Looking for previews and reviews of SXSW 2019? Right this way.

SXSW 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Live at Leeds 2017 Preview: editor Mary’s best band bets

 
By on Wednesday, 19th April 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: as we always recommend in all of TGTF’s festival previews, the information we post here on Live at Leeds 2017 is current at the time of posting. We strongly encourage you to check in at the Live at Leeds 2017 official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Wristbands for the event in Leeds on Saturday the 29th of April are still available at the bargain price of £32.50 plus handling if purchased online; VIP tickets are sold out. More information on where you can purchase your tickets in person or online is available here.

SXSW 2017 alums: Here’s a list of artists we either saw last month in Austin who we enjoyed AND/OR we previewed ahead of the festival -AND- will also be appearing at Live at Leeds in 2 Saturdays’ time. For your convenience, I’ve listed them in order of appearance on the day so you can slot them into your growing schedule. The best of the best are marked with an asterisk. (*)

LIFE (2:00 PM, Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 [Dr. Martens Presents]) *
Ten Tonnes (2:00 PM, Chapel) *
Airways (3:00 PM, Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 [Dr. Martens Presents])
Jade Bird (4:30 PM, Faversham Patio)
Annabel Allum (5:00 PM, Social)
Be Charlotte (5:00 PM, Faversham)
IDLES (7:15 PM, Key Club [DORK Stage])
She Drew the Gun (8:00 PM, Wardrobe)
Temples (8:00 PM, Church)
Lewis Watson (8:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church [Clash Stage])
The Academic (9:00 PM, Lending Room [WTGR Stage]) *
Dream Wife (9:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY Stage])
Slaves (9:00 PM, Academy)
Flamingods (9:45 PM, Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 [Dr. Martens Presents])
Rag‘n’Bone Man (9:45 PM, Leeds University Union Refectory)
The Big Moon (10:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY Stage])
GURR (10:45 PM, Brudenell Social Club Games Room [DIY Neu Stage])
AJ Tracey (11:00 PM, Faversham)
Let’s Eat Grandma (11:00 PM, Chapel)

To add to the best 3 from above and round things out to a even 10 acts, here are an additional 7 I recommend from the fantastic Live at Leeds 2017 schedule:

The Gallery (Wakefield; 12:00 PM, Lending Room [WTGR Stage])
Wakefield is, of course, famous for being the birthplace The Cribs. But the Jarmans should probably get used to sharing the city with another band. The jangly guitars of The Gallery, reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys before they turned into Queens of the Stone Age, will take you back to the simpler times of British indie.

Wyvern Lingo (Wicklow, Ireland; 1:00 PM, Nation of Shopkeepers)
While already deemed national treasures in their country, most people outside Ireland have only heard of Wyvern Lingo from their association with Irish megastar Hozier, their members Karen and Caoimhe providing him backing vocals at live shows and the group supporting him on UK and Irish tours. Imagine the Staves if they’d gone pop and r&b.

Matt Maltese (London; 2:00 PM, Wardrobe)
It took Morrissey a while to be anointed the title ‘The Pope of Mope’. That said, given the current state of world affairs, it stands to reason that there should rightly be more artists coming out and telling it like it is without sugarcoating it. Piano playing Matt Maltese is one of them, coming out with the sweepingly beautiful ‘As the World Caves In’ to convey his despair. Seriously, close your eyes, and you could swear you’re hearing The Moz.

The Wandering Hearts (London; 3:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church [Clash Stage])
A stark contrast to all the indie and pop acts at this year’s Live at Leeds are The Wandering Hearts, an Americana / alt-country group from the big smoke. Recent signees to Decca Records, the band will provide a welcome midday set different from nearly everyone else invited to this event, with their lush harmonies smartly picked guitar.

Paris Youth Foundation (Liverpool; 5:00 PM, Oporto)
The return of Ride to the record shops this year proves the washy guitar wall of sound era isn’t over. Liverpudlians Paris Youth Foundation takes this and does one better by adding synthpop to the mix, lending an anthemic feel to their tracks. Having released their debut album late last year, this is still early days for them, but I reckon now is time to get on the bandwagon.

