By Geoffrey Rowlands
Don’t look for anything from British blues-rock band The Temperance Movement in the UK singles charts. But things are very different when it comes to the album charts.
The band’s 2013 self-titled debut album and 2016’s White Bear both made the top 20. But an ever-growing fan base has now seen their third album, A Deeper Cut, storm straight to number six.
“It’s nice to be appreciated,” smiled Glasgow-born singer, songwriter and frontman Phil Campbell. “Seriously though, A Deeper Cut debuting so high was a massive and humbling moment for us. That’s just on the overall UK chart. The album is at number one on both the Rock and Indie charts, number two on Vinyl and also number two on the overall chart in Scotland.
“We really need to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought the record. We should also thank everyone at Earache Records for their promotion of the album and timing the release to coincide with our Deeper Cut tour. People are more likely to buy the record when they’ve just heard us play the songs in concert.”
The band originated in 2010 and became fully formed in 2011.
“I had met (guitarist) Luke (Potashnick) when I was living in London,” Phil explained. “He had talked about starting a band but it just didn’t happen. I’d actually moved back to Glasgow when Luke phoned me to say he was forming a band and asked if I was interested.
“I said ‘yes’ and we were a duo for about five minutes until Luke brought in (guitarist) Paul (Sayer). We then found (bassist) Nick (Fyffe) and (drummer) Damon (Wilson). The five of us worked well together and it went from there.”
The Temperance Movement underwent two personnel changes during 2016. In January, Luke left to fully concentrate on his career as a songwriter and producer. He was replaced by a good friend of the band, Matt White. Damon quit in November wanting to spend more time with his wife and family. Simon Lea was his replacement.
“We were very sorry to see them go,” Phil remarked. “I took Luke walking away really badly. I thought we’d always be writing songs together. But the partings were reasonably amicable and we got two brilliant new musicians who also happen to be great company.”
Unlike most rock musicians, Phil comes from a church-going family.
“My background is more like the sort of thing you get for soul, R&B or gospel artists. There was a lot of singing around the piano in our house. My folks were Mission Hall people which comes with a lot of singing and that’s what got me.
“As I got older, I started getting into bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Black Crowes. I went through a phase where I loved an Irish band called Hothouse Flowers. I also loved Elton John and more or less anybody who played piano. I eventually picked up a guitar and got into really wild rock music.”
The Temperance Movement’s own musical style has evolved during the course of their three albums.
“We probably started out as more of a blues band,” Phil reflected. “Our first album was all recorded in four days. It was very song-driven and the songs were easy to write. We had no commercial agenda. We wrote with open hearts and with no intention other than to create good music.
“The same principles still apply. But we took more time to record White Bear. We’d also played a lot more shows by then so the second album was a real step forward for us sonically and artistically. It was very heavy though and performing some of the songs live was a real killer.
“The new album is a further step forward. It’s still a blues-rock record but there are tracks which are more mellow. I think the two new members have changed the band to some degree and we’ve ended up creating an album which I believe is better than anything we’ve ever done before.”
Similar remarks might be made of Phil as a person. He has apparently won his battle against drugs and alcohol.
“My early adult life was a mess caused by my addictions. But I’d stopped drinking by the time we formed The Temperance Movement, hence the band name. But I looked for excuses to go back to the drugs and by 2016 I was drinking again after being dry for seven years.
“I eventually realised I had to get clean. I told the people I’d hurt how sorry I was. I was lucky to see what had to be done before I ruined everything. Taking care of my life has made things exciting again, particularly my family and our music.”
It was believed fans had heard the last music from English singer Amy Winehouse.
A collection of B-sides and rarities, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, was released five months after Amy’s death in 2011. But the decidedly mixed public reaction prompted Universal Records boss, David Joseph, to destroy the rest of her unfinished demos.
What David did not know was that the then 17-year-old Amy had recorded a demo of My Own Way, a song co-written by James McMillan, Maryanne Morgan and songwriter/ producer Gil Cang.
“We’d been writing a lot of pop tunes and doing a lot of pop promos with various artists,” Gil explained. “It was a dire time in the pop world, lots of terrible girl bands and boy bands but we had to make something for them.
“Amy came in to record this demo. We didn’t know her and weren’t expecting anything special. But she started singing and just blew us away. Her talent was obvious. It was a real jaw on the floor moment.”
With Amy signing her record deal and becoming a star, her rendition of My Own Way was put aside and largely ignored. But Gil always knew he had the demo, he just couldn’t remember where it was. After finally finding it, he decided to post the recording online. It can be heard at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZrtSdRS3cs
Canadian superstar Drake has become only the second artist on the US music scene to register more than 100 million streams for one of his songs in a single week.
His track, God’s Plan, holds top spot on the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The song’s fifth week at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 was aided by a total of 101.7 million streams.
Video streams count towards the Hot 100. The God’s Plan video, which sees Drake giving money away to unsuspecting members of the public, has become a viral hit. It can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpVfcZ0ZcFM
The only other recording to rack up more than 100 million streams over a seven-day stretch was Baauer’s 2012 track, Harlem Shake. It took off in 2013 when a YouTube user uploaded a 30-second video of people dancing to the song. This was subsequently parodied more than 3,000 times in other user-submitted videos seeing Harlem Shake become what was described as the biggest viral sensation since PSY’s Gangnam Style.
It was only two months ago that singer/ songwriter Liam Payne was describing his girlfriend, Cheryl Cole, himself and their young son Bear as a very happy family.
Yet reports have surfaced in recent times which suggest all is not well between the former stars of One Direction and Girls Aloud. It was said that Liam had taken legal advice to determine his financial position in the event of the couple splitting up. It was also said that Cheryl was preparing to leave Liam’s Surrey mansion.
So what is the truth? The speculation has come about because of all the travelling and publicity work Liam has done to promote his music. This has kept him and Cheryl apart for an uncomfortable length of time.
But Cheryl has not been moping alone at home. She has been working on the songs for her fifth solo album with hot shot producer Naughty Boy. Such has been the intensity of her work that she has spent up to 12 hours per day at the studio.
If her relationship with Liam is on the brink of collapse, Cheryl is certainly not admitting to the couple having significant problems. She is not the world’s most prolific tweeter but recently used her Twitter account to admonish those reporters who have questioned the strength of her relationship.
She wrote: “Oh stop, no-one cares who’s been speculatively arguing or not in their relationships. Use your platform to put something productive in your columns. Oh, and your ‘stunt’ theories are just ludicrous and a bit weird.” brief
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