For a venue due to shut down in the coming months, this was a surprisingly large coup. Temples, a psychedelic four-piece from Kettering, and Drenge, a bluesy rock duo based in Sheffield, are amongst the most hotly tipped emerging bands. The line-up was completed by Kagoule , a Nottingham trio recreating the more tuneful side of 90s Grunge.
For anyone that’s been to Chameleon, you’ll know that the venue is tiny. I mean, really tiny. It’s like a gig in a living room, which ought to be the perfect setting in which to see three incredibly exciting and promising new bands. And the venue did not let us down. It was packed to the rafters with a mixture of curious music fans fortunate enough to have purchased a ticket for this sold out show; the usual suspects of the Nottingham music scene, including the Pop Confessional Rev himself, not to mention the huge numbers of national press.
Unsurprisingly, Kagoule received a warm reception from a home crowd, before bursting into recent debut single, ‘Monarchy’ and b-side, ‘Mudhole’. So with the two most well-known songs out of the way, the band cruised through a half hour set of distortion-ridden guitar riffs and thumping drums. The final song and next single (which sounded something like ‘Encase’), sounded great and is surely a sign of big things to come for Kagoule.
After a very short break, Drenge came on stage. Single, ‘Bloodsports’, was effortlessly the song of the set, but the lack of a bassist meant for very little variation from their Black Keys-inspired grunge, and consequently, the crowd’s concentration began to slip. Despite this, there was enough there to suggest that Drenge could become an exciting live prospect, regardless of song quality.
Finally, Temples took to the stage. For a gig that had already been delayed by half an hour, you’d expect the band to be ready to go from the off. Sadly this was not the case, and a further half hour was spent on Temples soundchecking. When they eventually began the set, it was clear to everyone where their musical hearts lie: somewhere in 1960s England, with dreamy riffs and wispy vocals. The band were, as you would expect, tight, but once again, the songs were just not good enough. ‘Shelter Song’, their 2012 debut single, stood out from a set of songs that otherwise did nothing to develop on the psychedelic roots described above.
It was great to see three rapidly-emerging bands in such a small venue, but sadly, only Kagoule lived up to the hype. There is plenty of potential with Temples and Drenge, it’s just a case of sitting down and writing songs that are as good as the singles that made people take note of them in the first place.
By Alex Neely.