7   +   6   =  

@Whitley Bay Playhouse, Mouth Of The Tyne Festival, July 7 2016

Fuelled by Whitley Bay’s finest fish and chips and roared on by a typically exuberant Tyneside crowd, The Temperance Movement added yet another landmark show to their list of North East triumphs.

It can’t be easy maintaining such striking consistency. But ahead of high profile dates at T In The Park and Colorado’s Ride Festival, featuring the legendary Pearl Jam, the classy quintet once again made the pursuit of excellence appear effortless.

The Mouth Of The Clyde took on The Mouth Of The Tyne with trademark zeal – frontman Phil Campbell a whirling dervish of pent-up energy: pouting and strutting in between violent blasts of primal vocal energy. It’s almost impossible to take your eyes off The Temperance Movement’s sensational singer but avert your gaze for a brief moment and one of modern rock’s finest guitarists casually comes into focus.

Understated doesn’t tell the full story where Paul Sayer is concerned. The very antithesis of style over substance, his is an old-school approach that demands ultimate respect. Every note is handled with meticulous care and when Sayer does sense his opportunity there’s no holding back: his solo on Pride was simply sublime. Suddenly every other sound and movement on stage seemed strangely peripheral as The Temperance Movement’s secret weapon fired off a salvo of truly inspired rock and soul.

There are few bands plying their live trade that excite so much optimism right now. Fewer still that guarantee that heady mix of professionalism and improvisation, focus and free will. The Temperance Movement are a band as brave as they are brilliant – fast evolving and seemingly future-proof. As the final notes of Serenity drifted to the rear of the Playhouse Theatre there was a sense that this is still only the beginning.

Image courtesy of Gordon Armstrong