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Ready to rock: Julian Temple Band returns to Sherwood this week

By CASS MARRETT

‘Tis the season of summer tours and, on Thursday, Dunedin’s Julian Temple Band reaches Queenstown.

The band, which has been together for about 18 years, has played annually at Sherwood for the last six.

It’s the third stop on their summer tour which heads through Kimbell, Wānaka, Te Anau, Blackmount and ends in Dunedin.

When the band first started playing together, they were students at the University of Otago.

Lead singer Julian Temple admits touring back then was a little different compared to now.

‘‘We have slowed down a bit,’’ he laughs.

‘‘We’re more about the music now and really delivering a good performance.’’

Opening for the band is Arrowtown local Tom Maxwell, who recently played a show in Arrowtown’s The Blue Door ‘Tiny Concerts’ series.

Temple says the audience should expect them to be ‘‘very silly’’.

‘‘We love to have a good time and [it’s] pretty high-energy stuff.

‘‘We do play to the crowd — if everybody’s just hanging out and having a cocktail and not really wanting to party, we can tone it back.

‘‘But if people are keen, we can get pretty rowdy.’’

The music itself is hard to squeeze into any one genre — a melting pot of blues, psych rock, funk and jazz.

‘‘When we first started, it was a lot crazier, and kind of more jazzy, funky.

‘‘Now, it’s pretty rocky,’’ Temple says.

The other members of the band are experimental drummer Paul McLennan-Kissel, funk-rock-reggae bassist Steve Marshall, Doors-esque keyboardist Logan Hampton, classical and avant-garde violinist Alex Vaatstra, and psychedelic electric guitarist Andy Straight.

All but Hampton will perform at the Queenstown show.

San Francisco-born Temple grew up in a musical family, his mother a dixie-land jazz pianist and his father, a classical lute player.

‘‘I used to set up all my toys right underneath the grand piano, it was like a little fort under there.

‘‘It was probably not the best for my little ears, but man, it was cool to sit under there while my mum played the keys.’’

Temple says his mother continued to play gigs up until about two years ago when she got dementia.

‘‘She can hardly string a sentence together, but she can hammer out the piano still, it’s pretty amazing.’’

And Temple’s continued the legacy, his kids now also being musicians.

When asked what’s kept the band together all these years, Temple replies: ‘‘We’re all best friends, so that helps.’’

The band’s last three albums charted in the top 10 of the official NZ Album charts and in the NZ top 40.

Their last album, Antarctica, was released in 2018, but Temple reveals there are some exciting times ahead.

‘‘About a week ago, we just booked in our studio time because we’ve been in pre-production for a new album.

‘‘One of the things we’re doing is we’re road-testing all the new material on this tour, so [the crowds] are gonna get to hear a bunch of new stuff.’’

Julian Temple Band, Sherwood, December 30, 8.30pm, tickets from $20 via bit.ly/3mlFk6z

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz