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Temple Countdown #1


Temple Countdown #1

By Jeremy Elwood Stand up comedian, Actor, Musician, Director

Many of you will know by now of the impending closure of that bastion of Auckland's live music scene, The Temple. For over seven years, in it's current incarnation, and even longer as a site for sore ears, The Temple has been encouraging, promoting, staging and rewarding kiwi music in all it's varied livery. Come October 11th, however, and the doors are closing. A mixture of the ongoing noise control debacle, the incoming smokefree legislation, and general need to move on has brought the inimitable Karen Q Temple to the end of this particular chapter in local music.

I'll throw an obituary out there in due course, but let's lot bury the old workhorse while she's still ploughing.... there are plenty of fantastic gigs over the next three weeks to give you a last chance to pack into the dark confines of The Temple and listen to some of the best local talent on offer. The last two Wednesdays, for example, have seen two fantastic gigs by two of the acts that, (I may be out on a limb here, but sue me) The Temple helped discover.

Anika Moa, local girl done good, really couldn't be more local if she tried. Sure, she had a hit single or three, her last album went to the top, and she got flown to New York to shake the right babies and kiss the right hands, but she's back, and seemingly in no hurry to leave our shores. As she said herself on Wednesday night, "America is just too full of Americans." Sweet as. And so were the songs, a mix of the familiar ("Youthful", "Ordinary Day") and the new. She alluded at the top of her set to ongoing problems with her label, quote "I don't have any "singles"..." (And yes, she made bunny ears when she said that. Kia Ora. ) What she does have is a stunning voice, and easy, relaxed musical style that makes many of even her latest songs sound familiar. Radio will love it, but not in a way that'll stop me buying the new album.

Joining Anika for one duet (must find the title, this is easily that elusive "single") and then his own set was Paul McLaney, possibly more familiar to readers as the creative force behind Gramsci. Anyone who hasn't got either of the latter outfit's albums, Permanance or Object can't really say they're keeping up. Paul has just returned from London, where he was recording his new solo album at Abbey Road, so again, the mix here was of new and newer, with highlights of earlier albums scattered throughout. The effect is a paradoxical continuity; even when he switches between rock and "stroky beard music" the intensity and quality of the songwriting and that ethereal voice ride high. Watch out for the solo album, and a new Gramsci release in the near future, Paul really is a unique voice (literally and in approach) in our local tapestry.

Coming up at the Temple, the York Street Acid Test Final (tonight), the Open Mic Final (Monday), The Final and 2 year Anniversary edition of Outspoken (Wed 1st), Don McGlashan and Mahinarangi Tocker, Chris Knox and Penelope Swales..... hell, it's better to burn out than to fade away, and the Temple plans to leave with a bang. Get down there, enjoy a gig, and help bid the old girl farewell in the style she deserves.


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