Saturday, 9 March 2013

Gig Review - The Trouble With Templeton

The Trouble With Templeton
Live at the Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane (06/03/13)
Review by Jo Michelmore
Photos by Nayt Housman

When a band is young, when they first put their performing shoes on, like wearing any new shoes, it can be an uncomfortable experience. They might look fabulous but you just can't quite walk right in them, one foot after another, yes, but something is just a tiny bit off about your steps.

The first time I saw The Trouble With Templeton in mid 2012, they were good, but they were wearing size nine shoes with size eight feet. I was intriuged by them, entranced by Thomas Calder's voice and completely captivated by Betty Yeowart and Hugh Middleton. While I thought they were fantastic and hoping the gods of music would smile on them, it can't be denied they were relatively new to performance, still finding their feet within themselves as a band and on stage. When I saw them at BigSound a few months later, I'll admit I wasn't so impressed. They were a sneaker band wearing stilettos, performing like they had something to prove. This week I learnt how things can change in only a couple of months.


The now five piece band burst onto stage with a wall of sound, so layered and intense I immediately suspected this was not going to be the same band I saw six months ago. They continued the pace through four songs before treating us to their latest single, Like A Kid. It was during this song that Ritchie Daniell broke a snare drum, but I'm sure only the people at the very front understood the mild panic, for they continued on so strongly, finishing the song with an apology and a laugh, like a band that has been breaking snare drums for years and years. The professionalism they showed, powering on through what they called 'a train wreck' was more than impressive.

After finding a replacement for Ritchie's drum, Thomas chatted to the crowd easily, clearly comfortable with his band and the performance seemed a pleasure for all of them. The crowd pleasing tracks were a highlight, Bleeders and Six Months In A Cast deserved the huge response the warm crowd gave and TTWT took this adoration in their stride, seeming genuinely impressed their hometown was so supportive.

That support was so strong, Thomas Calder came back onto the stage on his own for an encore performance, playing I Wrote A Novel on his own, acoustic style. So powerful yet stripped back, it seems almost silly to ever have a whole band play this song when Thomas can obviously carry it off so well on his own. The others returned for the final song and the wall of sound they opened with they also closed with, a perfect way to end a mid week gig, the audience desperatley left wanting more, even on a rainy Wednesday night.


It was during the encore I noticed Thomas Calder's feet and the shoes he happened to be wearing. They were brown boots, clearly loved, very well worn but incredibly sturdy. They seemed perfect for stomping ones feet when the beat demands it, yet so comfortable they're perfect for swaying in during the slow songs. These are boots that have a history and have a future, which is interesting, because that's how I could describe this band. They've spent some time together and it seems they've found their feet and their performing shoes. These hardworking, cute and humble shoes are what I hope they wear to their performances throughout the US and to SXSW, where they are playing this month. If they keep these on their feet they are sure to win over a whole new legion of fans, whenever, wherever they perform, just like they subtly re-won my love on Wednesday night.

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