Temples | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Don't Mention The Beatles

Nov 12, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT Photography by James Loveday Bookmark and Share

About an hour’s train ride north of London, Kettering, England has the country’s second oldest theme park, was once a hotbed for Britain’s boot and shoe industry until many of the factories closed in the 1970s and ‘80s, and was visited several times by Hollywood actor Clark Gable during World War II (he was stationed at a nearby air base), but it isn’t particularly well-known for its music scene. Temples, a neo-psychedelic pop quartet who formed in Kettering last summer as a recording project between bassist/singer Tom Warmsley and guitarist/vocalist James Bagshaw, is hoping to change that. The band has been generating a buzz that gets louder by the day in the U.K. this year, even being crowned recently by former Oasis songwriter/guitarist Noel Gallagher as one of his favorite new artists.

“We uploaded a couple of songs on YouTube and all of a sudden we got asked to do a couple of shows, so we thought we’d better put a band together!” Warmsley says of Temples’ origins. The band then grew to include Sam Toms (drums) and Adam Smith (keyboards). The YouTube videos caught the attention of London’s legendary independent label Heavenly. “I’m not sure if we were actually signed before we’d played the [first] show, I think we’d done a handshake deal on the single,” says Warmsley. “It’s really strange, everything seems like we’ve done it in reverse. Most bands will rehearse for a year, record some demos, and then get some gigs. I think you just have to react to what happens, and if people want you to do shows then you’ve got to do them!”

With a record deal and hit single before they’d even performed together, perhaps it was no surprise that the first show would be unusually high-profile tooat last year’s Green Man Festival in Wales. “We’d only had a week or two of rehearsals so it was both exciting and terrifying at the same time to see what would happen. Since then we’ve tried to experiment with our live show. I think it’s good to be pressured, it makes you do stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise,” says Warmsley.

Temples is part of the latest wave of psychedelia, similar in sound to the likes of Tame Impala and Melody’s Echo Chamber. “You’ve got bands from the ‘60s that influenced us, like The Byrds and Nazz, and the albums from that era we thought were really daring like Buffalo Springfield,” Warmsley says. “Then in the ‘70s you had Marc Bolan…. Every decade seems to have its psych scene, it comes around in cycles.”

The British media reaction to debut single “Shelter Song” was phenomenal, with hype emanating from the U.K.‘s leading publications for its gloriously retro, jangly guitar pop sound. Similar excitement abounded for its catchy Small Faces-esque follow-up “Keep in the Dark.”

“[‘Shelter Song’] was the first song we wrote and recorded together,” explains Warmsley. “We wanted it to sound a very certain way, and because it was the first song we recorded we used that sound and the variations in the song as the basis for everything else. So it’s been a hugely important song for us.

“We don’t tend to read the reviews, although if we see something positive in a magazine or whatever then we stick it up. Sometimes they’re interesting to read, but if it mentions The Beatles in the first paragraph you tend to put it down!”

Warmsley expects the band’s full-length album to be out around the turn of the year. It was produced and recorded by the band, with mixing by Claudius Mittendorfer. “We’re really excited about having a full body of work,” Warmsley enthuses. “It’s a bit strange having just the two singles out at the moment because we want to show people so much more.”

[This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s August/September 2013 issue.]



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