TEMPLES, Forum – Evening Standard, 4 Dec 2014

Music careers are moving faster and faster. In the old days, the string section wasn’t brought in until the pretentious, overblown second album. Temples wheeled seven extra musicians out here as they finished up touring their first, with their biggest London show so far.

The harpist didn’t add much of audible value but was a clear indicator of status. This Kettering band have graduated from second on the bill on an NME-endorsed tour to see their Sun Structures album named as Rough Trade’s album of 2014, one of the most influential end of year polls. It has now been put out again in deluxe remixed form with a shimmering lenticular sleeve to suit the zingy psychedlia within.

Though James Bagshaw is a striking frontman so thin you could put him in a postbox, with a sparkly jacket and gigantic head of hair, his soft voice is the weak link. Guitar-wise, in contrast, they’re blessed. The snaking eastern melody of Sand Dance and wiry twang of Shelter Song had impressive weight.

The Sixties tribute band feel was strong, with liquid visuals by Mad Alchemy of California pulsing and bubbling on the big screen. They look and sound as though the last 50 years never happened, so of course Noel Gallagher is a big fan. But the sound and the smells were probably much worse back then, and their original songs had worth beyond pastiche.

Keep in the Dark had a glam bounce that was irresistable, and it was fun seeing Mesmerise descend into what used to be called a wig-out. It was nothing new, but quite a trip even so.