Gig Review: THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – Oran Mor,Glasgow,18 September 2013

Every so often a band appears, seemingly from nowhere, who the press and media embrace. They appear in all the magazines, are played endlessly on the radio, and have grown men foaming at the mouth whilst waxing lyrical about the latest ‘must see’ outfit. The Temperance Movement are one of the latest recipients of this largesse and are the current darlings of the rock media.

So often though the hype and hyperbole isn’t matched by the band’s recorded output and live performance, so can The Temperance Movement avoid these pitfalls and prove themselves worthy of the early attention?  They have certainly started in a positive manner with the release of their excellent self-titled debut album which is an impressive mix of rock, blues, and a bit of soul. So can they follow that up in the live arena ?

The omens were good as we were met with ‘sold out’ signs on the door, obviously the press coverage and the album release are having a positive effect on the ticket sales. Before tonight’s main event we were treated to a short set from Samuel Taylor, a singer-songwriter armed with only an acoustic guitar and a mouth organ. His Bob Dylanesque style felt slightly out of place on this bill, but he played well to polite applause. Ultimately though there are buskers on street corners up and down the country doing exactly the same.

With the hall now at capacity The Temperance Movement took to the stage and kicked things off in rocking fashion with their latest single ‘Midnight Black’. Right from the off you could tell that this was going to be a good night.

Frontman Phil Campbell is the band’s focal point, part Mick Jagger, part Captain Jack Sparrow and, at times, part chicken, he bounces and dances his way through the performance. He might want to lose the charity shop fur coat he wore for the first number though! Phil is also good at involving the audience and had the crowd in the palm of his hand from early on. It possibly helped that this was a homecoming gig for Phil and he had many friends and family in the hall to cheer him on.

The set was unsurprisingly culled from the new album and the tracks were brought to life in the live setting. The main feature of the band’s sound is the twin guitar work of Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick who traded licks with aplomb. On occasion they did take the sparring a bit far with extended instrumental sections but their playing was top notch throughout.

The quality of the songs shone in the live environment with many highlights throughout the set including rocking versions of ‘Ain’t No Telling’ and ‘Be Lucky’. It was towards the tail end of the set though that the guys really impressed. They finished of the main set in fine fashion with ‘Pride’ and ‘Only Friend’ which went down a storm, but it was the first encore that really showed their live credentials.

Phil announced that as the hall was small they would do an unplugged version of ‘Chinese Lanterns’ and accompanied by only an acoustic guitar he put in a genuine, soul filled performance before being rejoined by the rest of the band for a rousing finale. ‘Serenity’ finally brought the evening to a close and the crowd went suitably wild as the final chords rang out.

This was a solid performance from the band and one that convinced me that they might well have a bright future ahead of them.

They are The Temperance Movement and they are most definitely the real deal!

Review and Photos by David Wilson.

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