On the basis of just their debut album, The Temperance Movement has gone from strength to strength. In the past couple of years, they’ve gone from playing Oran Mor to a sold out ABC in Glasgow, via Edinburgh’s Liquid Rooms and Glasgow’s Queen Margaret Union.
From the start, I knew we were in for a good show tonight after the QMU performance. I expected the place to fill fast but as I line up at quarter to seven, there wasn’t much of a queue. Five minutes passed and that wasn’t the case, nice timing. After a quick run to the merch booth to pick up a rare live album the band were selling at gigs only, I took my place with a friend at the barrier and settled in for a good night.
Magic Numbers, a local band were on in front of the main attraction. A short half hour, they didn’t waste much time chatting to the crowd, rattling through their set. Despite their appreciation of a large crowd just after eight which they clearly weren’t expecting, it wasn’t enough to win over the crowd. Every song was met with polite applause. For a band like The Temperance Movement, they weren’t a great fit. It’s not my sort of thing but imagine some nineties indie/Britpop scene and it’ll appeal to you if you’re into that indie/hipster scene. Not me.
Then, it was time. The Temperance Movement took to the stage, the crowd roaring their approval. Launching straight in with a new song, followed by one of their better-known songs “Midnight Black”, it set the scene for the rest of the night. Between playing the majority of their self-titled debut, they threw in a smattering of new songs, likely ear-marked for their new album. They went down well and showed how great a band they really are, comfortably performing them alongside their established songs. Appealing to young and old, their blues-drenched, soulful rock and roll has something for everyone, which may account for their soaring popularity.
Songs like “Ain’t No Telling” and “Take it Back” roused the crowd while others like “Smouldering” and “Pride” dropped the pace. Meanwhile “Chinese Lanterns”, with lead singer Phil Campbell on acoustic guitar, had the crowd taking on the duty of singing the chorus with Phil remarking how good it was to hear. He also took the time to drawl a few other remarks to his home crowd, including the support people have given the band in the last couple of years.
With most of the band remaining in one place, occasionally wander over to the drum riser, it was Phil Campbell who took on the duty of wandering the stage, never staying in one spot for long, writhing and dancing over the stage, at one point shaking a makeshift staff, looking very much like a Native American shaman.
However, the rest of the band did get opportunities to flex their muscles with a bass solo from Nick Fyffe and towards the end of the set, various extended musical pieces from the dual guitars of Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick.
By the time the band had finished, including their encore, it was clear they had more than delivered what was expected of them. With the prospect of a new album looming, I think the band have gone as far as they can on just one album and they’ll turn their attention to new material before they get out on the road again. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long.