The Temperance Movement @ Oran Mor, Glasgow Dec14


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The Temperance Movement @ Oran Mor, Glasgow


The Temperance Movement @ Oran Mor, Glasgow

TTM make a flying visit to the UK on this very short but very special tour. After almost a year since the White Bear tour they are here to bookend 2016 with an acoustic set in a very special venue.

I will be honest when TTM announced this gig they were not the most popular of subjects in my house. As you will all know this time of the year is always crazy for gigs and prior to this gig announcement Glasgow had four pretty big bands playing in the city and I had already been through the pain of having to decide who to see(and changed my mind twice) when up pops this announcement and there were lots of profanities and animals diving for cover. When the red mist settled there was really only one choice. I have seen TTM many times but never acoustic and they were taking it back(pun intended) to a much smaller venue for that intimate feel. I knew I would never see them again like this so the choice was made.

The Oran Mor was a perfect setting for this show, an old church with perfect acoustics in itself. The sound is always amazing and by the time I got here tonight the excitement was palpable for myself and this eager crowd. The show sold out in a flash and I know a good few people here who had done the gig switch just like me and all the anger had disappeared and the only thing left was anticipation.

As the lights dimmed and you looked onto the stage with its placement of stools, instruments and fairy lights it was all a bit surreal and very much in the Christmas spirit. The band filed out onto the stage and took their seats…all bar one, as Mr Phil Campbell was a bit late to his seat and when he finally did take it you could have mistaken him for a very smooth looking Clark Kent in his black suit and matching(intelligent inciting) glasses.

He sat down at the beautifully lit and transparent fronted piano and began to play. This was a brand new site for what I would expect was the majority of the audience. As he tinkled on those ivories it was awe I saw in most faces and when this led into first song “Only Friend” I knew my decision to be here was now in no doubt. This song is hands down my favourite track and if I remember correctly the first song I ever heard from TTM . It has been in every single set I have seen them play but I have never heard it sound like this. It took on a whole new aspect and it was like hearing it for the first time again.

For anyone who may have thought this was a thrown together show to just do a few dates and get some extra cash for Christmas presents you could not have been more wrong. The compositions on old songs like “Chinese Lanterns”, “Smouldering”, “Midnight Black”, “Take It Back” and “Pride” was just beauty personified…hell I would have accepted those songs on a pay per view contract, I would have been throwing money, credit cards and jewellery at the stage.

It is very difficult to put into words how good and how surprisingly different this whole show sounded. As I watched I could not help but think this should have been recorded for posterity, everything about the show was superior to anything they have done live before and if you have seen them you know how powerful that statement is. The band were completely on fire and the audience was as vocal as you can get, which was partly pushed on by Phil as he wound us up saying That the previous night’s show in Manchester was really loud…red flag…bull. Yip we blew you away Manchester, sorry.

Tonight was not just about the old as it was also our first chance to see the tracks from White Bear played acoustically and boy they did not disappoint. Their most recent album will undoubtably go down as a classic in the years to come and I truly believe they will be this eras Rolling Stones. With songs like “ Three Bulliets” and final track” A Pleasant Peace I feel” you can hear and feel the progression this band has made, a progression that has taken its toll with the loss of two band members in a year. The constant touring may put a lot of strain on TTM but it has honed these artists into a well oiled machine be it plugged in or not. I just hope and pray they do not push things too hard and break this juggernaut. They have already left these shores and went straight to Europe for another run of dates…take a break boys, we aren’t going anywhere.

We also had a little surprise of Blur’s “Tender” thrown in and of course Phil did get up of that piano stool and shook those hips(like your dad at a wedding). The only thing that can stop this band from global dominance is themselves, the days of me seeing this band three or four times a year are gone, the smaller venues are now a distant memory but I will follow them to wherever they lead as they are pretty much one of the best bands to come out of UK in decades and a show like tonight proves to you exactly why they are where they are.

Images and review Ritchie Birnie




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