Friday, 30 April 2010

Review // The Temper Trap @ 02 Academy, Bournemouth

For a band best known for their spine-tingling debut single, it was a little unexpected to see the four walls of this grand, South Coastal venue so full.

Having released their first album ‘Conditions’ back in August, aside from a few festival appearances The Temper Trap – like so many talented bands - had seemingly failed to fight the current that would have kept them plastered on music magazine covers and on many a music fan’s iTunes playlist. In fact, off the back of the what quickly became the soundtrack to last Summer and the comparatively moderate success of their rockier follow up singles, you could be forgiven for thinking The Temper Trap were something of a one-trick pony. You would, however, be wrong.

Stepping out on Tuesday night to showcase just how flawed these assumptions were, front man Dougie Mandagi thawed out a rather stationary audience with the relentlessly anthemic ‘Rest’ before the band launched into their trademark driving guitars on ‘Fadar’. Pausing to briefly speak to the audience and introduce the band, Dougie displayed an inherent shyness that was as endearing as it seemed genuine. And just like that, the crowd were spellbound.

With the night’s set list the perfect juxtaposition of mesmerizing, falsetto vocals and the urgency of guitar-driven indie rock, the audience responded in sync to each polarized style. From the gentle swaying throughout ‘Soldier On’ to the seemingly unavoidable body thrashing on ‘Drum Song’, hoards of tightly-packed music lovers seemed to collectively fall for the Aussie five-piece.

After an extended instrumental introduction, ‘Sweet Disposition’ became recognisable and the band finally launched into the track that everyone was waiting for. It was also the first time in the evening that the audience were prompted, and perhaps able, to sing along. The band picked the track’s place in the set list wisely with it undoubtedly the highlight for the majority of the audience.

Gracing Bournemouth’s stage one more time for a two-song encore, a welcomed newfound confidence was noticeable as Dougie yelled, “How the fuck are you Bournemouth?” before an impromptu crowd dive during the final track.

Apart from new single ‘Rabbit Hole’, with only one album to draw from, the set was disappointingly short at just 45 minutes long. Nonetheless, as Dougie sang out the final chorus of ‘Science of Fear’ supported by the hands of some of The Temper Trap’s newest converts, the band proved they are anything but a one hit wonder.

Set List:
Down River
Love Lost
Soldier On
Sweet Disposition
Drum Song

Rabbit Hole
Science of Fear

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