University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

The Temper Trap capture Brighton's imagination – 29/09/09

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Oct 5, 2009

The Temper Trap are a band on the brink of big things. Their dreamily melodic single Sweet Disposition featured in the successful recent indie comedy (500) Days of Summer and has since then been picked up by the scouts at Radio 1 where regular airplay has pushed the song into the UK top twenty. It was obvious to the intimate crowd that had gathered at Audio on Tuesday that The Temper Trap would not remain confined to such small venues for much longer.

But before The Temper Trap could justify the hype the audience were treated to an impressive and accomplished support set from London boys Goldhawks. With a sound indebted to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and U2 the quintet’s music effortlessly filled the venue, as I’m sure it will at gigs many times the size. Professional and ambitious, Goldhawks were the perfect choice to warm the crowd up for the headliners.

Arriving punctually, The Temper Trap were charming and enthusiastic as they embarked upon a solid, polished run through of their recent album Conditions. Lead singer Dougy Mandagi’s unique falsetto vocal style sounded even more powerful live, lending increased emotion to their most famous song, which appeared half way through their set. But the performance demonstrated great versatility too, fluctuating between soft, soulful jazz and heavier electronic interludes, often within the same song.

The intricately layered vocal harmonies that characterise Conditions translated well to the stage, too, with every member of the band (each lucky enough to possess a tuneful voice) contributing vocally to nearly all of the songs they played.

Unfortunately these carefully constructed and executed melodies were often distorted by the inadequate sound system at Audio. But perhaps this is only because such sweeping, transcendental music is ill-suited to a venue geared primarily towards hosting club nights –an issue that I doubt The Temper Trap will face again the next time they tour the UK.

Finishing their final gig of the tour with previous single The Science of Fear, The Temper Trap more than proved they’re not just one hit wonders, and that they possess the talent and the substance to sustain their promising start.

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