“We’re not allowed to start just yet,” Temples frontman James Edward Bagshaw bemoaned at about 1:12 p.m. with his band ready to start its 1:15 p.m. set while Ray Benson & MilkDrive finished out their last song at the adjacent Honda Stage. Temples decided to start up their psychedelic guitar wash anyway, resulting in a very weird culture clash of sounds between the stages for about two minutes.
A rough start turned into a smooth ride for the rest of the hour, as the band’s trippy hard-pop sound blew over an audience in need of refreshment on a stiflingly humid day with the temperature already at 90 degrees. Sound doesn’t really make things cooler, of course, but it almost felt that way with the breezy English throwback rock that Temples brought to bear for a sizable crowd on the Miller Lite Stage.
Songs such as “Move With the Season” and “Keep in the Dark” washed over everyone with waves of rippling guitar — a bright purple guitar on one song, as Bagshaw frequently swapped out instruments during the set. The band’s music was more notable for its overall consistent and engaging sound than for specific standout tracks, though the set-closing single “Shelter Song” drew some fairly instant recognition and response, in part because it’s a dead-ringer for the work of late-’60s British Invasion bands such as the Zombies.
If they started a tad early, they also ended a couple minutes ahead of schedule too, allowing for a clean transition to the Jimmy Cliff set gearing up over on the Honda Stage. With one turn of the head and a few steps south, the crowd journeyed from the British Isles to the Caribbean, as Cliff launched into a terrific set of reggae, world music and even a rhythmic cover of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” The juxtaposition exemplified the best parts of ACL’s broad-umbrella booking policy.