Review of Temperance Movement on the Crabbies Hothouse Stage at Belladrum, 8 th of August, 2014.
Friday night’s headliners were always going to have a tough assignment when a certain Mr Jones was performing over on the main stage. I caught the start of his show and he did sound very good, excellent even. However…
The Temperance Movement ramped it up to 11 on Friday night and yes, in this reviewer’s opinion, easily rivaled anything Tom Jones did on the other stage. Front man Phil Campbell writhed, contorted, spun, whirled and threw himself about the stage with abandon. Utterly uninhibited, imagine a toddler fuelled on Haribo… and you’re only halfway there. This isn’t just the Phil Campbell show though; guitarists Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick are excellent, swapping lead duties and throwing their own share of rock star shapes.
Last year’s debut album was one of the highlights of the year and played live these songs really do come into their own. The fans seemed to be in agreement, singing along with every word and providing their own impromptu ‘woah woahs’ after ‘Take it Back’. This turned it into a great little bit of improvisation lead by the audience to the obvious delight of the band. ‘My Only Friend’ featured a stage invasion in the shape of Campbell’s son (I think! He didn’t say who it was). This mini-me rivaled him for stagecraft and drew one of the biggest cheers of the night.
Mid song blether was kept brief, but you got the impression that this wasn’t to with aloofness on the band’s part, rather they wanted to fit as many songs into their allotted hour rather than waste time with unnecessary banter.
‘Pride’ gave the audience a bit of a chance to grab a breather before they finished with a rousing ‘Midnight Black’, not one of my favourite tracks on the album but live it’s a different prospect entirely, storming guitars, gravelly rock vocals and guitar solos a plenty.