Made in Kettering UK, Temples’ first recording arrived in one Technicolor burst in July 2012. James Bagshaw and Tom Warmsley recorded Shelter Song, put it on the Internet, and set into motion an unstoppable chain of events that eventually saw them signed to Fat Possum Records. That same track, a bouncy, psychedelic romp, was issued as their debut single on Heavenly Recordings – and quickly became as sought after as any of the vintage vinyl they individually lusted over.
There was a problem with the wave of interest it set in motion. The band was, technically, not yet a band, and they were being offered gigs before they even had a full line-up in place. So James and Tom recruited drummer Sam Toms and keyboard player Adam Smith, both also from Kettering, and worked on making the intangible tangible. Quickly, they became an accomplished live prospect, playing gigs up and down the UK, hitting the festival circuit and even sharing a bill with The Rolling Stones at London’s Hyde Park in July 2013. For Record Store Day this year, they joined their Heavenly stable-mates for a memorable trip across the channel to Paris. Toy, Stealing Sheep and Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs were on board. “It was amazing. It was like a school trip of a different kind,” says James.
As well as The Stones, the band have caught the attention of a number of music’s biggest names. Johnny Marr has declared himself a fan (“And he’s obviously a huge ambassador of the 12-string, so it’s nice he’s picked up on us,” says Tom), Robert Wyatt professed his interest in a letter to the band’s management, Suede invited them on tour and Noel Gallagher came to see them perform in London. Some pressure for a new band, no? “Not really,” says James. “I’m quite confident about it – there’s not going to be any filler and no track’s going to sound similar to the next.”
Right now, the focus is on knuckling down and polishing off that debut album. Mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer. “I’m looking forward to people hearing some of the songs we’ve not played live,” says Tom. “Move With The Season is covered in 12-string but with this almost ’90s-like looped beat in the background going on, and three-part harmonies on a huge scale.”
It’s a record that’s destined to set out the band’s stall as Britain’s premier retro-futurists, with influences ranging from ’60s psychedelia to Motown, glam, and Krautrock, all viewed through a very modern kaleidoscope – and always keeping the song at the heart of it all. “We still want songs to be songs. “The key,” says James, “is innovation. We never want to re-do the same thing, use the same formula as a previous song. We’re always looking hard to better ourselves.”
Temples will release “Sun Structures” February 11, 2014 on Fat Possum Records.