Tender Central (Devon; 5:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church [Clash Stage])
India Bourne is a Devon-born, classically trained cellist who now goes by the stage name Tender Central. It’s a good description of her sound, which takes full advantage of her ethereal vocals and her careful crafting of an equally evocative, all-enveloping soundscape. Take a moment and consider the thought of seeing such music being performed in a church. Got it?

The Pale White (Newcastle; 5:30 PM, Church)
While Patrick Carney is busy remoulding his girlfriend Michelle Branch, now is an excellent time to discover the band who will dethrone the Black Keys when they aren’t paying attention. While we can’t be sure their successors will be Newcastle’s The Pale White, their brand of down and dirty blues rock is a suitable North East alternative to that of Southampton’s Band of Skulls.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Midlands and East of England artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Thursday, 2nd March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Tourists visiting the UK often overlook the Midlands and the East of England. They would rather visit London and other more ‘famous’ big cities in the country. Unfortunately and unfairly, the same kind of phenomenon happens when it comes to journalists looking for and tipping bands. They’d rather focus on London, Manchester and Glasgow: you know, the places where everywhere you turn, you find a new unsigned artist chomping at the bit for a chance. While it’s true that bands in the UK tend to gravitate towards and relocate to London to try to make a proper go of it, there’s something to be said about refusing to follow the pack, hanging tough in your hometown and being proud of where you’re from.

So today’s edition of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017 will introduce you to a healthy baker’s dozen of acts from the Midlands and the East of England who will have their time in the spotlight next month in Austin. Except where noted, the summaries below were written by our Northern Irish correspondent Adam McCourt. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

The Midlands

BURNS – electronic / DJ / Los Angeles via Stafford
He used to call Stafford his ‘hood. But highly sought producer, DJ and electronic musician in his own right Matthew James Burns now calls Los Angeles home. It’s no wonder that his eclectic nature blending elements of pop, dance and hip-hop has drawn loads of attention, admirers and potential collaborators, but SXSW 2017 will be his moment to shine on his own. FFO: deadmau5, Kaskade (Mary Chang)

Charlie Cunningham – singer/songwriter / Bedfordshire
Charlie Cunningham lived in Spain for 2 years and has uniquely incorporated the flamenco influences that inspired him abroad into his playing, songwriting and overall sound on his music recent music. This seems to be the thing many people like about the Bedfordshire artist’s music. Following a series of EPs in successive years (‘Outside Things’ in 2014, ‘Breather’ in 2015, ’Heights’ in 2016), his debut album ‘Lines’ is out now. FFO: Bombay Bicycle Club, Chet Faker

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCYHNfMa2uI[/youtube]

HECK – punk / Nottingham
Straight from Nottingham, HECK have been consistent in truly bringing the noise amongst the twiddly, light-hearted, slightly emo math scene since 2009. Formerly known to the math-rock community as Baby Godzilla, Johnny Hall (vocals/rhythm guitar), Matt Reynolds (vocals/lead guitar), Paul Shelley (backing vocals/bass), Tom Marsh (Drums) now perform as HECK. Rest assured, the name change is the only thing that’s changed about them. It took a while, but the band released their debut album under the name HECK ‘Instructions’ last March 2016. FFO: Dillinger Escape Plan, The Fall of Troy, Sikth

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykC0MQNgyM0[/youtube]

Jacob Banks – r&b / Birmingham
R&b artist Jacob Banks incredibly shot to success during his time as an unsigned artist. He was the first-ever unsigned artist to appear on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge and won the 2012 MOBO UnSung regional competition in his hometown of Birmingham. He has accomplished a whole host of successes in such a short career: a support slot for Emilie Sande on her 2013 UK tour, the second release ‘Worthy’, from his debut EP ‘The Monologue’, featured on hit American TV show ‘Suits’, and as was championed by Zane Lowe. Banks released his debut album ‘The Paradox’ in July 2015 and signed a major label deal to Interscope Records last year. FFO: Naughty Boy, Sam Smith, Emelie Sande, Rag’n’Bone Man

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoIaOKg4Otw[/youtube]

Safone – grime / Birmingham
London might get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to rappers, and yes. there might be less of a critical mass of hip-hop and grime artists in the Midlands. However, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and a talented StayFresh crew that spans this part of England has ensured “as a means of releasing and uniting grime music in the area.” One of their own, SafOne (two syllables, please), was picked up by South London rapper P Money for a collaboration on the track ‘Roll Up’, though it’s easy to see in the video below who the true star is. FFO: Giggs, Skepta (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAI94SzvWow[/youtube]

