Hype can be a dangerous thing in the cut-throat UK music scene, and being heralded as ‘the next big thing’ is often more a curse than a blessing. For psychedelic rock band Temples, hype doesn’t come much bigger than comparisons to The Flaming Lips and The Beatles even before the release of their debut album.
Not to be distracted by such lofty praise, the quartet from Kettering underline their credentials as one of the most promising young bands in the UK with a confident and mature performance at Exeter Phoenix.
The modern auditorium of this fashionable small venue hardly reflects Temples’ whimsical, nostalgic vibe. Nevertheless, the hardy fans that brave the miserable Devon conditions are rewarded with an onslaught of 60’s pop rhythms and velveteen vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place back in the days of McCartney and Lennon.
Following support from the energetic but admittedly slightly raw Telegram, Temples saunter onto the stage; with lead singer-guitarist James Edward Bagshaw oozing with the panache and glamour usually reserved for artists of much greater stature.
The band opens with ‘Sun Structures’ a dreamy and slow-paced into, before gently coaxing the audience into life with the groovy ‘Prisms’ and ethereal ‘Colours to Life.’ The ironically named ‘Sand Dance’ is a darker number, dripping with brooding guitar chords that could seldom be further from the alternate form of entertainment available at Arena’s ‘Cheesy Tuesdays.’
Bagshaw’s occasional mistimed delivery during B-side ‘Ankh’ does not detract from the trippy and psychedelic rifts that set the audience alight. A slightly underwhelming new track ‘Move with the Season’ is quickly followed by their next single, ‘Keep in the Dark’ – An entrancing and captivating melody containing echoes of 70’s glam-rock icons T-Rex.
The band cap off a short set with hit single ‘Shelter Song’ before departing the stage, leaving the crowd dazed and hungry for more.