Review by Paul Davis, Photos by Russ Powney
It’s only been a month since The Temperance Movement last appeared in the Midlands, on that occasion playing to a sold out Hare & Hounds in Birmingham. It’s Wolverhampton’s turn tonight and another packed venue. With only one EP to their name, it’s quite clear we’re witnessing the beginning of something very special.
Arriving on stage about ten minutes before the advertised time, the band open with ‘Be Lucky’ from the Pride EP, with frontman Phil Campbell sounding like a hybrid of Joe Cocker, Paul Rodgers and Chris Robinson. As those names would suggest, it’s bluesy, soulful rock ‘n roll that The Temperance Movement deliver and it’s a stunning, spine-tingling performance.
‘Ain’t No Telling’ and ‘Only Friend’ are instantly recognizable to anyone who has tuned into Planet Rock over the past couple of months but there are plenty of other highlights this evening. ‘Lovers And Fighters’ sees Campbell adding acoustic guitar to the countrified soul and breathtaking harmonies, while the intro to ‘Chinese Lanterns’ without mics is simply beautiful. If there are comparisons to The Black Crowes, then it’s most apparent on the ballad ‘Smouldering’ with it’s extended Crowes-like jam.
In the days leading up to this gig, The Temperance Movement signed to Earache for the release of their debut album. Earache may be best known for extreme metal, but more significantly for this band, it makes them labelmates with Rival Sons, whose success these guys look set to emulate.
Earlier, Sam Taylor had opened the show, one man with guitar and harmonica. He arrived on stage to a sparse crowd before a few other curious souls wandered in from the bar. An enjoyable set of songs with a hint of Dylan before local boys Piston stepped up to really warm up the crowd.
Having caught the end of their set supporting The Union in the same venue a few months back, it was good to catch a full set from the Cannock based hard rockers. Their mix of classic rock influences with a modern feel have the Slade Rooms rocking, mostly songs from their EP, but a song from the fortcoming album also bodes well for the future.
See more of Russ’s photos here;