DABBLING in psychedelia, philosophy and Eastern religion, Temples tick all the boxes of the classic West Coast hippy band. Heck, they even take joss sticks on tour.

But there is more to this four-piece than meets the eye. Far from repackaging the past, this erudite bunch of young poets are taking the best bits – 60s acid rock, Motown, glam, folk-rock, Deutsch-rock and early 90s baggy – and fusing it into something fresh.

And while they look like they flew in from San Francisco circa 1968, home is actually the prosaic cobbling town of Kettering, Northamptonshire.

“Psychedelic music has always been forward thinking,” says bassist Tom Warmsley. “It’s so easy to fall into that kind of pastiche, retro-revival band thing, but our aim is to reference things and bring something completely new to it.

“Doing something different with a pop song, breaking the convention of verses and choruses, is something we always keep in mind when we’re recording. It’s more interesting, isn’t it?”

On Saturday they join a bill of more than 40 bands at Gathering festival, which takes over a string of venues in East Oxford over 12 hours.

The band bonded over a mutual love of music and mysticism, the books of Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary, the films of Kenneth Anger, and the music of The Byrds rather than The Beatles (“They’re a little hazier and more interesting,” says Tom. “The Beatles give too much away. The Byrds make you work hard. It’s that quest to learn more and discover more.”) Music gave them a creative outlet – and a chance to fend off the prospect of having to get ‘proper’ jobs after university. “We were writing, recording, looking for work, not really knowing what to do,” says Tom, “and we were feeling thoroughly down and out because we had to move back home from our respective cities.”

But, says singer-guitarist James Bagshaw, who founded the band with Tom last summer, everyday life in the East Midlands town spurs them on – if only because there’s not much else to do.

“It's such an odd town really for the arts, because there’s nothing there,” he says. “There are probably poets in Kettering, but there’s no outlet for them.”

Despite their attachment to the place, they have yet to perform there. “We’ve never done a gig there because there isn’t anywhere to play,” says James. “We will sort something out though, even if means putting up our own venue.”

Signed to Heavenly Records after putting their debut single, Shelter Song, on the internet, the original vinyl has already become a collector’s item, changing hands for up to £100.

Like all of their music, it was recorded at home in the boxroom of James’s parents’ house.

And despite the homely surroundings, production values are high. “It’s just like Joe Meek,” says Tom. “He used to record vocals in his bathroom in his flat on Holloway Road.”

“The way I see it, there aren’t any limitations any more," James chips in. “If you know what you want to achieve, there’s always a way around it. With technology today there are ways of emulating things that would have cost an arm and a leg years ago.”

Augmented by drummer Sam Toms and keyboard player Adam Smith, the band are an exciting live prospect, playing gigs and festivals around the country. They even shared the bill with The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park during the summer. And they have some seriously high profile fans too. Johnny Marr has declared himself an admirer, Robert Wyatt is a fan and Suede invited them on tour. After seeing them play in London, Noel Gallagher told NME that “the future of the galaxy depends on the Temples’ album”.

Do they feel under pressure over the album, then? “Not really,” says James. “I’m quite confident about it – there’s not going to be any filler and no track is going to sound similar to the next. I think Noel will love it. It’ll probably make him want to reform Oasis.”

It is due to be released early in the new year. “I’m looking forward to people hearing some of the songs we’ve not played live,” says Tom.

“We’re not a band that just makes crazy noises for the sake of it,” says James. “We still want songs to be songs.”

So despite their looks, they are not such a bunch of hippies after all. So why the joss sticks then? That’s easy: “Because a lot of venues in the UK smell quite bad!” Tom laughs.

CHECK IT OUT Temples play Gathering festival on Saturday October 19. Tickets are £25 from alt-tickets.co.uk or from Truck Store and O2 Academy Oxford, in Cowley Road.