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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A View From The Back Of The Room: The Temperance Movement

The Temperance Movement and Naked Six, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Sometimes this music blogging lark is just a shed load of luck over any talent we may posses (we'll leave that question up to you). The 14th of November we were supposed to be seeing the excellent blues rocker Joanne Shaw Taylor in Bristol's Colston Hall, soon after we secured the tickets though another of MoM's favourites The Temperance Movement announced a tour of very small venues, unfortunately their Cardiff date clashed with JST.

However fortune must have been smiling that day because on the 13th JST announced that due to illness her show at the Colston was being postponed until the 25th of November several hours later your writer was invited to the sold out The Temperance Movement show in Cardiff. So the next evening I picked up my dancing shoes and hit the town solo to witness the Scottish rockers do what they do in one of Cardiff's best sounding venues.

In the larger upstairs room, there were two young guys scurrying around sorting out cables and water, the room began to slowly fill, however it was the bar that had the most patronage, because getting pissed on a Tuesday night is apparently required. With a healthy crowd in the room the two young guys hit the stage and kicked off their set. This duo was Seb Byford and Tom Witts who form the Naked Six (8) they play a fuzzy alternative rock/grunge with some electric blues and 70's punk thrown in for balance.

Almost like The Royal Blood jamming with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion the Naked Six roared through their set list opening with Can't Trust The News the grab the attention with Byfords sneering vocal and distortion fuelled blues riffs being anchored by the wild shirtless drumming of Witts. The band received a great reaction from the almost full room, this sort of high energy rocking was the ideal opening for the gig, they were given enough time to show off their skills but it seemed to be over in the blink of an eye.

I do enjoy watching The Temperance Movement (8) on their 'between album' tours, it always means that you get an interesting set-list as they road test the new material in front of a live audience, refining them into the musical spectacles you'd want from band of this calibre. The only downside to this is that you do tend to get a lot of the crowd who are only there to hear the singles, talking and getting restless during the new as yet unheard songs. This was evident here not just with the new material but also more recent slower tracks such as Magnify from White Bear.

The Temperance Movement though did something a little canny here, they opened the set with two new songs then Magnify abut then a emotional Pride got the first applause of recognition rather than one of politeness. This formula was repeated with Higher Than The Sun followed by the grooving Only Friend, Another Spiral was backed with Take It Back. So it became a recurring theme that every time they played a new song (which I must say continue on the vibe established on White Bear) they followed it with a 'classic' normally from the debut album.

The band were on form as per, gelling into one tight but fluid unit kicking out the jams while frontman Phil Campbell let the riffs flow through him pulling shapes so illicit Mick Jagger would be embarrassed, he feeds off the music and it's a joy to watch as he croons through the songs with his cracked husky vocals, that did seem a little huskier tonight. It was yet again another cracking set that whet's the appetite for their tour next year after the album is released, these songs are better known and have been honed to live perfection.

I did feel pretty lucky to see the band again in such an intimate setting and it looks as if I was one of the last ones to see it as their following few shows were cancelled due to Phil Campbell's illness, these too have been rescheduled, but I can't help but feel a bit smug that it didn't happen earlier as having two shows cancelled on the same night is just bad luck indeed.

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