Temples – psych rock / Kettering
The biggest name in this edition of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017 – at least in terms of Facebook likes – is psychedelic four-piece Temples. Since their formation in 2012, the band have released one studio album, ‘Sun Structures’ in February 2014, which charted at number 7 in the UK. Following its success, they then released a remix album in November the same year, ‘Sun Restructured’. They have continued to grow by touring as both headliners and support acts and tomorrow, they release their sophomore album. FFO: The Beatles, Tame Impala

To read what we’ve written on Temples in the past here at TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6zdVaAe0OE[/youtube]

VITAL – hip-hop / Wolverhampton
VITAL is a rapper cut from a different cloth. Beyond what he does with this words and music, he’s also a family man and a motivational speaker, taking from his Wolverhampton and Jamaican roots for inspiration. Outside of the accolades he’s received for his music and videos and support from BBC Radio 1 and 1xtra, his approach in upholding family morals and doing what’s right – considered unusual in his genre – has led to him being recognised as a business owner and entrepreneur.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0c-dRskBo8[/youtube]

East of England

Airways – rock / Peterborough
Airways are a recently formed indie rock band, based in Peterborough. Despite the band’s short career, they have made huge strides in the UK scene, most of which came off the back of their second single ‘One Foot’ released in July 2016. It was named BBC introducing Track of the Week by BBC Radio 1 in August 2016 and gained them a slot on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds. FFO: Royal Blood, Foals, Nothing But Thieves

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9x-mVZ7vBgk[/youtube]

Let’s Eat Grandma – experimental / pop / Norwich
Teenage best friends and Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth are two girls who refuse to keep their music in a box. ANY box. Their weird and wonderful music takes from pop, rock, hip-hop and experimental, melding into something you’ve never ever heard before. They signed to Transgressive Records and released their beguilingly unique ‘I, Gemini’ debut album last summer. While they’re so young that they won’t be able to tuck into pints in Austin, they’re sure to be one of the most intriguing acts to catch at SXSW 2017. FFO: Kate Bush, St. Vincent (Mary Chang)

To read more of TGTF’s past coverage on Let’s Eat Grandma, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QegNRZ63WmM[/youtube]

Mary Epworth – singer/songwriter / Norwich
Mary Epworth (pictured at top) [yes, she’s producer Paul’s sister – Ed.] meticulously blends what she claims to be West Coast psychedelia with gospel and dream pop to create quite a unique a style of music. Her debut album ‘Dream Life’ was released in June 2012 via her own label Hand of Glory. Supporting the LP, Epworth played sold out shows and a string of festivals throughout the UK. After garnering so much attention from fans and the likes of BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music and Q in the UK, it finally got a North American release in 2015, so her appearance in Austin for SXSW couldn’t come soon enough. FFO: Bright Eyes, Let’s Eat Grandma, Elbow, Florence and the Machine

To read past coverage on Mary Epworth on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=722dDnXtkgA[/youtube]

Mullally – pop / soul / Great Yarmouth
Filled with life and love, Mullally crafts pop songs that are soulful and have a big heart. A voice that perfectly encapsulates the soul it needs to, he projects and encourages sing along through catchy and memorable lyrics. Maybe not as poppy as you might think, there’s a dark edge to the music, but the pop bones are certainly holding it all together. FFO: Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith (Steven Loftin)

Superglu – rock / Manningtree
“An abstract painter, a disco dancing sociologist, a bloke who lives on a houseboat and a guitarist form a band,” is what the opening line of Superglu’s bio reads on Facebook. It sounds like the start of a joke but to be clear, this garage pop outfit from Manningtree are not joking around. In just 2 years, their ‘laser precise, punk pop workouts’ have received attention from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Radio X’s John Kennedy, performed at Latitude festival, twice and headlined the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds. FFO: Baby Strange, Spring King

To read our past coverage on Superglu here on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1H_6gImH80[/youtube]

Ten Tonnes – singer/songwriter / Hertford
Younger brother of superstar George Ezra, Ethan Barnett aka Ten Tonnes is a singer/songwriter with the draw of a full band. A sound that is reminiscent of ‘90s Britrock, Barnett crafts heartfelt songs with powerhouse choruses you’ll soon be singing along to. The ‘Lucy’ EP is out now and ready for you to fall in love with. FFO: Bombay Bicycle Club, Catfish and the Bottlemen (Steven Loftin)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNZK0BiPMfg[/youtube]

Editor Mary Chang contributed to this report.

