Gig of the week: Julian Temple

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Californian singer-songwriter Julian Temple has a hard time fitting in – at least as far as pigeon-holing his music is concerned.

Dunedin-based Temple plays a solo show at the Dux tomorrow night as a warm-up for Saturday’s gig by the three-piece Julian Temple Band at the same venue.

He says a catch-all phrase coined by drummer Paul McLennan-Kissell is as accurate as any in describing the band’s sound.

“Bluesy, funky, jazzy, punky … there’s definitely all of that,” Temple explains.

“But now there’s so much more too. There’s a bit of the psychedelic thing going on, and there’s definitely a bit of that grungy rock ‘n’ roll that I used to be in love with when I was a kid.

“I can’t say I’m playing stuff that sounds like the Dunedin Sound.”

Temple says the surfer music of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson was a definite influence.

“I was playing that stuff a long time ago and so many other Californian surfers were doing pretty much the same thing – picking up a guitar at the beach, around the campfire or at a party.

“But I never wanted to play just one sort of music. I just wanted to write my songs and have them played.”

The band that Temple started in 2004 had a makeover late last year, when bass player Scott Campbell replaced England-bound Matty Brook. Temple and McLennan-Kissell operated as a two-piece while searching for Brook’s replacement.

The stripped-down lineup gave Temple “room to explore”, he says.

“I broke out the electric guitar and started messing around with effects to kind of substitute for losing that lower frequency. As a result, we started reinventing the sound. There’s a lot more energy, I think.”

Temple, who hopes to have copies of just-completed second album Quiet Earth with him at the weekend, says the Dux gigs will showcase two sides of his musical personality. “Friday will be more mellow – an exposition of my inner soul. Then I get to hide behind the band on the Saturday.”

Julian Temple plays solo at the Dux tomorrow from 9pm and in his three-piece band at the same venue from 10pm on Saturday