The Temperance Movement are currently opening for Deep Purple and Judas Priest in a huge North America tour. You wouldn’t know it by the ads for the concert, which makes no reference to them as special guests. That being said they nestled a auspicious club gig in Los Angeles at the world-famous Mint Club. The venue is tucked away in an area that is mostly inhabited by Ethiopian restaurants and Hasidic Jews. Since the 30’s The Mint has been the scene of some pretty special underground experiences… Elvis Presley would rent the club out for his private parties… God knows what went on? Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Justin Timberlake and Johnny Cash all played there. If that isn’t “cool” enough…. Local gangsters, Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel would have “sit-downs” following their “mikvehs”(special baths that are intended to cleanse the soul as directed in Jewish customs) in the red leather booths that surrounds the stage..
Being one of the few English bands willing to flaunt their “Britishness”. TTM are unilaterally saving rock and roll from taking itself too serious. Us “Yanks” have reason to be a trifle disappointed with the state of rock and roll in America. If all we got is a glorified garage band trying to be Led Zeppelin #2… No, I don’t mean Zep’s second album.. Led Zeppelin II!
This was TTM’s night… The band now features two new members, Matt White on guitar and Simon Lea at drums. Along with the rest of the original band they just romped like nobody’s fuckin’ business! TTM are something unique, an endearing ragged quintet that plays raw, big-hearted rock and roll as hard as the Rolling Stones, but with a warmer and friendly vibe. There’s a deserved reputation as a torrid, burn-the-house-down live act – one part soulful strut and one part boozy anarchy!
The set started with “Caught in the Middle” and from then on the frenzy began. The set mostly consisted of tracks from their new album, “The Deepest Cut”… vocalist, Phil Campbell thoroughly spilled his guts with his gyrations when they played the lyrically double entendre, “The Way It Was And The Way It Is Now” which segued nicely into, “High Than The Sun”.. which has a faint sonic chorus resemblance to Paul McCartney’s, “Maybe I’m Amazed”… It wouldn’t be right if TTM didn’t back to the archives and play tracks from their first album…“Be Lucky”, which is right out of the Muscle Shoals “playbook”.. The “triptych” would be incomplete if there wasn’t an inclusion of the title track from album two… “White Bear”…. Campbell was in vintage form, shredding his vocal chords over one barreling rock assault after the next.
Overall it twas’a cathartic experience from start to finish… They distill rock and roll so effortless; yet so few bands can match their mastery of a seemingly simple basic sound. Seeing them live is the essence of The Temperance Movement! There will always be a playback in your musical audio-logs– They are great and dexterous playing with a devil-may-care looseness swagger. Loud enough to send your average American rock band back to “Garageland”! TTM are tough, funny and ferocious as rock and roll gets.!