 

(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2304: Temples

 
By on Thursday, 23rd February 2017 at 10:00 am
 

Kettering’s Temples will be appearing next month at SXSW 2017, their second time at the big dance in Austin. On the first Friday of March, the 3rd, they’ll be releasing their brand new sophomore effort ‘Volcano’, out then on Heavenly Recordings (UK) and Fat Possum (America). No doubt we’ll be treated to some new tunes from the LP in Texas! ‘Strange or Be Forgotten’ is an early single from the forthcoming album, and its accompanying promo video shows very clearly that the psych band is more than just the reverb and delays in their guitars. As the title of the single suggests and as portrayed in the video, individualism and differences between the members of the motley assembled crew to be filmed are celebrated and appreciated. Watch the video for ‘Strange or Be Forgotten’ below. For more of our coverage on Temples on TGTF, go here. Stay tuned: as part of our ongoing TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017, our roundup of Midlands artists headed to SXSW 2017, including Temples, will post next week.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x7tU8toCos[/youtube]

 

Temples / March and April 2017 English Tour

 
By on Friday, 13th January 2017 at 8:00 am
 

Kettering psych rock band Temples have announced a list of live dates to be played in England this spring, following the release of their forthcoming second album ‘Volcano’. The new LP is due out on the 3rd of March via Heavenly Recordings, and the band have also unveiled a new track from it, titled ‘Strange or Be Forgotten’. Bassist Tom Walmsley describes the impetus for the song: “We’re continually inundated with pressure in modern life to have to make something of ourselves and leave behind a legacy in this world. ‘Strange Or Be Forgotten’ is our way of questioning the necessity of having to be all so individual and unique – when really it’s our true selves that should be celebrated.” You’ll find a stream of ‘Strange or Be Forgotten’ just below the tour date listing.

Temples’ upcoming shows in England are part of a larger European tour; you can find a full listing of their live dates on the band’s official Web site. In the midst of their English tour, Temples will also make a stop at the 2Q Festival in Derby on the 1st of April. Tickets for the following shows will be available today starting at 10 AM.

TGTF’s previous coverage of Temples, including a live review from Kendal Calling 2015, is collected right through here.

Sunday 26th March 2017 – Newcastle Riverside
Monday 27th March 2017 – Sheffield Leadmill
Tuesday 28th March 2017 – Manchester Academy 2
Thursday 30th March 2017 – London Brixton Electric
Friday 31st March 2017 – Brighton Concorde 2
Sunday 2nd April 2017 – Birmingham Institute 2
Thursday 27th April 2017 – Bristol Trinity Centre

 

Kendal Calling 2015: Day 1 Roundup (Part 2)

 
By on Friday, 7th August 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Missed part 1 of Martin’s coverage of day 1 at Kendal Calling 2015? No worries. It’s right here.

Something a little closer to home is Hyde and Beast, the retro-mellow-rock outfit of Wearside provenance. If you’d have told me the the Futureheads‘ drummer would create a side project that could rival the excellence of his main band I’d have laughed in the face of your folly, but today’s incarnation of H ‘n’ B is the finest I’ve seen and easily the equal of its forebear. Replete with horn section and many guitars they casually invoke the mellower side of ’70s glam rock, and, if you squint your ears, a hint of the country influence of The Eagles and Lynyrd Skynryd for good measure, all filtered through the Sunderland prism of unexpected arrangements and jazz chords pressed into action for less hifalutin purposes. Dave Hyde looks quite the dapper part as co-frontman, and it all serves to reinforce the fact that, in music like in football, Sunderland are beating Newcastle regularly these days.

After a long wait, it’s my first time seeing Flyte, and they don’t disappoint. The London four-piece look as if a gentle breeze might knock them down, but no bed-wetters are these: in addition to their finely-crafted ’80s-tinged pop songs, they really rock out. Delicacy and power in equal measure? Just the ticket.

