Twin Temple At The Bootleg, Thursday March 9th 2017
If the night headlined by Warbly Jets was very bright, Starcrawler’s Arrow de White looked like the white ghost of rock and roll, and all the members of Warbly Jets were dressed in white, Twin Temple took the opposite direction. I stayed late to see band closed the night just after midnight, as cult-couple Alexandra and Zachary James made a dramatic stage entrance. Dressed in black and bathing in a red-as-hell light, they shifted the show’s aura from light to darkness, and moved slowly, carrying a human skull and shaking incense at the sound of drums and organ, as if they were about to start a satanic ceremony or an exorcism.
However, the rest of the show was nothing but fun, the duo, backed up by a big ensemble, played a mix a doo-wop and blues-soul with a large horn section under Lucifer and his witches’ watch. Despite the fact that her face was hidden behind a dark veil during the entire show, Alexandra James managed to have a great stage presence and a lot of soul in her croons with reminiscence of Amy Winehouse, moving around with a carefully studied theatrical attitude, something you would expect following this ritual-like introduction. They played a set filled songs such as ‘Painted it Black’, Girl Trouble’, with the ghost of a reimagined gothic jazz, and a dynamic soul section.
The ambiance was mysterious with a humoristic twist, bringing their raw-soul stomp dance behind a graveyard with bluesy guitars, which were melting in a doo-wop tune like ‘Lucifer My Love’… when Satan meets puppy love, or how to give a retro jazz-New-Orleans-parade makeover to your gothic romance and macabre envy, with a foot in a swamp.
A few years ago, I remember catching Alexandra and Zachary James during their first incarnation as Alexandra and the Starlight Band, they have definitively dropped their 70s hippie look for a more spooky look but they still played a raucous rock & roll show, with the blues in mind and plenty of energy considering the late hour – they finished playing around 1 am and it has to be heroic on a week day. Meanwhile, Alexandra’s voice which has been compared to Etta James, Tina Turner, Joan Jett and Amy Winehouse, is still the powerhouse driving the show… this time the show is just embracing more darkness than before, and the flowers and peace symbols have been replaced by satanic imagery and black lace, but it’s still rock & roll. Paint it, black as the Stones would say, and Twin Temple are religiously following the rock & roll book.