After having heaps of fun at the last Introducing gig we attended, it wasn’t hard for Intro magazine to convince us to be back exactly a year later, again at Hamburg’s Uebel & Gefährlich. Especially not with a line-up that included Britain’s latest mega hype Temples, whose debut we’ve been spinning relentlessly the last days. After they sadly had to cancel their appearance at last September’s Introducing tour, which would have included a gig at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival, we were even more excited for the neo-psych mullets to finally grace Germany. Both for them and for the organisers, the moment couldn’t have been picked any better, with the release of the album “Sun Structures” only four days ago.
Of course, there were two other bands on that night, the “headliner” being California’s Crystal Antlers, who, as it turned out, probably only got top of the bill because they’ve been existing the longest, at least judging from the amount of crowd interest in their performance.
Opening the night were The Majority Says, a female-fronted young six-piece who I hadn’t heard of previously. The striking beauty of every single band member could be traced back to the fact they were Swedish. But besides offering eye-candy, the band also knew how to get the crowd moving with catchy, dancefloor-tested tunes changing from electro-pop to folk-rock. In their calmer moments, they resembled Of Monsters and Men, while the more loaded songs were rather a mixture of Dúné and fellow Swedes MF/MB (who you may not have listened to, but you definitely should. Preferably live). What I liked best, however, was the fact that five of the six members were vocalists, and they knew how to use this advantage. (If you’re into multi-vocal harmonies, I also highly recommend Balthazar, who happen to be touring Germany as we speak.) There was enough action on stage through the frequent swapping of instruments between members to make up for the fact that the frontwoman had as much charisma as Kristen Stewart. All in all, I enjoyed their performance and danced a lot, even though the lead singer’s voice really wasn’t my thing and therefore I’m not planning on buying any of their music. However, they are worth checking out if you like any of the references above.
The impressive size of the crowd by this point was due to the upcoming performance by Temples. As mentioned before, I had listened to their album as much as I possibly could through Spotify, as I was planning on buying it at the gig (but it turned out they were not allowed to sell their own records, pfff). To date, it is safe to say that this had been my favourite album of the new year, containing at least three fully-fledged hits and several other excellent songs while also carrying a coherent mood. And as if that wasn’t enough, even their b-sides are fucking brilliant. Which for me has always been the prime quality marker of any band: being able to use songs as b-sides that are better than the best song on many other albums. Meaning, you shouldn’t only check out Temples if you adore Tame Impala, MGMT or any of the other obvious references, you should also listen to it if you just enjoy a good pop song. Because if I’ve ever heard a good pop song, then it’s “Mesmerise”. Seriously, the band that can write a song like this can do anything. It didn’t even matter to me that the beglittered peacock singer and his emo-boy backing band put down a stage show as boring as any in that genre seemingly has to be – their music was able to make me close my eyes and get lost to the degree I forgot that the actual band was performing right in front of my face.
Strangely, the crowd seemed to be quieter than they had been during the first act, which the band moodily commented upon. What was even worse, though, was that at least half of the audience vanished as soon as the last note has sounded, although there was another band on. It wasn’t even that late! I stayed at least long enough to get a glimpse of Crystal Antlers, but finding that their emo-rock didn’t really fit my mood I also decided to be home by 12 instead of 1, though I did feel sorry for them.
For a free show, there was definitely no reason to complain. In fact I would have gladly paid for this (but don’t tell Intro ;)).