With support from up and comers the Cymbals, The Temper Trap descended on Camden’s Koko club last night with both excitement and precision. With their new self-titled album released in stores on the same day, what better way to celebrate its release than with an hour and a half set packed full of fan favourites, dramatic drumstick karate, and a light-show with more colours than Vanilla Ice’s pants.
Looking like he had been kitted out exclusively by Topman, lead singer Dougy Mandagi walked the stage with a confident swagger launching straight in to ‘London’s Burning’, to which the ridiculously rammed audience couldn’t help but get rowdy for. Still with his infectious effeminate vocal tone, Mandagi is easily one of the finest vocalists of the past few years - even if he is a tad underrated. Still able to perform live as well as he does on record, once the opening cut comes to a close the Aussie vocalist tells the crowd how good it is to be back performing in the UK and how he’s missed it, to which the reply is an almighty cheer.
After playing one of their more recognisable tunes in the form of ‘Love Lost’ the band went through a few of the newer tracks taken from their latest offering. Running through the likes of ‘The Sea Is Calling’, ‘This Isn’t Happiness’, and ‘Trembling Hands’, the introduction of the band’s new single ‘Rabbit Hole’ was met with jubilation. Already knowing the lyrics word for word, there were members of the audience quite literally barging through one another to sing the song back to the band.
Easily the most memorable segment from the evening, the band towards the end of their set played the closing three cuts from their debut album Conditions - ‘Science of Fear’, ‘Resurrection’, and ‘Drum Song.’ With the latter mentioned being the best example of pure showmanship - Mandagi could be seen pouring water on a huge bass drum and then banging it in time with the strobe lighting effect which gave it an almost music video look, every member of the group was doing something different to better their craft.
With the obvious encore being the band’s breakthrough hit ‘Sweet Disposition’, instead of just one closing record there were in fact three. While one, ‘I’m Gonna Wait’, was again a new composition, it was ‘Soldier On’ that left some members of the audience in a higher state of emotional consciousness. The way in which the band played it, and their front man sang it, dry eyes were more likely to be the minority on this occasion.
With everything mentioned above, as well as some rhythmically confined shuffles that were interpreted as dance moves, as well as some instrument throwing, The Temper Trap proved that they are not a band to be taken lightly. As far as live bands go... they are one of the best.