When ‘The Chief’ speaks, the Manchester masses normally listen. So Noel Gallagher’s recent verbal crowning of Temples as “the best new band in Britain” could perhaps at least part-explain the impressive mid-week turnout down Oldham Street for an otherwise relatively unknown duo of bands.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d arrived a the gig via a time machine. Firstly, as seeing the sight of well-groomed North West gig-goers splashing their hard-earned cash on a school-night is – in these debt crunch days – somewhat unusual (or maybe I’m just getting old and boring).
Secondly, as the Kettering four piece get the night going we are treated to a vision and sound more befitting of a drug-induced summer stroll down Carnaby Street, circa 1967 than that of an overcast Manchester evening in the gloomy year 2013. But that’s no bad thing. Not in Night & Day tonight it seems anyway.
Frontman James Bagshaw’s perm is more a lifestyle choice than a haircut. But, if your career of choice is to be a psychedelic rock n roll star, then it’s a perfectly fitting choice.
Temples play a short but psychedelic set, drawing on Revolver-era Beatles riffs, Byrds-y melodies and more than a hint of fellow psych-revivalists Kula Shaker (as their mystical eastern name suggests) and The Coral.
Highlights are undoubtedly a welcome run-out of last year’s trippy single Shelter Song and its haunting B side Prisms.
Anyone who drifted off and floated down stream during that set, was about to be woken up with a bang by lo fi Derbyshire duo Drenge.
Brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless thrash their way through a set of punk/garage-rock and blues, while keeping well within the grunge tradition of deliberately ignoring the audience at all points.
Had Kurt Cobain lived on and found himself lost in the Peak District on a quest for live music, he would have welcomed this band.
A rousing rendition of single Bloodsports hints at the raw musical talent that has seen Drenge added to the bill for The Rolling Stones mega-gig in Hyde Park.
So ultimately this was a night of (floaty) light and (darkest) shade.
Whether both bands will expand and update their promising repertoire’s far enough beyond the realms of 60s/90s nostalgia to pull in the larger weekend crowds when they’re next in town remains to be seen.
But, for now, as far as sampling good new British bands go; to tune in (loud and hard) you can do a lot worse than Drenge. To drop out, head for Temples.
Review by Paul Glynn
What: Temples and Drenge at Night & Day
Where: Night & Day, Oldham Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester
When: April 24, 2013
More info: www.nightnday.org