The Temperance Movement – The Forum, London – 27 January 2016

At a time when the world seems rather saturated with bands and musicians who are trying to make something of themselves but get kicked back at almost every turn, it is a genuinely wonderful experience to see a band of accomplished musicians finally making a name for themselves. Getting the recognition that so many others strive to achieve, at an age when the music industry would normally write them off as too old. It is also a privilege to have seen that group grow practically before your eyes. It seems like yesterday, having had a tip off from the depths of Barnstaple in North Devon about a band called The Temperance Movement, that I found myself in the 100 Club watching them support a really shocking band of noise, but today I am in the front row at The Forum watching The Temperance Movement play a headline show to in excess of two thousand people and boy what a show it was.

Tonight’s only support was the very well suited The Sheepdogs, who I had come across a while back online by chance and so was thrilled to see they were up first. When Canada exports bands they do send us some good ones. A visual journey back forty years, their music was a melting pot of old and new that mirrored their on stage visual look. The Sheepdogs were really engaging to watch, played with a tight delicate force that emanated their forefathers and they seemed to be revelling in the performance opportunities this tour has afforded them. They were in no way jaded by playing this grand venue, tempting us with songs such as the irreverently catchy Southern Dreaming with its sweet guitar hook from their 2010 release Learn & Burn and Downtown taken from latest album Future Nostalgia, from which a good chunk of the set list was comprised. They concluded their set with I Don’t Know which wouldn’t have been out of place amongst the legends of Woodstock ’69.

As for The Temperance Movement, they up the gear every time I see them play, but tonight was something else, powered by rock’n’roll jet fuel they rocketed into a cover of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. What an awesome way to open the show and what a complimentary cover, they did that star in the sky proud. Two tracks off new album White Bear were next up followed by past single Midnight Black.

The material from their new album White Bear is a wonderfully natural development from their debut release and this concert could have been billed as ‘The Temperance Movement Play White Bear In Full Bar One Song, With Some Classics’. Whilst tracks such as The Sun and Moon Roll Around Too Soon and A Pleasant Peace I Feel hark back to their debut release, Modern Massacre and title track White Bear were standout tracks off the new album. Modern Massacre has a different sound to what is normally expected from The Temperance Movement, with its harder rock edge and it worked great live. By the time we got to Pride my friend and I were grinning from ear to ear, rocking out arm in arm, lapping up every second that Phil, Damon, Nick, Matt and Paul were performing at us. It wasn’t just us, the London crowd were in epic voice, singing along to the songs old and new.

Tonight was one of those rare occasions that as a regular gig goer you live for, it was one of the three best concerts I have ever been to in 23 years. This was one of those concerts that years down the line people who really were there will gleefully boast that they saw it and those who weren’t will pretend that they were. The Temperance Movement quite simply nailed it.

The Sheepdogs Set List: I’m Gonna Be Myself, I Really Wanna Be Your Man, Who?, Southern Dreaming, Bad Lieutenant, Downtown, Take A Trip, Help Us All, Feeling Good, How Late How Long, I Don’t Know

The Temperance Movement Set list: Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover), Three Bullets, Oh Lorraine, Midnight Black, Be Lucky, Modern Massacre, Magnify, Pride, Ain’t No Telling, The Sun & The Moon Roll Around Too Soon, Smouldering, White Bear, Get Yourself Free, Only Friend, Take It Back, Battle Lines, Encore I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind, A Pleasant Peace I Feel, Lovers and Fighters

The Temperance Movement’s second album White Bear is out now in all good record stores and The Sheepdogs return to Great Britain in April for a nine date headline tour.

About Heather Fitsell

I have been photographing bands predominantly in the London area since 2008. I have photographed in venues as small as pubs and as big as Manchester MEN arena. I have photographed local bands and the likes of Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, Black Stone Cherry, Alterbridge, Evanescence and many more. I have also photographed at Hevy Fest for the last two years and previously ran my own webzine, before I decided to focus more on my photography.
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