Monday, October 27, 2014

Temples at Irving Plaza

James Edward Bagshaw
Psychedelic rock band Temples began as a home recording experiment in 2012 by singer-guitarist James Edward Bagshaw with his friend, bassist Tom Warmsley, both from Kettering, England. The duo previously worked together in the Moons. The duo uploaded four self-produced tracks to YouTube to encourging response. Forced to form a band around their tracks, Bagshaw and Walmsley enlisted Kettering drummer Samuel Lloyd Toms and keyboard player Adam Smith and started rehearsing as a band. The four bonded over the mystical writing of Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary, the films of Kenneth Anger, and the music of the Byrds. Temples' debut album, Sun Structures, was released in February 2014.

Returning to New York for a headlining show at Irving Plaza, Temples looked like a 1960s West Coast psychedelic band, and the music fit the image. The quartet performed nine songs from its sole album plus two older songs, all referencing the dreamy, droning grooves and extended guitar leads of early stoner rock. Temples is only two years old, but the retro-futuristic musicians mastered a mix of old and new sounds. The vocals were light, the hard, bouncy rhythms alternated between gritty, glam, and folky, and the prominent guitar and keyboard-fueled sound was all imaginative. Backed by a primitive light show on a screen behind them, the concert was a romp through time and mind space.

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