Review by Paul Davis, photos by Russ Powney
The Temperance Movement came to the West Midlands on three occasions in 2013, and all of those shows made our gigs of the year here at Midlands Rocks. So this was going to be a gig with a lot to live up to, but tonight’s sold out crowd at the Wulfrun were not disappointed.
Brother & Bones opened the show, serving up a quite unique sound, led by Richard Thomas on acoustic guitar, their two drummers create a tribal sound. Although many may have been unfamiliar, each song is warmly applauded and of course it’s always good to see a support band playing to a packed room.
It was almost five minutes after the lights went down when The Temperance Movement arrived on stage. ‘Ain’t No Telling’ opened the show before new single ‘Take it Back’. Frontman Phil Campbell is almost apologetic when he says the band are going to play some new songs tonight, but no-one seems to mind.
Whether it’s the bluesy rock and roll of ‘Only Friend’ or the sometimes country style ballads, the combination of the gritty vocals of Campbell, the harmonising of his band mates and the guitars of Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer is something to behold.
The songs from the debut album have evolved and taken on a life of their own in the live setting. ‘Chinese Lanterns’ was sublime, just as it had been down the road at the Slade Rooms last year. A two song encore perfectly illustrates everything that this band is so good at, firstly the laid back ‘Pride’ followed by the rocking set closer ‘Midnight Black’. The Temperance Movement may have been regular visitors to the region over the last year but fans will be eagerly awaiting their return.