I first came across the subjects of today’s post on a Blast First package tour in 1988 at the Edinburgh Venue. The bill was topped by Steve Albini’s Rapeman and also featured the wonderful Band of Susans. AC Temple were maybe third (or even fourth) on the bill but in the end I was more impressed with the latter two bands than with the headliners. Band of Susans will doubtless feature some time soon but it’s to AC Temple I turn today.
After seeing them live I bought their next LP ‘Sourpuss’ (1989 – Blast First) which was an energetic record heavily influenced by Sonic Youth. It’s very good and a significant melodic progression from their earlier work mini LP ‘Songs of Praise’ and full length debut ‘Blowtorch’ (which I subsequently backtracked to and purchased).
Album number 3 came out in 1991 and was produced by one of the hip indie producers of the time, Kramer, who was best known to me for his work with Galaxie 500.
The LP was called ‘Belinda Backwards’ and, whilst Kramer undoubtedly brought his own vision to the record it was clear that A.C. Temple were continuing their own evolution. This really a record that could only have been made on this side of the Atlantic as it fused their previous influences with medieval English folk music! It’s not as an immediate record as ‘Sourpuss’ and certainly less ferocious but it sure as hell was distinctive (in a good way).
The best track is probably ‘Come Sunrise’ and so here it is:
AC Temple – Come Sunrise
It seems that ‘Belinda’ was the band’s swansong although finding out much about AC Temple online beyond the basic facts isn’t that easy. So it’s perhaps surprising that their LPs are still available online (at very reasonable prices) from Mute or Amazon. Certainly both ‘Sourpuss’ and ‘Belinda’ are worth checking out.
There is also an unofficial Myspace site at which you can hear 4 more tracks from ‘Belinda Backwards’.