YOU KNOW ALL those times when a friend, magazine or so-called-expert has implored you to buy a new band's CD because it’s ‘Free-meets-the-Black Crowes-meets-the-Stones' and you think, quite rightly, “That sounds splendid! What could possibly go wrong?” So, you buy it, take it home, play it and it sounds like tosh?
Yeah, well this is not one of those times. This is the story of The Temperance Movement: five guys, four of them in London, one in Scotland. In short, they rock. Big, sweaty, old-school, sincere rock. But, like all the best rock bands, they roll too. They have a swagger, a bravado. Soul.
This is a band that merges two highly valuable commodities: riff driven blues based rock and seriously impressive – nay, spellbinding - musicality. Sure, it’s been a long time coming but, thank god, they’ve finally arrived.
Their songs seem to occupy wildly opposite extremes; wide angle panoramic vignettes or short, sharp shocks to the system. They all, however, have one common denominator – a stunning ability to deliver a message. The emphasis, lyrically, is always on aching, some might say painful, life issues – everything from heart-on-sleeve confessionals to a defiant, let's-get-back-into-the-ring-and-take-on-all-comers boldness. Out of it all though, there is a sense of revelation, a feeling that these guys are actually writing about real life lessons learnt on the road to redemption.
It started, as these things so often do, by chance. Singer-songwriter Phil Campbell's impressive solo career should be well known to you. A Scottish Ryan Adams but with better songs, his flight to fame was interrupted by the sort of obstacles only the music business can throw in your path. He was saved by an unexpected call from guitarist Luke Potashnick. “We're starting a band,” said Luke. “A proper band. Bluesy. Rocky. A bit Black-Crowes-ish. Do you fancy it?” His head said, “I'm not sure,” but his gut said, “Yes.”
The we turned out to be Luke and Paul Sayer, two friends who’d known each other for some time. Both were seasoned songwriters and musicians but wanted to step into something more permanent. With Phil on board, they knew they had the foundations of something very special indeed.
Recruiting the perfect rhythm section took a little while longer than expected with the trio working their way through a few combinations until jamming with bassist Nick Fyffe and Australian-born drummer Damon Wilson. The Temperance Movement was born.