Formed in 1999, Tempertwig were a three-piece band based out of South London. The band split up in 2004, with band members Ben and Adam Parker going on to perform in the acclaimed groups, Nosferatu D2 and The Superman Revenge Squad Band. Fifteen years later, experienced record releasers, Audio Antihero and brand new label, Randy Sadage, have combined to release FAKE NOSTALGIA: An Anthology Of Broken Stuff, a collection of the band’s material, which drew near universal acclaim, while also seeing the band have sandwiches thrown at them by skinheads, and travelling to Bath to play to one, very enthusiastic promoter.
This revisiting shows both the ambition and variety of Tempertwig’s sound. At times, such as the excellent Supersad, there’s a touch of a more downbeat Eddie Argos to the wry observational lyricism, while at others they go into almost math-rock experimentation, with jagged guitars and jarring rhythmical patterns. Perhaps oddly for a band more than a decade gone, they arguably feel more relevant now than ever; the anarchism of their musical approach, the stream of consciousness lyricism, laced with anger at the world around them, would fit neatly into 2019 alongside the likes of flirting. and itoldyouiwouldeatyou. Tempertwig’s output wasn’t so much music with something to say as it was music that didn’t know what to say, human’s grappling with the world around them, longing for some undiscoverable meaning in it all. The songs may feel nostalgic to their creators, a time capsule of a moment a lifetime ago, yet to a listener approaching them with fresh ears, they just sounds brutal and brilliant and entirely relevant.
FTR: For those who don’t know who were Tempertwig?
Ben: Tempertwig was a 3 piece band from Croydon that I tried to make into a mixture of Pulp, Arab Strap, Dinosaur Jr and the Afghan Whigs. We started in 1999 and finished in 2004 I think. Along the way we recorded a bunch of songs at different places, got played by Steve Lamacq when he was on Radio 1, built up a small group of other bands that we liked playing with, then called it a day. Me and my brother Adam went on to form Nosferatu D2 as a two-piece, then I formed Superman Revenge Squad as a one-piece..
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Ben: It was at the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town. And we got paid £4.10 between us. We saw it as a success.
Adam: I remember it being a very intimidating time – the stage seemed so high, and the sound guy felt like a man you had to please, but it was great fun
FTR: What could people expect from the Tempertwig live show?
Ben: We were quite loud with minimal between-song banter. Looking at pictures now, it seems I had a tendency to wear jumpers on stage, so was probably quite sweaty.
Adam: Every song was like a race to the end – the adrenaline definitely takes hold when we played gigs, which gave us an edge of barely controlled chaos
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Ben: Music is immediate and is an art form that you can create and show quite quickly. It’s also good fun, and nice to do something with your own gang of people.
Adam: I’ve often wondered that – i’m a very shy person, and the thought of getting up on stage in front of a room full of strangers always intimidates me, but once we’re on stage and playing, you go into your own little world and it’s always over far too quick
FTR: What’s next for the members of Tempertwig?
Ben: Adam’s in a band that play around London and Brighton every month or so. I’m currently having a rest from music, but have a batch of songs on the go that I’ll do something with sometime.
They Listen To…
The Afghan Whigs – Gentleman
Ben: One of the greatest guitar albums ever. Doesn’t sound quite like anything else. Sounds so personal that it’s painful in places. A record that every home should have.
The Afghan Whigs – Debonair
Adam: There’s only a handful of albums that Ben and I both agree on, this being one of them – it delves into genres that are very out of place in my music collection, but somehow it works.
The Cure – Wish
Ben: First Cure album I had, so my favourite. Lovely “wallowing in your own misery” record. I spent a lot of time wallowing in my own misery as a teenager.
Jarcrew – Breakdance Euphoria Kid
Ben: Trying to think of a band that we saw when we were in tempertwig and Jarcrew came to mind. Saw them at the Bull and Gate to about 3 other people and they were amongst the best bands I’ve ever seen. Think they’d driven all the way from Wales for the gig so didn’t seem too chuffed, and they gave me a cassette of their demo, which was very good and some of the songs ended up on this I think.
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dreams
Adam: Their finest moment, densely packed with colours and textures – always been a fan of Jimmy’s drumming.
FAKE NOSTALGIA: An Anthology Of Broken Stuff is out now via Audio Antihero/Randy Sadage. You can order the record HERE.