The Temperance Movement @ Newcastle University 04 / 03 /2018

Since their formation in 2011, The Temperance Movement have gone from strength to strength, channelling their difficult times into outpourings of rock gold and becoming one of the tightest, most energetic bands on their road. Last night’s Newcastle University performance once again highlighted that, with Phil Campbell at his Jack in the box best, and Paul Sayer delivering some of the finest axe work you’ll see on stage this year.

Many had their doubts about whether the show would go ahead, after the band were forced to cancel their Aberdeen show due to the extreme weather the country has experienced over the last week, but a wee bit of snow wasn’t going to put off the Glaswegian five piece. Taking to the stage after a powerful opening from Thomas Wynn and The Believers, The Temperance Movement delivered an ear piercing opening with Caught in the Middle, the opening track from their brilliant new album A Deeper Cut.

The band’s highly successful third album, which reached number six in the UK album chart, only landed a few weeks ago, yet the first five tracks of last night’s show came from A Deeper Cut. The move was a bold one, but one that paid off with the crowd belting out every word of The Way It Was and the Way It Is Now, Love And Devotion, Be Lucky and The Wonders We’ve Seen.

As the set reached its midway point, Campbell seemed like he was reaching a whole new level, with his energy radiating its way into the crowd and plenty of love and devotion coming straight back at him. This was taken to a whole new high as the band launched into crowd favourite White Bear, as Campbell marched on stage to the adoration of the Geordie crowd. This was quickly followed by Three Bullets and Battle Lines, two tracks that well and truly blew the roof off the venue, with Sayer’s searing electric licks circulating their way around a ram packed sweaty room.

Building from this was always going to be difficult, but build on it they did, with one of the many songs of the night coming in the shape of Only Friend, where Campbell took the time to thank the crowd, his band mates and the sound team before delivering a majestic rendition of this autobiographical track.

After returning to the stage following a well-earned breather, it was time for Campbell to take to the keys, with one of the band’s most positive songs, Backwater Zoo, a track written about the troubled singers love for his young daughter. With its soft opening and deafening riffs, this beautifully balanced number went down a treat with the crowd; with many saying it was their song of the night as they left the venue.

As it come to the final hurrah of an incredible show, one of the best the Newcastle crowd will see all year, The Temperance Movement delivered Midnight Black. The quintessential bluesy rock number has won them fans world over, and it did not disappoint, with the crowd lapping up every second of it, singing back every word and showing their appreciation for one of the most talented bands to come out of this decade.

Last night’s show was a further reminder of the endless potential of The Temperance Movement, and if they can keep it together, they will be one of the biggest acts on the planet. As a frontman, Phil Campbell is one of the best around, with Paul Sayer and Nick White looking tighter than ever, while Nick Fyffe looked like the happiest man in the venue with his effortlessly cool approach. Hopefully the North East will not have to wait another two years for another Temperance Movement show!

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