Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Temples
UK quartet’s airy psych-pop finds aid in a crescent moon
By Greg Beets, 1:50PM, Sun. May. 4
“It’s really nice now that the sun’s gone down, I think,” said Temples vocalist/guitarist James Edward Bagshaw halfway through a solid Saturday night set. “It makes all the difference.”
The Kettering, England-based frontman has a point. As cooler nighttime temperatures prevailed and a waxing crescent moon kept watch behind the stage, Temples got a big leg up in atmospherics. It’s difficult to imagine the UK quartet’s airy psych-pop translating this effectively at high noon.
Pulling exclusively from their debut album, Sun Structures, Temples opened with “Colours to Life.” The studio version stretches an initially compelling hook too thin, which made it an ideal number to work out the sound quirks. Backed by a rainbow swirl of psychedelic visuals, similar elongations like the clap loop-driven “A Question Isn’t Answered” became much more justifiable.
Once settled in, the band’s delivery was impeccable in tone. Bagshaw’s vocal lilt contrasted nicely with his reverb-heavy guitar glow. Their stage presence was a bit stiff, but that was of minimal consequence to the large, dusty crowd.
In the wake of successive glassy-eyed grooves, a sugar-charged Pandora’s Box/UFO Club hybrid, “Shelter Song,” popped out like a revelation. The light show reached its pulsating apex as the band capped the set with “Mesmerize,” yet another Sun Structures song that felt more exclamatory in its live form. The slow-build feedback frenzy that ended this version resulted in a sea of hands in front of the stage.
Not bad for a band that’s only been together since 2012.