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Live Review: The Temper Trap – Thursday 29th April 2010 – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK

4 min read

Having triumphantly sold out three consecutive gigs at the Shepherds Bush Empire The Temper Trap have been enjoying a successful year on the live scene.

Originating from Melbourne, Australia, the band were catapulted into the international spotlight with the enormous single that is Sweet Disposition.

The song was on constant rotation throughout all of 2009 becoming one of the biggest tracks of the year. Sweet Disposition is a mammoth pop/indie masterpiece which gave the band their trademark atmospheric and ether sound.

Since its release the band have seen going strong with a busy schedule of promoting and touring their debut album Conditions.

The boys came on stage just shy of 9.10pm to a packed out Empire of avid and dedicated Temper Trap followers, many of them fellow antipodeans showing their support for their favorite Aussie rockers.

Opening with a strong guitar heavy Intro the band warmed up the crowd with some impressive guitar riffs and drum rolls while gliding around the stage and already working off each others energy before merging into Rest. Front-man Dougie Mandagi’s distinctive falsetto was flawless, projecting and effortlessly filling the venue with an energy that would endure the evening.

Fader proved to be a favorite within the first half of the set getting an enormous reception and was a perfect showcase of the band’s animated energy.

Further down the set came the bands signature song Sweet Disposition. Lit up by stars and allowing the front-man to take over his own floor tom drum to build a driving intro the stage was set for a grandeur performance.

Immediately after the songs recognizable intro swept through the venue every person in the venue was on their feet and proved to be the crowds most accessible opportunity to sing along with many dangling over the railings on the first level wailing lyrics in admiration. The atmosphere set by the number was exhilarating. Hearing the recording of this song is one thing but experiencing the band perform this one live does undeniable justice to their reputation as being a quality live act in demand.

Drum Song ended the first set and like it says on the can the song was electrically and tribally drum heavy. Though it was an extensive instrumental number and although I personally find it at times rather boring listening to these kind of drawn out live additions I found this one to be brilliant in its delivery by the band and was invigorating seeing these guys going for it on stage, hair swaying and headbanging. It was the perfect number to close the main segment.

Apart from showing his appreciation to the crowd on two occasions for coming along to the gig, vocalist Mandagi left the audience interaction to his fellow band members.

Between the first set and encore all but Mandagi returned to the stage and proceeded to encourage the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to drummer Toby Dundas commenting on the evening  not only being a highlight gig-wise but also for their comrades birthday celebrations. With the moment then wrapped up Mandagi re-entered the venue for the band’s encore.

The set was rather short but expected for a band with only a single album in the market. The set also sounded quite familiar throughout. Though some may argue and say that that is a flaw I would disagree as i believe it fueled the bands unique and characteristic sound and they made it work. The order of the tracks also made it sound more diverse and defined as a live set. They performed every track from their album Conditions with the addition of newbie Rabbit Hole which was performed acoustically as part of the two song encore ending with the bands latest single Science of Fear which closed the night on a particularly high note for the two thousand strong crowd.

The band were tight together and really seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the night. They also proved capable of putting on a rather impressive light show to accompany the performance.

They have been doing the live scene for a while and tonight these guys proved to be an incredible force of atmospheric live brilliance.

Set List:

Down River
Love Lost
Soldier On
Sweet Disposition
Drum Song
Rabbit Hole
Science of Fear