Gig review: The Cooper Temple Clause/Battle
Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh October 30, 2006
This is, perhaps surprisingly, only The Cooper Temple's Clause's second visit to Edinburgh. The last time they played here, January 2002, they had just that day released the Double A-side single 'Film-maker/Been Training Dogs' which would take them into the UK Top 40 for the first time. Their debut, See This Through And Leave was raring to go. And go they did, with festival appearances, Top Of the Pops etc.. and then after the release of their second album, Kick Up The Fire And Let The Flames Burn Loose in 2003, after a few months...seemingly silence. Then earlier this year, the Dirty Pretty Things emerged, having taken Didz Hammond from the Coopers, and a number of mp3s started to appear on the Coopers' website. So have they still got it it in 2006?
First, while I wait for the first TCTC gig since February 2004 (Glasgow Academy, co-headlining with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, since you ask), openers Battle blaze their way through a crows that they warm up very quickly. If they are not capable of selling out the Liquid rooms in less than a year, then frankly, somethings gone wrong somewhere. They look great - always a bonus - and sound so cool and together. By the second song, Isabel, it's clear this world could be theirs for the taking. How to describe their sound? Well, let's just say, you have an idea how U2's Boy might have sounded if they had made it having heard Bloc Party, The Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand. Moments of white noise, funkiness and epicness. By the time of the two final songs, Children and Easy To Listen to close the set, it is clear that Jason Bavanandan and the boys are destined for big things. Tell 'em 17 seconds told you about them.
And then the Coopers come on. Bearded three of the five may be in 2006, and there's been a hell of a lot happening in the UK's indie scene since, but oh. Before they even play a note, it's abundantly obvious that the energy and sheer joy they brought to a stagnant scene in 2001 is still there in spades. Kasabian must have been taking notes. As they tear into Promises, Promises it really is like they have never been away. When you haven't seen a band for a few years, it's easy to almost forget things - like their swapping of instruments effortlessly without appearing like musos- seem. The second song is Homo Sapiens, no.36 in this week's chart (already higher than Blind Pilots and Let's Kill Muisc got, then). As well as older songs that are greeted with sheer roars of joy, the Coopers also manage to play songs of the new album, due January, which go down extremely well with the crowd - always a risk playing stuff off an as yet unreleased album, even in the era of the internet, but Waiting Game and Connected sound like tracks strong enough to pre-order that album. Of the new songs, I am sounds like fantatsic, the essence of the Cooper Temple Clause, being a ballad on some levels and white noise on others - at the same time. The aforementioned Connected is reminiscent of Depeche Mode circa Speak and Spell. Film-maker and this year's download track Damage fasten their hold onto you, but perhaps the biggest surprise is the way Panzer Attack has evolved from a hard-as-nails rocker into a hard-as-nails techno stomper. 2006 suggests that beats will sake their claim on 'indie' territory in 2007, but remember who you should be paying respects to. They encore with Who needs enemies? and finally, their most sublime moment still, Blind Pilots.
Pity the fools who forgot. The Cooper Temple Clause have never sounded better or been more relevant.
Battle on Myspace
Battle's official website
The Cooper Temple Clause on Myspace
The Cooper Temple Clause's official site
Buy Battle on Amazon
Buy The Cooper Temple Clause on Amazon