The Miserable Rich - Temple Works, Leeds
Having recently released a spooktacular new album recorded in Anne Boleyn’s old home it seemed only fitting that The Miserable Rich would base their current UK jaunt in weird, wonderful and downright ghostly venues. The Grade 1 listed former flax mill Temple Works, deep in the heart of Leeds, sounded like a perfect fit. The magnificent edifice, with its Egyptian temple design is certainly a striking sight but the dank back room that actually housed the gig was about as ghostly as an evening with Psychic Sally, and only slightly more inviting.
Venue quibbles aside the evening kicked off with a pleasant set of nu-folk from Bradford’s Wilful Missing that would have been more enjoyable were it not for the incessant chatting from a chunk of the audience. Main support Alabaster DePlume was offered more respect and his oddball tales of death coupled with his quirky delivery provided an apt and unusual set up for the main event.
With a suitably spooky introduction from Deplume, The Miserable Rich kicked off proceedings with the plaintive tale of Anne Boleyn, 'Imperial Lines' and set the scene for an entertaining evening of tales of ghosts and disturbing sex! Lead singer James de Malplaquet was a genial host whose occasionally rambling intros endeared rather than irritated, and he seemed only slightly disconcerted with the less than appealing surroundings. The majority of the set consisted of songs from the rather wonderful new album Miss You In The Days and given their quality it was a treat for fans old and new. Album opener ‘Laid Up In Lavender’ and lead off single ‘On A Certain Night’ were probably the pick of the bunch but there really were no weak moments. The only oldie in the main set was the devastating break up tale ‘Let Me Fade’ - the video for which has to be seen to be believed - and showed the rich back catalogue which the band have in their armoury. After the non-dance song ‘Ringing The Changes’ finished things off to gorgeous effect, we were treated to an amps-off encore of the ostensibly summery ‘Chestnut Sunday’ and ‘Pisshead’, delivered by de Malplaquet in true alchie style. Amped up again for the appropriately haunting finale of ‘True Love’ we were left to amble out in to the cold night with our hearts warmed from a brilliant night from one of England’s most under-rated bands.