British psychedelic rockers Temples released their debut album Sun Structures over three and a half years ago, and it’s been a while now since we’ve even heard from the band. All of that should be changing in March of next year, when the band is set to release their second album, Volcano. In the meantime though, the band embarked on a short US tour this fall, including a stop at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, DC.
Despite their relatively limited catalog so far, the band has developed a devoted following, and by the time doors opened at the venue a small line had formed. In the contemporary scene, Temples is probably most likely to get comparisons to Tame Impala, but the music is notably more guitar-driven than that of their Australian counterparts and as such sounds much more rooted in the psychedelic scene of the 60s and 70s. Frontman James Bagshaw switched between an impressive collection of guitars over the course of the evening, putting all of them to good use. Along with his bandmates – bassist Thomas Walmsley, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Adam Smith, and drummer Samuel Toms – he played a set that was heavy on the vintage psychedelic riffs while still sounding modern.
The majority of the setlist was drawn from Sun Structures. The band started the evening out with “Colours to Life” and “A Question Isn’t Answered,” a pair of tracks that also appear back-to-back at the mid-point of the album, followed by the title track. They then played the first of three new tracks from the upcoming release, entitled “Roman God-Like Man” – two others, “Certainty” and “Strange or Be Forgotten,” appeared later in the set. The tracks sounded similar enough to the older material to indicate that there are probably no surprises in store with the new record, but they were strong nonetheless and bode well for it. One non-album track appeared in the set between the latter two new songs, “Ankh” (the b-side of the “Colours to Life” single). And of course several other fan favorites from the first album appeared, including “Move With the Season” and “Mesmerize.” The band returned for a two-song encore of “Shelter Song” and “Sand Dance.”
Los Angeles psychedelic rockers Vinyl Williams, who released their third album Brunei back in August, opened the show.