Question Isn’t Answered will always be welcomed at every concert. Towards the last part of the show, the band picked from their Keep in the Dark repertoire and Temples business card Shelter Song. The encore was sealed with the shamanic Mesmerise, clearly, a tactical move that nevertheless will continue to conquer us.

Temples are a perfect reminder that neo-psych has not come to reinvent anything. Just to sound good and to get carried away in slow ascension, which is not to belittle. Needless to say that in the ’70s guitar gears did not allow such heavy distortions. That said, Temples sound way better live than on record and it is not such a common reality nowadays but we undoubtedly left Botanique utterly satisfied.

Temples Setlist:

  • ‘The Howl’
  • ‘Certainty’
  • ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’
  • ‘You’re Either on Something’
  • ‘Colours to Life’
  • ‘Holy Horses’
  • ‘The Golden Throne’
  • ‘Context’
  • ‘Hot Motion’
  • ‘The Beam’
  • ‘Oh the Saviour’
  • ‘Keep in the Dark’
  • ‘Atomise’
  • ‘Shelter Song’
  • ‘Mesmerise’
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