Daniel Waples plays the hang drum, a relatively obscure percussive instrument which serves up rhythm, bass and melody just by hitting it, at which Waples is very good indeed. With a sparse violin accompaniment, and later some overlaid spoken-word from KP Kev the Poet, it’s an admirably funky set even before you consider the primary instrument.

Cocos Lovers, also in the Chai Wallahs tent, come highly-praised, and indeed they meld folk and world music in a very clever way. Their tunes are jolly vignettes with a gentle undertow of melancholy, violin and acoustic guitar often paired with Johnny Cash’s trademark train rhythm. Decent enough, but their considerable reputation preceded them, and I was perhaps expecting something more spectacular.

Spectacle certainly wasn’t lacking at Twisted Tubes, a brass collective from Manchester. Kendal Calling is big on pop-brass bands, with particularly stiff competition from the Riot Jazz Brass Band, but Twisted Tubes are a little different – yes, they do the pop covers stuff, but they’ve got a chap that can do a bit of urban-style singing too, so they come across like there’s a proper originals band there wanting to break free. Plus, there’s nothing more exhilarating than a load of brass at full chat – you simply can’t have enough of it.

Since I last saw them, Temples have developed into a proper main stage band, their driving and droning psychedelia and enormous hair filling the main arena with a strong fug of ’70s nostalgia. I’m pretty sure there was liberal use of backing tracks, but I’ll forgive them that because it suits their larger-than life persona: these guys really are living the hippy dream, with their expensive vintage guitars (note the singer’s particularly nice heavily-checked Gretsch) and authentic vintage clothes as much of a draw as their music itself.

Laura Doggett is an otherworldly presence – barefoot, dressed in black underwear and lacy dressing gown, by turns she fiercely emotes during songs, and giggles between them. Her ditties swing between glitch-folk and more conventional indie-folk epics, all overlaid with her dusky tones, like Florence Welch’s really weird younger sister. Quite astonishingly powerful in full flow, there’s a witchy quality about her that’s at times genuinely unsettling, but didn’t stem the tide of marriage proposals from the large, refreshed crowd. None of which she accepted, funnily enough.

Antimatador are an urban funk-soul collective from the South West, and seemed a little perturbed to be playing to a rather modest crowd in the Chai Wallahs tent after such a long drive. Certainly few of the festivals new, younger fanbase appear to want to spend time there, presumably in lieu of a spot of face-chewing in the Glow tent. Anyway, Antimatador’s epic, funky journeys were well worth the trip, in my opinion, especially since they had a spot of actual vinyl mixing and scratching: a rare treat these days.

I think even the man himself would be prepared to admit that this wasn’t a classic Gaz Coombes set. It seemed there were a couple of technical hitches, and the Calling Out tent has a really tight time schedule, so perhaps he wasn’t feeling at full emotive flow when he took to the stage. That elusive element of specialness wasn’t quite there somehow. Despite that, his material just gets better and better, so even an average reading of his songs is still something rather special. He continues to mature as a songwriter, and given the strength of his back catalogue, it’s easily possible to make the case that Coombes is top of the Britpop songwriters, still just as relevant now as he was 20 years ago. Quite some feat.

Slamboree’s music wouldn’t necessarily be top of my desert island discs playlist, but by the good lord of rock they give an impressive show. Their larger-than-life vocalist Kathika Rabbit deserves special mention for being the most impressive female rapper I’m ever likely to see. She acts as mistress of ceremonies while chaos ensues around her in the form of – as they call it – “Pyro Circus Dub Rave”. I can’t do better than that description, frankly, only add that it doesn’t quite describe the alternately glamorous and ghoulish characters that come and go on stage. In the interests of not giving away spoilers I won’t say any more. Suffice to say, it’s an unforgettable way to round off a very long first day at Kendal Calling 2015.

 

Live Review: Temples with Spires at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 28th October 2014

 
By on Friday, 31st October 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

Ever since I started blogging, I’ve been whinging about terribly mismatched headliners and their support acts. (Pretty sure the worst pairing I’ve ever seen was LA punk band Abe Vigoda opening for Vampire Weekend at Constitution Hall in April 2010.) Earlier this week, I probably witnessed the best pairing of my life so far: Kettering’s Temples, who have made their name in the 21st century by successfully resurrecting late ’60s psychedelia, were preceded by Brooklyn band Spires, who might not look as wigged out as Temples but they’ve got the same vibe. Both made their 9:30 Club debut in Washington Tuesday evening.

