Gig Review + Photography by Mark Loraine

I have only recently started listening to The Temperance Movement and on record (if that’s what we still call it) they sound fabulous. Tonight was going to be my opportunity to check them out live and that opportunity happily coincided with their opening act tonight being one of my favourite Sheffield bands of the moment, Cellar Door Moon Crow.

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The Goodwin brothers who make up Cellar Door Moon Crow (when I say brothers, there are but two, this is no Osmonds thang!) have emerged from a long presence in the Sheffield music scene to present a band that not only provides one of the heaviest sounds I have heard in many years, but they do it with panache, energy and some very long hair and equally long beards. I reckon there is a good chance you could call these two the forerunners of ‘Amish Rock’ if there was such a thing and if their sound wasn’t so ungodly. It’s difficult to further explain their music, safe to say they are loud, fabuloulsy melodic and fierce in the show they put on.

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Thomas Wynn & The Believers, the support for the gig tonight were equally hirsute (well apart from Olivia the female part of the band – she does have the best tattoos though) and again provided some fabulously melodic music. This time however they were more Americana than anything else and the twin vocal of the previously mentioned Olivia and the eponymous singer/guitarist Thomas provide what one reviewer called a ‘spectral croon’ which overlays the beautiful country rock that the rest of the Believers lay down wonderfully. It surprised me that this band don’t hail from Nashville, or Alabama come to that, but in fact, no, they are from the state that gave us the mighty Tom Petty. They can, for me, join the ranks of the Florida alumni with no hesitation.

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Speaking of not knowing where bands come from, it seems the only one I got right tonight was the first one, and that’s only because I had seen Cellar Door Moon Crow before. The headliners tonight I could have sworn were American, but again, no, your reviewer got it wrong. The Temperance Movement are British through and through, with a singer who is more Glaswegian than Rab C Nesbitt ever was.

Of course a large part of their sound is based on the blues rock coming out of the US, but there is also a certain amount of the british swagger that the likes of The Faces and The Stones brought to the scene. Indeed The Temperance Movement have been known to grace the same stage as Mick and the boys on occasion (that’s two Rolling Stones support acts I have photographed, these guys and The struts. The phrase “always the bridesmaid never the bride” comes to mind… maybe on this tour, you never know). To see these guys playing that bill would however leave no ticket holder short changed. Their passion and strength of performance is amazing and the incredible vocals put you in mind of many of the greats. It does however have to be said at this juncture that this band is their own, their songs are complex, driving and include some amazing guitar work.

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The set starts with the first track of the new album, Caught in the Middle – as catchy a tune as you will find. The set then takes the very best of the bands four studio albums, with the soraing vocals of White Bear a particular highlight. As well as the straightforward bluesy rock, there are thoughtful moments in songs such as Higher Than The Sun, where the hands start to go up in the air in unison across the audience and as the set comes to a close with the title track of the newest album A Deeper Cut.

Inevitably comparisons can be drawn between these guys and many others of their ilk, but the comparison will fall down when you see them live. Committed, passionate and very much in your face. Enjoy them and forget about all the others… for a little while at least. Outstanding.

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Overall tonight showed that rock music is alive and well in this world of indie, dance, electronica and Ed Sheeran, I would not hesitate in recommending any of these bands for a fantastic night out.

Setlist
: 
Caught In The Middle
 / The Way It Was and the Way It Is Now / 
Love And Devotion / The Wonders We’ve Seen
 / Be Lucky / Ain’t No Telling / 
Another Spiral / 
White Bear
 / Three Bulleits
 / Battle Lines
 / Know For Sure
 / Built-In Forgetter
 / Higher Than The Sun
 / Only Friend / 
A Deeper Cut
Encore: Backwater Zoo
 / Midnight Black

One Response to “The Temperance Movement + Thomas Wynn & The Believers + Cellar Door Moon Crow at O2 Academy, Sheffield, UK – 5th March 2018”

  1. Alise Says:

    Thanks you for another wonderful year!

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