Live Review

Temples, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

A succinct showcase of the band’s combined talents.

The psychedelic 60s is an era constantly in revival. From My Bloody Valentine via The Brian Jonestown Massacre to Tame Impala, the baton has passed to many throughout the years. With Temples now signed to Heavenly Recordings and their debut LP release reaching Number Seven in the UK Album charts, we’re not done riding the shifting waves of psychedelia just yet.

And yet the quartet from Kettering blow away all preconceptions of contrived artificiality with a tight set that solidifies psychedelic rock’s timelessness.

They arrive on stage to the symphonic crescendo of Gunter Kallman Choir’s ‘Daydream’, as well as a deafening welcome from the raucous crowd, and launch straight into ‘Colours to Life’, its crisp melodies catalysing the masses as they progress from mere nods and foot-tapping to jumps and fist-pumps in a matter of minutes.

Adam Smith’s kaleidoscopic keyboards continue to hypnotise as James Bagshaw’s distinct vocals and searing licks from his enviable range of guitars soar out to eager throngs. As the set progresses, the crowd wail along to ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’ before opting for a rowdy-yet-wordless appreciation of boisterous b-side ‘Ankh’ as the chorus possesses their flailing limbs.

The set is drenched in a haze of purples, greens and oranges, the Temples logo clearly illuminated on the back curtain as they continue with ‘Keep in the Dark’ and ‘Sand Dance’, (both meeting with cheers and singing). The colours and smoke are suitably disorienting, but the visuals feel slightly static when combined with their dynamic sound. It doesn’t take away from the full set though, a succinct showcase of their combined talents that is tightly performed right from their arrival on stage through to the fittingly-titled finale ‘Mesmerise’.

It might be a psychedelic experience that involves beer and distortion rather than blotters and daisy-chains, but the hedonistic sentiment remains the same. One can’t help feeling, however, that they are a little confined tonight - even in the cavernous Shepherd’s Bush Empire. With the crowd loving it as much as they were, this summer’s festival season is set to be a big one for these boys.

Tags: Temples, Features

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