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Friday, 10 May 2013

The Temperance Movement/River 68s - Nice and Sleazy - Glasgow (08/05/13)

Wednesday wasn't a good day.
Early in the morning, and without much fanfare, a malignant misanthropic malaise descended on me.
As each minute slipped by it dug its claws deeper into my psyche and embraced me ever tighter to its bosom.
It would be fair to say that by noon I hated everything and everyone.
Even Travis Bickle.
Fuck the rain coming and just washing the scum away.
Let it come and sweep everyone away.
Bring on some biblical sized disaster and be done with it.

Pain can be the catalyst for feelings like that, and I am in pain.

It radiates from my fractured arm, my chipped wrist and ankle, and it throbs across my cracked rib, and I hold it responsible for much of how I felt.
The dull ache has been with me for weeks.
Although it certainly feels longer.
It's a gnawing pain that rarely subsides unless it is being blanked out by a much sharper one.
The secondary pain is one that snatches my breath away, brings tears to my eyes, and is akin to what I imagine holding a naked flame to a raw and exposed nerve ending would feel like.

I'm sick of it.

So sick of it that I thought twice, and then a third time, about just giving the trip to Glasgow to see The Temperance Movement and the River 68s a miss, but a part of me knew that I would regret it.

As William Congreve said 'Music has charms to soothe a savage beast, to soften rock, or bend a knotted oak' and if you swapped savage beast for my emotional well being, rock for bone and knotted oak for muscle then good music was probably exactly what I needed.

That was my focus.
To just tune everything around me out, and stand alone and let the music wash over me.
Let it smooth away every sharp edged stabbing pain and soothe me.

I knew it would be a gamble though.

Not every show can carry deliver, but I decided that the options where to allow myself to continue to hate everyone, or try and find my way back to some semblance of balance.

The River 68s were a good therapeutic start.

Unfortunately I had short changed myself by turning up just in time to catch the end of their set.
Having seen them before I am well aware of how good they can be, and from the plaudits being voiced around me it was obvious I had missed a great performance.
The sound as I walked into the cave that is Nice and Sleazy's was the best I have ever heard in the venue, and Craig McCabes vocals were coming through not just loudly, but with perfect clarity.
Things have went a bit quiet of late in the River 68 camp, but that is going to change.
Take my word on it.
The next year is going to see them kick some doors in.
The buzz that surrounds The Temperance Movement right now is just waiting to be passed over to The River 68s.
A solid debut album will ensure that they draw attention to themselves that could lead to pretty much anything.

Nothing is quiet in The Temperance Movement camp right now though.

With dates in venues to small to hold them creating a bit of a frenzy for tickets, and a forthcoming appearance on the bill with Bruce Springsteen, The Black Crowes and Alabama Shakes at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London, the band are currently on the cusp of reaping the rewards that they have been working hard towards achieving.

Is it all a case of the Emperors new clothes though?
All talk and no walk?

The answer is not at all.

Everything I wanted was there for me to take.
I stood near the front and felt the hairs rise on my neck.
I closed my eyes and the music held me, and it did in fact incrementally make me feel better and better.
It was as if I had created a small bubble for myself to exist in and my only connection with the world outside was the music of The Temperance Movement, and do you know what?
It's all that was needed.
The savage beast was soothed and the muscles in my neck lost their tension.
My loathing for humanity took a back seat and I felt a nudge of positivity for the first time that day.

As the night progressed the set went from being good, to great, to then reaching, and attaining that magical moment that goes beyond it just being another show.
I've spoken about it before.
That shared communal experience that sits outside what is normally expected.
When they turned off the pa and did an acoustic version of a forthcoming album track called Chinese Lanterns they struck a chord with the audience that will lead to those who witnessed the show to be able to say in years to come that they were there.
Nothing more will be needed to be said.
'I was there' will convey it all.
What they created in that moment can't be repeated on a stadium stage, and it will only rarely be created in small venues.
That's because everything has to fall in place at the right moment.
It's when metaphorically speaking the stars align.
Drop some unknown quantity from the equation and it can't have the electricity of life breathed into it.
For me this was to touch aural nirvana.
A small glimpse at something that is mainly indescribable because it goes beyond being conveyed in a review.
It has to be experienced as anything other than being there in the moment will just be a facsimile that lacks all the shading and passion that the original has.
If the live experience is the original painting then the description of it is just the paint by numbers version being regurgitated in a cack handed manner.

Bottom line is that The Temperance Movement probably stopped me from setting fire to the world and watching you all burn.

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