You know, before I got almost a whole liter of wine in me, the night started out great. Before everything ended up in back alleyway showdowns of drunken confusion, there I was, standing off to the side of the stage at Cabaret Mile End, watching this crowd of kids, not a body over 18. All of them were singing every word to every song by British band, Temples. And I was overwhelmed, I really was. I was filled with such a feeling of tenderness in the face of such devotion.
Now, Temples is not to be confused with Temple, the American Christian rock band whose current smash hit album Show Me Jesus is just burning up the charts, lord help us.
And so there I was, and I have to say, I was digging this band. The Jimi Hendrix jacket worn by guitar player, James Bagshaw, was a little cliché. If you want to go for something really far out, you should do what drummer Salem Brown did when he was playing for The Pretty’s: he wore a ballerina tutu with his balls hanging out. Now that’s some fashion-forward stage garb, if you ask me. The fringe jacket? Boys, it’s been done! It’s over!
Alright, moving onto what actually matters: The Music. I admit I was expecting something a little darker from a band named Temples (unless of course, you’re Temple and you’re rocking hard for Jesus). The four-piece were definitely from Britain, alright. They had British rock all over their tone, their vibe, their look. It is what it is. But you could tell they put in a lot of time into their set; it was flawlessly executed.
At the front of the stage were the hardcore fans. They knew every word, which prompted my aforementioned outpouring of affection. And then off to the side were the acid kids. How could I tell? Come on. They only started getting into the music at the very end of the set when Temples went off into some long instrumental jam, and suddenly they were grooving like there was no tomorrow, eyes closed, chakras opening.
And then I just had to go have that fateful cigarette in the alleyway.
Wait, back up, I can pinpoint the moment when it all went downhill: I ran into my buddy, and he said they were going for some drinks with the band, would I like to come? Then I said I was there from Rampage “…and it’d be cool to get an interview.”
“Sure,” he says, “Just go talk to the tour manager over at the merch table.”
So over I totter, and there’s the drummer from Temples. I tell him who I am, where I’m from and ask him for that interview. He says yes.
Okay, now we’re caught up to the point where I go for a smoke. I somehow make it down the stairs into the alley, and there’s the rest of Temples.
Now, let’s see… trying to piece together the pieces of my fractured world… Ah, yes. I told them that I had talked to the drummer upstairs and he said I could interview the band.
“Well,” someone spoke up, “I AM the drummer.”
There was an awkward silence. Someone should have said, “Oooooo.” But nobody did. So I did what I always do, which is say aloud everything that’s going through my head.
“Shit. Well, I talked to someone who looked like you. I guess I should have known, he didn’t sound British.”
Fringe Jacket sneers at me. “We’re not British either. We’re Americans.” In a thick British accent.
“Alright well, I talked to somebody who looked like somebody, maybe he was pretending to be American too. How about you pretend like you’re the lead singer and I’ll talk to you?”
“That’s not in my contract,” he says.
I always get a kick out of the wrong things, I think. I started thinking all of this was pretty funny, so I thought, fuck it, and hit record on the old iPhone.
“Well, here we are,” I say, “Standing in an alley, drinking some corner store wine, smoking cigarettes,” and I’m narrating this shit like it’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, and the drummer, the REAL drummer, protests, “Hey, you can’t just start the interview!” Even though I wasn’t interviewing anybody, so much as documenting the zaniness of my own night.
“Aw, I just record everything,” I say. “Bathroom conversation, water in the gutter, it’s all beautiful.” (This, as quoted from the recording.)
“If you’re going to do an interview, I need to prepare myself,” huffs Fringe Jacket and goes inside.
Then the drummer apologizes for getting uptight and says, “But you do realize you’re the Enemy, right?”
“Whoa, someone’s been watching way too much Almost Famous,” I say.
He starts to explain his position but I cut him off and go, “Yeah, I get it, I guess I was just like a man sticking his camera phone under the stall door of the ladies washroom.”
Anyway, I apologize for not memorizing the faces of the band members of Temples, which led me to mistaking the skinny, white, blond, long-haired drummer with the other skinny, white, blond, long-haired drummer.
I apologize for being drunk and belligerent (as usual).
I apologize for not taking life more seriously.
Temples, you put on a good show. The kids love you. As for me, I’m hung-over.
Temples played at Cabaret du Mile end on October 22.