The Temperance Movement – White Bear tour 2016 – leg #1: Portsmouth Pyramids – Saturday 16 January 2016
There are gigs and there are exemplary gigs. And last night’s opening leg of The Temperance Movement’s ‘White Bear’ 2016 tour falls firmly into the latter. On my bucket list of bands to see live since I first heard them four years or so ago, this was a gig that dreams are made of. Something to live and re-live, remember and say with pride and aplomb ‘I was there’. And guess what? I was!
The sold out Portsmouth Pyramid Centre’s 1,250 capacity on Southsea seafront provided an excellent backdrop for the start of the eagerly awaited ‘White Bear’ tour. Co-inciding with the release of their second album the day before and admirably supported by The Sheepdogs from Canada, diminutive frontman Phil Campbell took the band through a blistering 90-minute set of the old and new.
Here were numbers from their 2012 self-titled debut and the 15th January released ‘White Bear’ including the rhythmically pleasing assault of Modern Massacre (above). Frequently chased by concerned security officials as he left the stage for runabouts around and through the wildly appreciative crowd whilst the band jammed on stage, Phil Campbell belted out numbers in his signature gravelly way, striking a pose, poise and ownership reminiscent of a Woodstock-era Joe Cocker. Here was a band loving every second of an exemplary gig just as much as the audience were.
If this was the only gig I could get to in 2016, I’d be a happy man. One more tick off of my music bucket list – but a tick I’d gladly re-visit should the chance ever come again. Precious little opportunity for this tour though as it’s pretty-well sold out! But, as I write these words now whilst listening to ‘White Bear’ purchased from the merch-stand last night, I know I am amongst one of the lucky thousands who will, like me, get to an exemplary gig early in 2016.