Temples Festival 2014 – Day Three | Diary & Photoset

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Photos (c) Ross Silcocks / More info

Temples’ trajectory is pointing straight upwards… It’s been epic.

So here we are. The final day. Temples Festival has been a total blast so far, so we’re ludicrously excited to see what Sunday has to offer. Remember our scientifically-proven-to-be-fair-and-flawless [citation needed] festival rating system?

✮ Poor  |  ✮✮ Average  |  ✮✮✮ Decent  |  ✮✮✮✮ Very Good  |  ✮✮✮✮✮ Magnificent

Having firmly dealt with our hangovers by eating an enormous breakfast today, we’re ready for Lionize (✮✮✮), who offer up a ma-hoosive slice of fun. Caring not one jot about the early hour or sparse crowd, the band launch into their greasy, bluesy metal with great enthusiasm. Using funk elements, excellent descending bass lines and a smattering of Hammond organ (nobody’s perfect, eh?), they start us off on a very positive note.

Next up is Human Cull (✮✮), the grindcore lads from Exeter. There are blasts and more blasts, complete with obligatory half time breakdowns. They play with good energy levels, but it’s all a bit one-dimensional.

The next act for us is War Wolf (✮✮✮), who bring their muscular crust metal/punk madness to the second stage, and shove it straight in our faces. They’re fast, tight, and thoroughly passionate. A call to “kick homophobia out of the metal scene” from the frontman goes down well, striking a chord with our diverse audience, but without reaching irritating preachy levels.

Herder (✮✮✮) are up on the main stage. The Dutch quintet offer up an enjoyable slice of sludge with pace, but the real fun comes from their energy and international banter. Clearly stoked to be here, the frontman bounces around the stage, chatting with the crowd and dedicating their set to “all of you, regardless of which language you speak. Even German.” Thoroughly enjoyable stuff.

We wander over to the second stage to catch Beastmilk (✮✮). It’s all a bit Misfits-meets-Sisters of Mercy, but not as good as Misfits or Sisters of Mercy. Whilst these Finnish post-punk chaps feel a little out of place, it’s at least a laugh, and those who are watching do seem to be having a good time.

We decide that the time is ripe to get dinner in the nearby pub again, before making sure we’re back in time for Bristol’s own Gonga (✮✮✮✮). Easily the loudest band of the weekend thus far, the local boys assault our ears with their colossal (and instrumental) stoner metal. The ‘chorus’ passages are super catchy, and all of the tempo changes are seamless. The massive valve tone makes their one guitarist sound like two. Our city can be rather proud of this lot.

The Secret (✮✮✮✮) are one of the bands recommended highly to us throughout the weekend, and we’re in full agreement as we watch the Italians blast through an energetic set of blackened thrash. The sound is big and anthemic, the visuals are dramatic, and the band themselves display excellent humility by professing how honoured they are to be here.

It’s now time for SSS (✮✮) to come onto the main stage. ‘Short Sharp Shock’ are a four piece from Liverpool, who play straight up thrash. It’s all very early nineties, which is great if you’re into old school worship, but not so much if you prefer your music to offer something new, relevant or interesting.

It seems as if the only people who aren’t aware of the blackened death mentalists Dragged Into Sunlight (✮✮✮✮✮) at this point are those who have been living under a rock for the past eighteen months. We’re lucky to get to the second stage in time to catch them, as it becomes so packed that the crowd can hardly even move, never mind fit anyone else in. Playing under eerie strobe lighting, heavy smoke and facing away from the crowd as is their custom, these anonymous silhouettes offer up an absolutely evil audiovisual performance. Blimey.

The penultimate slot on the main stage has a lot to live up to so far, having hosted two of the most impressive bands of the weekend or far. Doomriders (✮✮✮✮) rise to the challenge with aplomb. We need to use our toes to count the number of influential bands that frontman Nate Newton has been involved with, and it shows as the band blast through a highly professional and upbeat set of what can only be called ‘death ‘n’ roll’.

And so it comes to pass that Temples Festival is very nearly over. However, it’s not over until the fat lady (or bearded man, as the case may be) sings. Clutch (✮✮✮✮✮) have the responsibility of closing out what has been a gargantuan debut festival, and it’s a responsibility they don’t shirk for even a moment. Their greasy, party time, rock and f**king roll enraptures even the normally sedate members of the audience, causing waves of people to be unsure of whether they should headbang or dance. It’s full of impromptu jams, sing along moments, and pure unbridled energy. The set finally comes to a close, and is met by a staggering roar of drunken approval that rivals the actual band for sheer volume.

We filter out along with the rest of the crowd, experiencing euphoria at the three days we’ve just experienced, made bittersweet by it all being over. Until next year, anyway. This has been a festival made by fans, for fans. Little logistical issues cropped up here or there, but feedback was consistently taken on board with immediate effect to rectify these. One of our sources teasingly suggests that the event may be open air next year. Whilst we don’t know about that at this point, we can say with certainty that Temples’ trajectory is pointing straight upwards. Goodnight, all. It’s been epic.

Watch Clutch’s ‘Electric Worry’ right here: