Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Cooper Temple Clause @ Virgin Megastore, London

11 February 2002

The Cooper Temple Clause twice in one night! Firstly in the Virgin Megastore and then supporting The Charlatans next door in the Astoria. Both sets were suitably fantastic but, surprisingly, it was the one on the shop floor that was most remarkable.

From the bowed electric guitar on their first track, the inventiveness of this Reading seven-piece is evident. Their debut album is testament to their defiant, thrilling individuality. Didz Hammond’s bass doesn’t appear to be necessary on the opener; instead he displays his own brand of individuality by wandering around the cordoned off area of the shop – looting! The sports bag he’s carrying is quickly filled with whatever takes his fancy and he returns to show off his spoils to the other band members on stage.

Ben Gaultrey admits that they have never played in a shop before. This, however, is the first of a few such appearances as their arses are pimped around Virgin Megastores up and down the country. But what well-pimped arses they are! This short five-song set isn’t the humdrum run-through that you might expect, but rather a tight, exciting display of talent.

Devil Walks In The Sand is bizarrely dedicated to anyone with big hands. This track manages to successfully alternate between wigged-out rock and bluesy psychedelia. Next up is jangly guitar and Radiohead Fake Plastic Trees-type vocals. The sight of Hammond practically eating the mic is an odd one indeed. The intense concentration he puts into it leads you to believe that it’s a very important part of the collage of sound and I would be fascinated to know which of the whirls, loops and whines that flow over this track he is actually responsible for.

The Cooper Temple Clause finish off their short promotional set with the brilliant Film Maker and then, the song that brought them to our attention, Let’s Kill Music. When the lights come back on it’s a bit of a shock to be reminded that this particular slice of live energy has been performed in the basement department of a shop. The lucky few that have had their eardrums battered by the surprisingly good sound production are queuing up to get their albums, t-shirts and body parts signed.

The unanimous chitter-chatter above the mob echoes one unanimous sentiment. We love The Cooper Temple Clause!

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The Cooper Temple Clause @ Virgin Megastore, London