December 21st, 2009
After bad weather, delayed trains, and some difficulty persuading the doorman I was there to review the gig, I almost left Koko defeated, fed up and ready to trudge through the snow back home.
Luckily, a nice man let me have his plus one, which was good news, because I really wanted to find out if The Temper Trap lived up to the hype they attracted after featuring on (500) Days of Summer.
For those who have missed The Temper Trap before now, ‘Sweet Disposition’ was played on the trailer for the film; front man Dougy’s ethereal falsetto floating over driving percussion and guitar work – the perfect match to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ever hopeful character looking for ‘The One’.
I thought they might play this as the encore, but actually it came toward the end of the main set, the crowd obviously pleased after recognising the first few bars and singing along anthemically to “a moment/a love/a dream/aloud/a kiss/a cry/our rights/our wrongs”.
Current single ‘Fader’ also got the audience moving and ‘oohing’ along to the chorus, whilst ‘Down River’ – undertones of ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ by Lou Reed coming through on the guitar – had the band bringing out a plethora of percussive instruments including tambourines and shakers. This all led to an epic finale of ‘Drum Song’ which was elongated so we could all bask in its glory. Dougy got involved in a brilliant drum battle, and the lighting (which had been quite mellow throughout) flashed violently in time with the music. The whole thing created quite a scene.
Sometime toward the end of the main set, I bumped into the guy who’d given me his plus one again. It transpired he was something to do with the band and knew them. He told me it was the most relaxed he’d ever seen Dougy on stage. There were quite a lot of Aussies in the crowd, so perhaps it felt like a home from home.
That, or perhaps the fact that this gig was the last on their European tour. Whatever it was, he had a good rapport with audience, initially thanking us all for braving the “brutal weather’”to see them, telling us the band were “sick of playing the same old shit” midway through the set before launching into some new material, and jumping into the crowd during the final song – much to the delight of the guys in the front.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the whole thing. The band were energetic, engaging and most importantly, entertaining. The sound was great; Dougy’s vocal amazing against the percussive sounds of the rest of the band. The Temper Trap definitely lived up to the hype, and my expectations. They’re playing the UK again from April; I suggest you go and get tickets, fast.