The Cooper Temple Clause: Where Are They Now?

From semi-professional footballers to becoming lecturers in music, Nathan Standlee looks at life after the band for TCTC.

There’s a special place in our hearts for those bands who, unfortunately, seemed to be doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. You know the ones. They just had something going on that could only work during one brief moment in time. This in turn would launch their careers into dizzying levels of success, before those rock and roll dreams inevitably fizzled out as the attentions of the public shifted elsewhere a year or two later. Where Are They Now documents life after the band for some forgotten favourites.

In the early to mid-noughties, The Cooper Temple Clause made some brilliant music. They put on spectacularly riotous live shows, had band members in NME’s yearly ‘Coolest People In The World’ list, and were well-liked by fans and critics alike. For a brief moment in time, they were that rare breed of band that managed to match their critical acclaim with decent chart success. The impossible double whammy. (They were purveyors of fearlessly creative hairstyling, too, which must be applauded).

It all started so well. Debut album ‘See This Through And Leave’, backed by singles ‘Let’s Kill Music’, ‘Been Training Dogs’ and ‘Who Needs Enemies’, managed a modest placing at number 27 in the UK album charts in 2002. Nothing spectacular, but a solid start nonetheless. 2003’s follow-up ‘Kick Up The Fire And Let The Flames Break Loose’ propelled the band to even greater recognition, with singles ‘Promises, Promises’ and ‘Blind Pilots’ (accompanied by an ace video, featuring a very young Michael Fassbender) gaining high praise and public attention, the former reaching number 19 in the singles chart, their highest position ever. Good stuff, eh? The album peaked at number 5 in the UK albums chart as well, another career high for the band. Wowzer. Things were heating up. The fan base was growing, the first glimpses of international relevance were on the horizon, everything was moving in the right direction. Next stop, world domination, right?

Not quite. In 2005, the cracks began to show. Bassist ‘Didz’ Hammond only bloody went and left for former Libertine Carl Barat’s super-cool new project, Dirty Pretty Things, didn’t he? Bad move. This seemed to set the downward spiral in motion. The rest of the band powered through and continued work on album number three, but as time ticked on and the musical landscape of the world began to shift, interest in the band began to wane. By the time ‘Make This Your Own’ was finally released in 2007, it was already too late. Sales were poor, and it seemed the band had lost interest altogether. With guitarist Daniel Fisher’s departure in April 2007, they decided to call it a day and go their separate ways. Cheers, Didz.

Here’s what’s going on in the present day for members of The Cooper Temple Clause:

Lead singer Ben Gautrey has, amazingly, become something of a sporting enigma in his local area. He’s currently the player manager of Ashridge Park FC, who are off to a decent start to the 2013 season, sitting in third place in the Reading Football League’s Premier Division. They recently suffered a 4-1 home drubbing to those damned Sandhurst Devels, mind. Fans may be calling for his head soon. Sort it out Gautrey! Or, ‘G-Train’, as he’s fondly known at Wokingham Chestnuts Cricket Club, where he is both Chairman AND Player Of The Decade (according to his Wikipedia entry). Absolute hero. He’s still keeping up with some musical shenanigans as well with new band Type Two Error.

Bassist Didz Hammond – in 2002 voted the 34th coolest person in the world by the NME! – was first to leave the band back in 2005, jumping ship in favour of Carl Barat’s ill-fated Dirty Pretty Things, before going on to flex his bass skills in Suede frontman Brett Anderson’s live band for several years. He now works for Quietus Management and is Suede’s day-to-day manager. Check him out being all serious and business-like here.

Drummer Jon Harper briefly took over drumming duties for quirky Brazilian electro poppers CSS from 2008-2009. He’s now a lecturer at Bristol’s Institute of Modern Music, where his colleagues include former Gay Dad frontman and Mojo journalist Cliff Jones, Pitchshifter drummer Jason Bowld, and Ocean Colour Scene bassist Damon Minchella. They should totally form a supergroup.

Multi-instrumentalist Tom Bellamy has powered on with various musical endeavours, most recently White Belt Yellow Tag. Guitarist Daniel Fisher has taken a similar route and currently plays in Red Kite. Keyboard whiz Kieran Mahon has opted to re-enter the world of education, gaining an undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University Of London, and currently completing an Architectural History MA at University College London. There you go.

Catch up with DIY’s ‘Where Are They Now’ features with The Rakes and The Rumble Strips.