Review by Ryan Beardsley with Photography by Louise Morris

The time is 8pm ish, the place is Rough Trade and the band is Temples, here to celebrate the launch of their third album; Hot Motion.

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The Kettering trio are treating a select crowd of friends, family and uber fans to a preview of the new record whilst rattling off a few oldies while they’re at it. It’s an intimate setting and what better way to spend a wet Friday evening in East London?

I’d given the new record a quick listen earlier in the day but hadn’t really absorbed it so I was looking forward to a live showing. The band started off with The Howl which is Temples in a nutshell, Psych-rock stylings, catchy chorus but noticeably has a slightly ‘bigger’ sound, perhaps the boys have their eye on larger venues?

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You’re Either On Something was an early standout from the new record and that is emphasised in the live showing, the chorus refrain showing off James Bagshaw’s faultless falsetto in all its glory.

Predictably, the older tracks get the biggest reactions from the modest crowd, Certainty from sophomore effort Volcano is thumping and and see’s a few brave fans in the record store trying to emulate Bagshaw and hit those seemingly impossible high notes.

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Then its back to the new stuff and I must confess, Holy Horses and title track Hot Motion left me a little cold.

By the time they were finishing up with debut album opener Shelter Song, it occurred to me that the band hasn’t really progressed since their first release.

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It would be hypocrisy for me to criticise too harshly as Temples have always worn their influences on their collective sleeves and they are good at what they do. Seeing them live reminds me that when they’re on form, their hits are indistinguishable from the record, but then again maybe that’s the problem.

I guess that deep down, I was hoping for some signs of growth and evolution in their sound but I couldn’t really spot it.

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Temples won’t struggle, as evidenced tonight they’re a great live act, there will always be a audience for their styling and on a purely aesthetic level, they have the best hair of any band out there.

But as time goes on, hopefully they accept they can’t rest on their laurels and looking cool for much longer.

Time for Temples to take a risk me thinks…

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