Monday, 28 May 2012

Gig Review - The Trouble With Templeton (24/05/2012)

Live at the Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane.
Supported by: Timothy Carroll and Bryce Schneider
Review by Jo Michelmore

There's something about this little band I’m having trouble putting my finger on. Some internet chatter, a bit of hype on the street, there's something, just something I can't quite work out. Having been recommended by numerous friends and having heard only bits and pieces of their album as well as watching some clips on YouTube, I saw The Trouble With Templeton supporting Husky a few weeks previously, but will admit I wasn't sure what to expect from this gig at the Black Bear Lodge. I liked what I'd heard but while not disappointed last month it can be difficult for a support band to shine. Last Thursday night at the Black Bear was a lesson learnt. Sometimes second impressions are the best.

A relaxed crowd gradually filled the Lodge, enjoying the mellow sounds of Timothy Carroll and Bryce Schneider first, but it was obvious as they began to sit closer and closer to the stage that the punters were here to see something special; the first headline gig by this Brisbane three piece. They walked onto the stage seemingly a little nervous, but once they see the venue filled with a supportive audience, their nerves seem to slip away and they play comfortably, the charming lyrics of Thomas Calder floating in the air, the gorgeous sounds of keyboard and guitar carrying them through the warmth of the cosy venue. Although clearly led by Thomas Calder, the other members of this three piece are instrumental in making the music as lovely as it is. The voice of Betty Yeowart is phenomenal, her vocals perfectly complimenting Thomas.’ It would be great to hear more of her. The talent of bass guitarist Hugh Middleton holds the band together, he plays solidly and naturally all the way through the set. About a third of the way through their performance, Thomas is given a chance to shine in his own right, with Betty and Hugh leaving the stage to let him and his guitar do their thing. This is when the audience are given the opportunity to really appreciate his unique and beautiful voice and his particular talent with lyrics; his words resting lightly on the shoulders of the crowd.

They play through a little under an hour of material, performing numerous songs from their EP and their first album Bleeders, with the cute ‘I Wrote A Novel’ clearly a crowd pleaser. It is surprising this band only released their first material last year, for such a new trio they look like they belong together on stage and have been there forever. Their sweet and sometimes dark songs are delicious but it’s in the live performance that they really shine. I left this gig via the merch stand, purchasing a CD and an EP and receiving a warm introduction and handshake from Thomas Calder himself, which is the sign of a great musician; genuinely thankful to those who braved the cold on a Thursday night to support local independent artists. My friends and I left, braving the chill of the mall below with smiles on our faces and some lovely indie pop circling our heads; this is definitely the sign of a good gig.

I think I know what it is. You know what the Trouble With Templeton is? They’re good. They’re very good and if the gods of the music industry smile on them, which I hope they do, they won’t be playing lovely intimate gigs like this one for very long. They’ll be supporting Emma Louise at the Black Bear on July 11 and 12. If you are in that part of the world on either of those nights, trust me, you’ll want to be there.

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