@ Newcastle Think Tank, May 10 2013
Temperance Movement – a social movement urging reduced or prohibited use of alcoholic beverages.
Comfortably winning this year’s prize for ‘least apt band name’, The Temperance Movement left Newcastle swaying in a beer-fuelled haze of retro joy.
Their memorable moniker screaming abstinence, this effortlessly cool quintet inspired the polar opposite with songs especially crafted to encourage excess.
With endearing energy and raw emotion pouring down from the stage it was impossible to avoid being swept up in a mood of wild optimism. Temperance is the one thing you won’t experience in the company of classic rock’s new homegrown heroes.
There are special gigs and then there are these gigs: the ‘I was there’ show that every self-respecting rock fan desperately seeks and secretly desires. Packed into the atmospheric Think Tank – an intimate New York-style warehouse space tucked away to the east of Newcastle city centre – those in the know anticipated something unique. What followed exceeded all expectations.
Touring on the back of the five track Pride EP – TTM’s debut album will drop in September – it’s not as if the UK’s answer to Rival Sons can fall back on a bulging back catalogue. But it’s quality, rather than quantity, that has carried the band to the brink of a major breakthrough and summer festival slots alongside Bruce Springsteen and The Black Crowes.
Songs like the Planet Rock-approved Only Friend bristle with confidence and maturity far beyond TTM’s tender years as a songwriting unit. Add in a spine-tingling unplugged twist, Paul Sayer’s pedal steel turn and singer Phil Campbell’s mesmerising moves (most men just don’t bend that way) and it’s little wonder the crowd was calling for more long after the final notes of Serenity drifted into the night.
And there will be more. Much, much more. A second leg of UK dates through June and July have just been announced and then the album will drop. Come September this band will be big, big news and no classic rock fan’s collection will be complete without what promises to be one of 2013’s must-have collections.
Temperance is futile. The temptation’s too great.