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Temperance Movement keeping a clear head despite successes

The Temperance Movement is taking 2013 by storm. Simon Rushworth caught up with guitarist Paul Sayer ahead of Sunday's gig

The Temperance Movement who are playing a gig at Hoult’s Yard, Newcastle
The Temperance Movement who are playing a gig at Hoult’s Yard, Newcastle

The name is borrowed from a conservative anti-drinking group popular in Victorian Britain and the music owes a great deal to 70s icons Led Zeppelin and Free.

However, Anglo-Scottish collective The Temperance Movement aren’t solely rooted in the past, with the band’s dazzling self-titled debut hailed as the future of home-grown classic rock.

Within a year, the retro-fuelled quintet have risen through the ranks to earn a Best New Band nomination at the 2013 Classic Rock Magazine awards and an album deal with the same label that launched US revivalist rockers Rival Sons.

It’s been a rollercoaster 12 months for The Temperance Movement’s guitarist Paul Sayer, but he always believed in his band’s unique appeal and honestly-held beliefs.

“I suppose we always wanted things to go as well as they have done,” he said ahead of Sunday’s show at Newcastle’s Warehouse 34.

“We certainly hoped that, maybe, it would pan out like this. Really all we wanted was to keep on playing shows and start to play bigger venues and get more people interested in the band.

“And we knew that we’d definitely put an album out this year – somehow or other!

“But this time last year we had no idea how we were going to do that.

“We put the EP out ourselves and we were prepared to do the same with the album – that was a key ambition. I guess everything that we’re doing now we had planned for 12 months ago but just not necessarily on this scale.”

Heavy playing of lead single Only Friend on digital platform Planet Rock, along with positive noises from Classic Rock Magazine, created an initial buzz but Sayer insisted The Temperance Movement always intended to build from the bottom up.

“The reason we started the band was that we wanted to do something where we could put the music first,” he added.

“With TTM we never feel as if we’re compromised musically and hopefully that comes across when people see us play live.

“I think people can see that honesty and that belief in our music. We’ve worked very hard but it’s never been an uphill battle because we’ve stuck to our guns and stuck to our beliefs.

“It’s what all of us have always wanted to do.

“Obviously there’s a place for pop music and that immediate hit. Going out and flogging your guts out on the live circuit isn’t that important to some people.

“But from the start we just wanted to do something that was organic and honest.

“There wasn’t any marketing, there wasn’t really any PR and there was no industry buzz or anything like that.

“We just wanted people to make their own minds up and we were always confident that would be enough for this band.

“We wanted a true and solid foundation for our fan base and the only way to do that was to play live as often as possible.”

Earlier this year The Temperance Movement comfortably sold out the bulk of their first UK headline tour. This month they return with a critically-acclaimed debut album and a determination to reinforce their reputation as a must-see live act.

“Rather than ramming something down people’s throats, we hoped fans would discover us by word of mouth or whatever, and that having found us they’d stick with us for a long time,” added Sayer.

“As long as they do that we’re committed to keeping our side of the bargain – making music and playing shows.

“It’s so much about the live show for us. Even the album was an opportunity to capture the live sound of the band. But you can never compare a record to the experience you get from coming to a live show and that’s the most important thing to us.”

The Temperance Movement play Warehouse 34 at Hoult’s Yard, off City Road, Newcastle, on Sunday. Debut album The Temperance Movement is out now via Earache.

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