Yet to be signed Spires were originally started by singer/guitarist Matt Stevenson, whose intention was to make it a home recording project. Eventually, I guess touring became a viable and potentially profitable option once band members Jack Manley (guitar), Michael Goodman (guitar/synth), Jack Collins (bass) and Carter McNeil (drums) were added. Last year, NME dubbed them “the US’ answer to Temples”, which makes one wonder if Temples were sat around a laptop one day to come up with potential bands to take around America as support, Googled what bands were being compared to them and came across that NME blog entry. No matter how this all came out, it’ll go down as one of the better matched band bills in recent memory. Having already made a splash in the UK with their single ‘Candy Flip’ appearing on the Too Pure Singles Club in early 2014, you could never blame them for enjoying this stroke of luck of getting this tour.

While the psych rock feeling definitely runs through the bulk of Spires’ songs, I couldn’t help but notice the haircut and swagger of Stevenson, recalling less so Mick Jagger in the Swinging Sixties and more of those ’90s charismatic Britpop frontmen Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft, both of whom as of late have seen better days. As evidenced by songs like ‘Comic Book’, there seems to be a poppier undertone to their music too compared to Temples, which seems to beg for listening in almost complete darkness, with the only light coming from one spare lava lamp.

Spires also seems to have a lot of material, which is pretty good for an unknown band, and their headlining buddies were nice to let them play a pretty long opening set. Their most recently released song, just public for a mere 2 weeks, is ‘Sleepy Eyes’, which like its name suggests is a dreamy, hazy soundscape. For even more street cred, the track was engineered, mixed and produced by Connor Hanwick, who you may recall as the former drummer of The Drums.

The dressing rooms at the 9:30 Club have adjoining balconies so that bands can watch the others on their bill from a bird’s eye view. This particular night, I was wondering why Temples’ balcony seemed to full of equipment. Shortly before they went on stage, all was revealed: in addition to two blokes on the Temples’ balcony, another two had been dispatched to the other side of the club on the punters’ balcony upstairs, and all four were in charge of the pulsating, constantly changing coloured backdrop onstage that can only be described as appropriately trippy for this band. One can only assume they thought the foursome would somehow feel dwarfed by the massive stage of the 9:30 without the kind of lighting rigs only bands like Cut Copy and Kaiser Chiefs can afford, feeling desperate that they had to come up with some kind of visual gimmick of their own. While the manpower deserve an A for effort, the effect was entirely unnecessary and to be honest, mostly distracting.

So what does one do at a Temples concert? It isn’t the kind of music to mosh to, though a pair of kids near us insisted on throwing their bodies and their backpacks around, much to the chagrin of the predominately older, non-teenage crowd who preferred to be respectful, their heads bobbing side to side with the shared knowledge that they were witnessing a pretty special band play. Frontman James Bagshaw – you can’t miss him with that glam rock-y, Marc Bolan-esque, massive perm of hair almost totally obscuring his face – seemed truly touched by the reception. He smiled while commenting, “I see someone in the front who knows the words better than I do. Which is good!” There must be no greater validation for a band than to come to the world famous 9:30 and to see your fans clearly enjoying your performance. While the club wasn’t anywhere near sold out and heaving as I’ve seen for other bands, it didn’t matter: you could tell from the mood and general excitement that everyone who was there were there because they truly adored Temples, which is not something you can for most shows at this venue, often attracting hipsters who disrespectfully chat their way through sets, swilling beer.

Debut album title track ‘Sun Structures’ is fantastic in its tempo, chugging along and being less psychedelic oozy, which I can appreciate. ‘Shelter Song’, their most recognisable tune, was saved for the end of the main set and got the best reception of the night, and with good reason: it’s fun, it’s happy and you can tap your toes to it. However, the highest technical marks must go to ‘Mesmerise’, which on record is less than 4 minutes long, but Temples somehow manage to stretch over 10 minutes (I think?) with instrumental flourishes and expanses. As the song went on and on, I had to wonder when it would end, but after getting my ears screamed in a couple of times (yes, those kids again), I think it’s safe to say most punters didn’t want to see the show end. Is psychedelic rock back? Why, yes. It is.

After the cut: Temples’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Temples with Spires at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 28th October 2014

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us