Temples fail to offer anything other than plastic psychedelia, Getintothis’ Liam Fay finds a band battling to offer up anything new.
Psychedelia. This seems to be the buzz word in the realm of music right now. If your tunes are vaguely trippy and you can work an effects pedal then chances are you’ll be daubed with this label.
Psych, just like ‘indie’ in the mid-2000s, seems to be a misnomer applicable to almost anything. Now, psych has always been about but recent years have seen a fevered resurgence and Temples are keen to ride the crest of that wave.
Except tonight, they can’t. Everything they throw at the muddled, static crowd at the Kazimier feels lethargic, uninspired. It’s all just a bit drab, man. Taking the stage, the four boys from Kettering immediately steal your gaze. They are all wild hair and jawlines and ridiculously tight jeans. Nothing much left to the imagination tonight.
Then there’s front man, James Bagshaw; part Marc Bolan, part Mika. He’s sporting a gold sequined blazer this evening that shimmers in the spot light. Androgyny abounds. This tour was always going to be a difficult one though.
Temples have three solid singles and not much else to work with. As a result they can only offer up a set that is around half an hour in length. Not a problem with short and sweet, but tonight they made it seem like much longer. Lack of energy sees to this. Bagshaw had a go at the crowd at one point for their lack of enthusiasm. Perhaps in this regard attitude reflects leadership.
Temples at the Kazimier, Liverpool
Constantly throughout the gig our attention is drawn to the ‘crucial’ World Cup qualifier between England and Poland as the sound-tech lads had the game on their computer. This proved to be a welcome relief from the gig as our yawns reached catastrophic Bagpussian, jaw-locking levels.
Their three singles are well spread through the set so it wasn’t a case of burning out too quickly. Rather this was an evening that flickered intermittently.
Colours To Life, three tracks in, is the first to grab the audience’s interest and it sounds pretty good. Just like on your iPod (or other mobile listening device). That’s the problem, there’s nothing to really set this gig aside from listening to the band through your headphones. Barring the odd whine from Bagshaw of course.
The highlight of the set is Ankh, which has a delightfully acid-soaked, crazed synth riff. This would be the jingle if Syd Barrett had driven an ice cream truck instead of being a recluse. You wouldn’t want a 99 off him though. “Do you want a flake in it?” Indeed.
After having dragged proceedings out with filler, Temples get to their killer. Latest single Keep In The Dark and Shelter Song finish the performance and actually make the crowd move for the first time. Except they’re all rather confused.
Some tried to sway, some fist-pump furiously, two rhythmically challenged girl attempted to swirl along to the tunes offered up into the air, most just stood there though. As a parting shot/gift to the crowd James Bagshaw mentions that this has been the best night of the tour so far. It’s either been the first night, a mediocre tour or he’s being bloody sarcastic.
Overall, mediocre would be the key word when describing Temples’ performance tonight. Nothing out of the ordinary but then nothing truly terrible. You could have got the same experience from listening to their gear at home.
Telegram at the Kazimier, Liverpool
Earlier on, when the night was still pregnant with anticipation and the crowd were but a mere drop in the Kazimier’s pond-like floor Telegram grabbed everyone by the brass monkeys for a brief, golden moment during their standout track, Follow.
It’s got the legs, the furious drumming, the harmonies and it’s all done with a gorgeous Welsh lilt. Everything sounds better with a Welsh lilt. Follow stood head and shoulders above the rest of the set in which they resembled a herd of dyspraxic, dancing horses with ill-fitting wigs.
Pictures by Getintothis’ John Johnson.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Temples – the new band bringing psychedelic wonderment
Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2013: Camp and Furnace & Blade Factory, Liverpool – day one
Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2013: Camp and Furnace & Blade Factory, Liverpool – day two