With February well underway, thought it might be about time we had something new to listen to. I mean, it’s all very well digging through loads of old songs, but what about the new guys? Can’t have them playing to empty rooms just because bloggers like me are too lazy to give them a mention. (Yeah, right: because we’re * that * influential…)
Temples are a band less than two years old who released their debut album, “Sun Structures” on Monday, and it’s a beautiful thing, from the psychedelic sound, the excellent songwriting and even the look and feel of the thing (double LP! Triple gatefold sleeve! And, get this – Orange Vinyl!). “Sun Structures” might just be the best British psychedelic record since Syd Barrett was melting his brain in Pink Floyd. If you like Tame Impala, Flaming Lips, The Byrds and T Rex, then Temples might just be your new favourite band.
The more sharp-minded regular readers amongst you may remember ERTAS was at Temples’ show at The Lexington last year which they put on to celebrate the launch of their debut single, the excellent “Shelter Song”. Last night Temples celebrated the launch of “Sun Structures” with an in-store show at Rough Trade East, followed by a signing.
Here are Four Actual Facts About Temples for you to carry around with you in case anyone asks:
- Fact One: Temples come from Kettering, Northants, UK. They are the most exciting thing to come from the town since Freeman, Hardy and Willis, the pioneering UK folk trio. *
- Fact Two: The band recorded their debut album in singer/guitarist James Bagshaw’s spare bedroom – an 8’x10′ effort that, once all the equipment is in there, can’t house more than one person at a time.
- Fact Three: Temples are part of a New Wave of Psychedelic Bands, taking their cue from King Crimson, Floyd and Gong. Tame Impala appear to be leading this movement, with Toy, Hookworms and Pond following close behind. Famous fans of Temples include Noel Gallagher, Jonny Marr and Bobby Gillespie.
- Fact Four: The band comprise of:
- James Bagshaw – lead vocals, lead guitar, green glitter eyeshadow.
- Thomas Warmsley – bass guitar, curtain haircut, corduroy trousers.
- Sam Toms – drums, smiles.
- Adam Smith – keyboards, guitar, Noel Fielding impressions.
Tickets for the in-store appearance sold out early and Temples played a strong selection of tasters from “Sun Structures”, opening with “Colours To Life”, before playing the title track itself, a driving and adventurous song with Dick Dale guitar licks and an Eastern-tinged riff.
Sporting a twelve string Danelectro with as much nonchalance as he did skinny jeans and green glitter eye shadow, lead singer and guitarist James Bagshaw peered through his Bolan hairdo and acknowledged the crowd. Next was album highlight, “A Question Isn’t Answered” a song that builds slowly to a monster-riff which is especially effective live with bassist Warmsley throwing some shapes across the stage. “Move With The Season” and the two singles, “Shelter Song” and an extended “Mesmerise” closed the brief set.
With Noel Gallagher having sung their praises, describing them as “the best new band in Britain” expectations were high for the album and Temples have delivered a satisfying debut. They have a great sound, and what is encouraging is a) there are more great songs on the album beyond the ones they played live on Monday and b) I think they could expand their sound further, given the opportunity. Perhaps that’s what is exciting about Temples. They may have just released an excellent debut album, but it feels like there is more to come…
Temples: A Question Isn’t Answered
* Oh, okay, this is only a half-fact: Freeman Hardy and Willis is connected with Kettering, but is in fact a shoe shop.