Singer Phil Campbell has been through the mill as a solo artist, earning a “rock survivor” tag, but he has an undeniable vocal grit that the other band members sought out to complete an unapologetically entertaining package of retro rock.
The variously bearded members of the band all make their living as what is disparagingly known as “sidemen”, but to be a professional musician these days takes work; having earned their chops they seem to be enjoying cutting loose.
Unfiltered influences – The Faces, Exile On Main Street era Stones, a modicum of early Credence and a smidgen of Cream – ooze from every note of TTM’s music, but there is an argument for rendering something well without irony or pretence.
In a world where every musical era and style is available at the click of a screen, the idea of lineage goes somewhat out the window.
A rock audience like this is here for a good time and that is what The Temperance Movement delivers in spades.
On only the second date of a punishing pan-European tour schedule, they’re giving their all.
Campbell in particular soon sheds his protective layer of fur coat, shades and pork pie hat to sweat through his skinny TTM T-shirt.
From the off, in celebratory mood thanks to a good showing in the midweek’s for their eponymous debut album, the handclap-inducing, crowd-pleasing, stomping single ‘Midnight Black’ sees Campbell throw Jagger-esq hips and chicken strut dance moves.
The band plays like they’ve been together for more than their short history suggests.
Campbell’s vocals recall a young, unfettered Joe Cocker, all gospel hand gestures and throaty rasp.
The band works the rock clichés hard, particularly when they get into an extended instrumental workout a la The Black Crows.
It’s like the last 40 years never happened, but it moves your hips and digs deep into dad’s record collection.
The audience join in with some muscular “oohh oohhs” and stadiums don’t seem such a stretch of credibility.
‘Don’t Call It’ conjures a scene of drooling desire to make the inner feminist blanch, but Campbell balances it with the humbling ‘Pride’, a showdown with inarticulate masculine emotions.
He gets a second wind, pulling out another verse after Paul Sayer’s unabashedly showy guitar solo, then launches into ‘Ain’t No Telling’.
This preening yet vulnerable maleness is a familiar trope of rock ‘n’ roll but there is satisfaction in a well-delivered archetype.
‘Chinese Lanterns’ shows their sensitive side, drawing the crowd into an unamplified, soul-stirring finale.
The Temperance Movement is walking well-trodden ground, but ably fill their boots.
Words: Lucy Brouwer
Photos: Michael Gallacher