By Paris Spence-Lang
September 19, 2014
VANCOUVER — The British invasion hit Venue when Temples played the club in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The U.K.-based quartet are the embodiment of the ‘60s psychedelic rock movement, taking influences from bands such as the Byrds and Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd (and, though they don’t like to admit it, the Beatles). The question the audience was asking was whether Temples’ live show would be able to purvey the same psychedelic atmosphere as their debut album, the deceptively well-produced Sun Structures, in a live setting.
However, Temples — in true ‘60s fashion — threw their studio sound to the wind and played in a brash, genuine manner highly reminiscent of original British rock ’n’ roll. The longhaired quartet opened with title track “Sun Structures,” featuring driving drums and bass that served as a platform for frontman James Bagshaw’s jarring guitar riffs and floating vocals. Temples ended their set with a lengthy encorejam, which left the room in a happy buzz.
Bagshaw’s voice completely lost its dreamy, far-away quality at times, sounding more like Geddy Lee playing a Shins cover. This was especially noticeable during “Shelter Song,” in which Bagshaw intermittently sounded like a goat. Though some fans may prefer the studio version of the singer, the lack of effects on his voice contributed to a live sound different enough from their album to make Temples worth seeing. The only setback of the show was muddy vocals that hid Temples’ charming lyrics, though this was easily forgotten through the soundscape of rolling bass lines and jaunty synthesizers.
Despite much acclaim from U.K. musicians such as Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr, many critics believe Temples to be nothing more than a revival band. But will Temples always be seen as just a fleeting throwback stuck in the ‘60s, or will they prove to be genuine innovators? One thing’s for sure: they’re entertaining as hell.BC, Temples, Vancouver, Venue