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Review: The Temperance Movement, Newcastle University Students' Union

The Temperance Movement returned to Newcastle for the third time in 12 months to perform at Newcastle University Students' Union

****
The Temperance Movement
The Temperance Movement

They say less is more. Well, not where The Temperance Movement is concerned.

A third Newcastle show inside 12 months proved the demand for one of Britain’s best new bands continues to outstrip supply: doubling their crowd again, the Anglo-Scots appear headed for the city’s O2 Academy very, very soon.

It’s easy to understand why.

Another faultless set allowed twin guitarists Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer to prove their reputation as one of the hottest six string combos on the planet while frontman Phil Campbell continued to perfect his trademark brand of ‘angular dance’.

Confident musicians and quirky characters, TTM are a band happy in their trade. Sure there was focus, concentration and attention to detail as they ripped through powerful versions of Smouldering and Chinese Lanterns but there were also smiles, warm shows of appreciation to a passionate crowd and genuine delight in being called back for a frantic two-song encore.

The band’s latest material offered a glimpse of where TTM’s musical journey might be heading with whiffs of classic Aerosmith and the Doors punctuating the Tyneside air.

Yet tellingly new songs Battle Lines, Oh Lorraine and Long Run slotted seamlessly into a set bookended by Ain’t No telling and Midnight Black – suggesting that last September’s magnificent debut album will provide the building blocks for this band for years to come.

The impish Campbell might look like a man on the edge but he’d never lose control. TTM is too important to this bunch of experienced musos who’ve finally found their artistic calling and honed a sound so organic that it’s the perfect antidote to the proliferation of reality-television fuelled fly-by-night ‘talent’.

Debuting at the Download Festival later this summer, Campbell and co. are the very epitome of upward mobility in a music business apparently on its knees. It’s easy to see why: live shows don’t get much better than this and bands who write great music and perform classic rock songs have never been out of fashion.

Simon Rushworth

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