Photo Copyright © Christopher James Ryan. Review by Emma Torkington
Blues rock band Temperance Movement kicked off this night at Manchester Academy, walking on stage to a huge cheer from the crowd. Kicking off their set with Only Friend, the first thing you notice is that frontman Phil Campbell has an amazing voice that really grabs your attention. Next up is a personal favourite Caught in the Middle and, by now, the reaction shows that this crowd aren’t here just for the headliner tonight.
As each song flows seamlessly into the next one, Phil’s dancing on stage reminds me of a younger Mick Jagger especially in the way he walks, feels the music and loves what he does and it is so wonderful to see. Ain’t No Telling is next complete with maracas and tambourine again receiving a huge cheer while Take it Back kicked in and everyone (including security) was dancing. There’s some light-hearted banter as Campbell jokes about how he loves to “enter Manchester” while he also admits how grateful he is to be on this tour with headliners Blue Oyster Cult.
Straight from this the band changes gear and slows the set down with Another Spiral, which is the kind of powerful songs which, when you hear it live, has every hair on your body standing on end. Staying very much with the powerful songs, the band continue with Deeper Cut played on an acoustic guitar while the set finishes off with crowd favourite Built-In Forgetter, complete with more dancing and a stack of balloons being thrown into the crowd.
Before we go on, I have to admit that headliner Blue Oyster Cult were something of a bucket list band for me. The first thing that struck me though was the lack of band logo or artwork hanging down behind them which keeps your attention fully on the band with no distractions.
Blue Oyster Cult comes on to a huge cheer from the crowd, kicking straight into Transmaniacon MC from their selff-titled album released in 1972. This has everyone singing along and, by now, the atmosphere is electric. Next up was Before The Kiss, A Redcap from the same album which, as with the opener, gets another huge cheer from the crowd. By now the crowd are up and dancing as this iconic band continue through their material without missing a beat.
Having watching many of their gigs over the years, their set tonight was not a disappointment! As the set progresses, Eric Bloom informs the crowd that every date they change the set list up a bit just to keep it fresh for each city also promising that they will keep playing until the venue throws us all out. Given a choice of Harvest Moon or Shooting Shark by the band, this crowd chooses Harvest Moon, seemingly a popular choice given the response.
As the set rolls on with hits like E.T.I, True Confessions (with Buck singing) and Black Blade, the band performed a song I thought I would never hear live, let alone witness and that was Godzilla. Judging by how the crowd erupts, I was clearly not the only one to feel this way. By now, no-one is standing still as the whole crowd is singing along to one of the groups most iconic songs. Following Godzilla, Buck Dharma takes the stage for an amazing guitar solo before the room fills with that intro that so many people know, Don’t Fear The Reaper. Following a brief break after this iconic track, the band walks back on stage and treats this crowd to three more songs – OD’d On Life Itself and I Love The Night before ending the night on a real high with Cities On Flame with Rock and Roll.
This was the last date of their eight date tour of the UK and the band signed off in style. Even at this stage of their career, the band can still pack a venue, still deliver an amazing set and still leave you leave smiling from ear to ear. Bucket list band well and truly checked of the list! Thank you to Blue Oyster Cult for still bringing so much joy to our stages!