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Gig Review: Temples, May 8 @ The Zoo

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on May 9, 2014

On the back of their magnificent debut album, Sun Structures, British psych-rockers Temples are in the country performing a short run of shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. I was fortunate enough to experience their retro vibes last night, in what was the band’s first ever Australian gig.

Supporting Temples was a band that could reasonably be described as their Australian counterpart: Deep Sea Arcade. Indeed, the Sydney outfit has spent some time in the UK, and has been gathering momentum ahead of their long-awaited second album, slated for release later this year. Last night’s set was comprised mainly of tracks from 2012’s Outlands, with Girls and Lonely In Your Arms eliciting the most positive response from an appreciative audience. It was surprising that their most recent single, Black Cat, went unplayed, but it was pleasing to hear some of the band’s other new material. I’d also like to congratulate frontman Nic McKenzie on his decision to swing the microphone as often and as haphazardly as possible. It made bassist Nick Weaver visibly nervous, but at least Alex Turner now has some competition for the award for Least Regard for Sound Equipment.

Listeners were first introduced to Kettering locals Temples in the form of 2012 single Shelter Song, which has a ‘60s pop sound that is not unlike The Beatles’ early work, but more heavily soaked in psychedelica. Shelter Song’s delightful recreation of that retro sound, coupled with praise from the likes of Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher, meant that Temples quickly gained traction in the indie rock scene.

Temples’ set commenced with a more recent single, Colours to Life, which captured the eager crowd’s attention instantly. And it failed to wane. Fur-clad and glittery, they served up an hour of fuzzy, ethereal tunes, imbued with a kaleidoscope of retro influences and brimming with youthful exuberance. Temples combine dreamy vocals with pounding drums and a perfect mixture of tight riffs and fuzzy, blaring chords. From the layered Sun Structures, to the lilting Move With the Seasons and the marching rhythm of Keep In the Dark, Temples floated through their set. They eventually wrapped it up with Sand Dance, before returning for an encore of personal favourite Mesmerise and Shelter Song. Like the album, each song was a unique and exquisitely crafted offering. ‘It feels good to play in Australia,’ lead vocalist and guitarist James Bagshaw said coyly. I’m certainly glad they made the trip.

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