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The Tempertons EP

The Tempertons have built quite a reputation based on their scintillating live performances, but can they cut the mustard with their first official recordings? Their live set is peppered with some choice covers, but here they present three originals by mainman Neil Barratt.

‘Fall Down Twice’ starts with slow and funky guitar, before horns and drums join the stew. Lead vocal duties are ably handled by George Bennett, but it would be unfair to single out any individual as this is a smooth ensemble. The cool arrangement allows for some seriously slick drumming and the overall feel exudes class.

‘Then I Can Fly’ features beautiful vocal phrasing by Sinead Rankin and the song is underpinned by subtle and restrained horns. A tastefully brief guitar solo adds to the lustre of this sweet soul gem.

‘Your Tattoo’ is a disco track in the classic Chic sense of the word, with sophisticated horns, laidback groove and male-female vocal interplay. The lyrics touch on something dark and obsessional, but the fluid instrumentation helps keep the mood upbeat and positive. This is dance music for the brain.

Although the lyrics are pretty unremarkable, they adhere to the Quincy Jones maxim that they should complement and fit seamlessly with the music, and if they actually mean something or tell a coherent story, then all the better. Basically, don't get in the way of a great tune.

Because of their own heavy emphasis on the sanctity of the ‘song’, plus the logistical nightmare of getting a nine-piece band on the road, there could come a time when they eventually move towards a Steely Dan approach, becoming solely a studio band. Whatever their future plans, this is a very assured opening gambit.