The Temperance Movement & The River 68’s – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen – 26/04/14
Dark Secret sees TTM for the second time in only a few months, here’s what she had to say about it all.
So what can I say about The Temperance Movement that won’t sound clichéd?
I first came across this band last year at The Tunnels. I’d never heard of them before but I managed to get into the sold out show at the last minute and was promptly blown away, from the moment they opened with Midnight Black. I went home afterwards, straight onto my laptop to buy their self-titled debut album – which they recorded in four days.
When I heard they were coming back, this time to The Lemon Tree, I was probably one of the first in the online queue to buy a ticket. This gig was also one of the first from the tour to sell out, along with Glasgow. This band seems to be growing in popularity by word of mouth – even as the 2013 tour progressed the venues they played were growing in size. This years Aberdeen gig takes place in a sold out Lemon Tree, which holds 550, compared to The Tunnels last year, which holds around 200 or so. Progress indeed.
They were supported by soft rockers The River 68’s, who provided an innocuous but pleasant warm-up to a packed Lemon Tree. I’ve been to a few sold out events there now but none seemed to be as full as this – and it was an interesting mix of folk, both young and old, from huge, hairy dudes to middle-aged women in heels. This band seems to appeal to a very broad range of people.
So who are The Temperance Movement? Lead vocals are provided by the gravel voiced Phil Campbell (not the Motorheads Phil Campbell), formerly of Scottish band White Buffalo but has also done some fine solo acoustic work (check out youtube for a video when he performs on Later… with Jools Holland). Seasoned session guitarists Luke Potashnick & Paul Sayer were the co-founders of TTM with Phil Campbell. Nick Fyffe, an excellent bassist played with Jamiroquai. Finally, Australian born Damon Wilson played the drums for Feeder & Busted and has toured with many acts, including James Brown, Ray Davis & The Waterboys. These guys have pedigrees and it shows.
Once the high-octane first 3 songs were over we crammed into the packed dance area (no dancing tonight though, there’s barely room for bobbing) to watch the rest of the gig. The atmosphere of the place was brilliant – full of happy, smiley, sing-y, and sometimes a bit teary, folk.
Phil flung himself around the stage, strutting and swaggering – an ideal frontman. The only times he calmed down a bit were when he strapped on an acoustic guitar for some of the slower numbers – Chinese Lanterns, a beautifully sad song they can no longer play with a single acoustic guitar and sing a capella, had the audience singing along like lost lovers.
It may just be me, but after hearing Phil’s vocals, actually hearing him speak in broad Glaswegian is a bit of a shock. Somehow the gravelly blues he produces seem a little incongruent – I was mentally expecting an American drawl. Oh, and to the guy in the audience who requested it – he didn’t want to take his top off.
The encore was a smooth segue between the somewhat mournful Pride (one of my favourite songs, I’m a sucker for a good bass line and this one has that in spades) and the bouncy Midnight Black – a fine way to end the night.
If you’re heading to the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival this summer, make a point of catching The Temperance Movement – they’ll be playing there on the Friday. I’m hoping to see them there but I also hope that Phil’s comment to me at the end of the night holds true and they return to Aberdeen next year.
Words by Dark Secret.
More images from the night can be found on our flickr pages here.
Ain’t No Telling
Take It Back
Know For Sure
The Temperance Movement Website
The River 68’s Website