H&H // LIVE: TEMPLES, THE MERRYLEES – THE BOILEROOM, GUILDFORD, – 03/10/13
Originally published on Hooting & Howling
On the back of the release of a mere two singles, embarking on a headline tour seems a great feat for a band such as Temples, however Thursday night Guildford’s kick off to exactly that at the ever faithful Boileroom proved the group are more than ready to shock a room into psychedelic music minefields without a glimmer of unease about them.
Before that though, all corners of the swiftly packed venue were treated to The Merrylees‘ own unique brand of wild west tinged 60’s psych-rock fusion, even better than it sounds. The Scot quartet galloped through their set of uneasy guitars and dreamy harmonies from singing duo Ryan Sandison and Simon Allan (cue the obligatory Libertines comparison) to round off the wholehearted – and brilliant – impression of Mexican bandits with scamp attitudes. Their debut single, ‘For You/The Coroner’, produced and played on by Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral, was released last month and along with this, their fittingly impressive live show suggests they are a big tip for next year’s greats, safe to say, by the time they’d left the stage, the venue was living up to it’s name – the crowd were more than warmed up.
Having witnessed them live at the majestic Alexandra Palace at the start of the year, it was obvious this show was going to be radically different in comparison, for a start the venue was 50 times smaller, but nothing could quite prepare for the sheer impressive hour of brilliance Temples did provide, within the six months they’ve established themselves,in leaps and bounds, as a key new sound across the airwaves that’s not to be ignored, and their live show is certainly no exception either.
They burst onto stage to a blissed out rendition of ‘Sun Structures’ and a buzz of nostalgic tones and excitement fell, setting the tone for the rest of the evening. By the end of their second track, the still utterly infective B side, ‘Prisms’, the exuberance of frontman James Bagshaw – dressed head to toe in glitter with glimpses of shining stars painted on each eye seeming an apt metaphor for it all – along with the rest of the quartet, had been unleashed in full flow and just in time for latest single, ‘Colours To Life’, to fill the room with a new level of spaced out psychedelia, the kind they excel masterfully at.
After brief acquaintances were made, ‘Keep In The Dark’, the outfit’s forthcoming single, kept the kaleidoscopic mood at much the same level with a pulsingly infective bassline provided by Thomas Warmsley overlaid by intricate guitars and a melody that’ll be stuck in your head for months, not that that’s a bad thing. All too soon the set began drawing to a close with an, unsurprisingly but still very much fantastic, “dancing version” of ‘Sand Dance’ and the latest incredible B side ‘Ankh’ – it has to be pointed out that – despite releasing only two so far – the consistency of complete musical excellence in both B sides is entirely on par, if not better, than the singles themselves, every song is brimming with utter talent and, as with the rest of their unreleased material, unlike so many other groups of their standards, no rushed throwaway types are needed, and that’s something to be genuinely admired and looked forward to if nothing else.
Finally, the riff of ‘Shelter Song’ was struck into and the loudest singalong of the night ensued surrounded by grins and the ultimate unspoken seal of approval before the band fled from the stage radiating brilliance in every last ounce of the trail of screaming feedback left in their wake.
Temples might have a minimal back catalogue to their name so far, but live they put forward a set quite so impressive it could easily match up to anyone with years of albums – and even probably top it. The band already look dead set to bring an ‘of the year’ debut album to 2014 with some of the finest style in a very long time.