Add SXSW buzz band Temples to your ACL Fest speculation pool
James Bagshaw, of the English rock band Temples, reacts to the PA system suddenly losing power during their set at The Blackheart, part of the Clif Bar Bash, an unofficial showcase at SXSW on March 14, 2017. (Tamir Kalifa/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
As soon as the hazy and thunderous psych rock sounds of British buzz band Temples began tumbling from the stage of Pandora House/The Gatsby on Tuesday night, it didn’t take a whole lot of imagination to picture them on a big stage in Zilker Park in October.
If Las Vegas took action on such matters, you’d get fairly low-risk odds that the quartet would be a shoe-in for one of those late-afternoon spots at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. The closest analogue from a career trajectory perspective would be Aussie pysch-poppers Tame Impala, who nabbed an ACL Fest 2015 spot after building lots of buzz with the critically lauded album “Currents.”
So what did they sound like? Over a compact 30-minute set, singer/guitarist James Bagshaw led the group through frequently heavy explorations of how many ways you can intermingle reverb, echo, one and two keyboards and lyrics that seem to observe the world from afar and with a sense of wonder.
They’ve certainly grown in some new directions with the recently released “Volcano” album; “Certainty” crackled with pop instrumental hooks embellished by keyboard work from Adam Smith and bassist Tom Walmsley, and “Strange Or Be Forgotten” started off with a guitar line that was a dead ringer for a demo from U2’s “Achtung Baby” period, and that is not a bad thing.
Banter was kept to a minimum – one supposes the band’s lineup of at least six SXSW appearances looks to be a grind – but the sonic force and histrionic flourishes at key points per all that was needed to make an impression.
Will that act play well pre-dusk in the wide-open outdoors in front of 10,000 or more people? Chances are by this fall we’ll get a chance to find out.
Tom Walmsley performs with the English rock band, Temples, at The Blackheart as part of the Clif Bar Bash, an unofficial showcase during SXSW on March 14, 2017. (Tamir Kalifa/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)