After seeing them rip up the Fox & Hound last week at South By Southwest, first order of business this week back in San Francisco was to make plans to check out The Cooper Temple Clause. Their gig rolled around last night at the newly-refurbished Independent, which is once again quite a nice place to see a gig. Sadly, the Coopers show was under attended (booked on a Thursday night up against popscene? For shame!), but that in no way affected the effort put in by the Reading sextet. As a matter of fact, the concert is now in my top three of 2004.
With two albumsí worth of material and no US tours to date, TCTC had a backlog of material to choose from. Luckily, they unleashed a good 75 minutes of it, throwing in almost every hook-laden number in their arsenal. First album jams like ìBeen Training Dogs,î ìFilm Maker,î and ìWho Needs Enemies,î were exceptional, with up to three guitars firing off skyscraping riffs and frontman Ben Gautreyís Liam Gallagher gargling glass vocals alternating from the Liam end to the jagged end with aplomb. Interspersed with those great songs from See Through This And Leave were numbers from last yearís brilliant Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose. ìBlind Pilots,î ìNew Toys,î and ìMusic Box,î were stellar, all capitalizing on the multiple keyboard and samplers on stage. But, some shows have some songs that are better than others, and last night it was ìPanzer Attack,î early career stormer ìDevil Walks In The Sand,î new album first single ìPromises, Promises,î and set closer ìLetís Kill Musicî that brought the hottest heat. Searing riffs, multiple textures and Gautreyís distinctive timbre all came together to take the live renditions ever higher. And all the while, Gautrey repeatedly thanked the crowd for making them feel welcome and discussed how excited they'd been to hit the West Coast, even if they got caught in the biggest rainstorm they said they'd ever encountered on tour. The jauntís almost over, but if you ever have a chance to witness the Cooper Temple Clause live, do not pass it up.