The Temperance Movement – Sugarmill,Hanley,15/11/2013.

temperance ceriTo say tickets are as rare as Willy Wonka golden tickets is an understatement as The Temperance Movement are currently on the 2nd leg of their current UK tour,selling out venues up and down the country. Tonight they have just played their 100th gig this year at the Club Academy in Manchester but lets rewind a week to the Sugarmill in Hanley to yet another sold out gig. This was my 1st Temperance Movement show and on the strength of this performance it will certainly not  be my last and i’m sure the text time will be in a larger venue as their popularity is on the rise.

Formed only 2yrs ago by vocalist Phil Campbell,guitarists Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer,the band have written some very strong material culminating in a 2012 5 track e.p called Pride and their recently released 12 song self titled debut release which crashed into the UK album charts at #12! Normally i listen to heavy rock/metal but at the end of the day a good song is a good song no matter what genre and when i heard the album the day before the Sugarmill gig i was completely blown away. It certainly takes a place in my top 5 debut albums of all time. I have read many reviews,interviews with the band and have friends who are big fans who have seen them many times but i have not heard their music until recently. I’ve read the comparisons to the Eagles,Rolling Stones,the Faces and so on but my initial thoughts were its just good old rock bluesy rock and roll played with a passion that belie the age of the band.

So showtime beckoned and there was no big intro tape,the houselights went down and the band strolled on. The debut album was played in its entirety and that was it,no cover songs but the show was so full of passion between crowd and band and i never heard any complaints. The Temperance Movement have recently won Best New Band in Classic Rock magazine and judging by the Stoke show it is easy to see why. The setlist had a different running order to the album but each song played could have closed the show. The band  launched into Be Lucky,its chopping riff showing the heavier side of the band and this was followed by the barroom boogie of Midnight Black and they kept it rocking with a stomping Morning Riders. Notably the crowd kept silent for the softer numbers and a prime example was the atmosphere when Smouldering started up,highlighting the depth of vocalist Phil Campbell whose voice and stage presence reminded me of a young Joe Cocker.

Album opener Only Friend was next as Paul Sayer’s big riffs were complimented by melodic runs from fellow guitarist Luke Potashnick,the song building up to a huge chorus then the crowd were brought back down by another ballad and my song of the night Chinese Lanterns. Phil proved the power of his voice by singing it without a microphone,backed up by an acoustic guitar. After a few people were told to shut up by the rest of the crowd,the room was in silence as Phil  poured his heart out and the mood remained as Pride followed,a real show stopper. The blue grass rhythms of Ain’t No Telling kicked the show back into overdrive briefly before Serenity seemed to ooze with passion from the stage. Know For Sure,probably the most rocking song of the night got the crowd moving with an almost Motown groove and plenty of “whoa-oh-oh’s” t0 sing along to. Take It Back kept the beat going until as the band left the stage,returning for the encore of Lovers And Fighters,it’s beautiful melodies ending the night perfectly!

The band left to thunderous applause and i had just seen a gig where nothing else mattered. The music was so overwhelming for that hour i was totally immersed in what was happening. The Temperance Movement will be huge and it would take a fool to disagree. Here’s to the next album and tour!

The Temperance Movement band line up :-

Phil Campbell – Vocals.

Luke Potashnick – Guitars.

Paul Sayer – Guitars.

Nick Fyffe – Bass guitar.

Damon Wilson – Drums.

temperance mike

Setlist :-

Be Lucky.

Midnight Black.

Morning Riders.


Only Friend.

Chinese Lanterns.


Ain’t No Telling.


Know For Sure.

Take It Back.

Lovers And Fighters.


I award the gig a well deserved 10/10.

Thank you to Ceri Ransome and Mike Pendergast for the use of their photos.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!
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