Live Review

Temples, Electric Ballroom, London

The album’s not out until February, but tonight feels like an album presentation.

What started just over a year ago with singer/guitarist James Bagshaw and bassist Thomas Warmsley putting their love for intricate psychedelic sounds into writing songs and recording them at their home studio (aka James’ bedroom) has now turned the Electric Ballroom into a sold-out shimmering party. Temples are leading the uplifting psych-movement without a single shade of pretentiousness, and the fans packing this Camden venue are the flesh evidence of their effectiveness.

The soothing guitars and stomping drums of ‘Sun Structures’ open the evening with its sonic attention to detail also translated into stage lights projecting blue silhouettes where the only visible thing were the glitter sparks coming from James’ make up and (stunning) sequin jacket.

Temples’ debut LP is not due until February, but the abundance of unreleased tracks like ‘Test Of Time’ and ‘Move With The Seasons’ in the setlist, makes tonight feel like an album presentation, though one also leaving room for sing along moments, particularly during ‘Keep In The Dark’ which causes euphoric clapping, nodding and bouncing throughout.

If you’re trying to find Temples’ grotesque side, you will come back empty handed. You will, however, be a bit surprised with ‘Sand Dance’, a heavier piece with thick keywords that broadens the range of this already eclectic show.

The band leave the stage, and as the crowd keep on cheering, avidly asking for ‘one more song’, an encore is imminent - not least because a huge gong located next to the drums hasn’t been played yet. They reappear with brand new single ‘Mesmerise’, a poppier version of their usual hypnotism, full of tempo changes, vocal levels and their signature heart-beat bass line, which finishes off with an extensive instrumental section that has keyboard player Adam Smith on guitar duties sharing a loopy moment with Bagshaw in the centre of the stage serving as a live outro for the track.

There’s only one song left, James tests the tuning of his guitar with an open chord and the crowd go mad as they identify the begging of ‘Shelter Song’. There isn’t much left to prove at this point, but Temples manage to exceed themselves and leave for the night with the audience in their pockets.

Tags: Temples, Features

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