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Video of the Moment #768: The Temper Trap

 
By on Tuesday, 17th April 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

When the Temper Trap told NME their new album “could be considered dark and gloomy”, evidently they weren’t talking about the first single from it, ‘Need Your Love’, which at least from the outset sounds like a forward-thinking power ballad.

Unnecessary violence in this promo in my opinion but I get their point, which was to rip off a classic ’80s ‘underdog’ film. It seems like ages ago but the Aussies were underdogs of the music world not so long ago. Even I had reservations about their first album ‘Conditions’, though I felt much better when on a sunny afternoon in Boston Dougy Mandagi told me he didn’t think they sounded all that great when they got into the studio and recorded. (Honest and humble. Bless.)

Read Cheryl’s review of the single here. We’ve also got SXSW and DC gig reports from last month as well. And in due time, we have some exciting UK Temper Trap news for you involving a major music festival in May. All will be revealed soon…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vsbc0oR6fE[/youtube]

 

Live Review: The Temper Trap with Penguin Prison at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 31st March 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 11th April 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

The Temper Trap made a triumphant return to DC after two years when they co-headlined with Florence and the Machine. Sadly for the Temper Trap, that night was Florence Welch’s second-ever performance in the United States, and it overshadowed the Aussie band. (Read the review of that gig here). This gig was nothing like that.

Supporting them was New York-based Penguin Prison. An electro-pop band, I was curious as to the combination of them and the Temper Trap, but it worked really quite well. I saw Penguin Prison play a year and a half ago and can say their performance has greatly improved. Drawing from the band’s 2011 self-titled debut album, Chris Glover had the crowd dancing even at the obscenely early hour of 7 PM. Glover was bold enough to go out in the crowd several times, much to the enthusiasm of a small cadre of fans. Nothing warms my heart more than when the support act has a couple of die-hard fans in the crowd who sing every word. Penguin Prison are making the rounds in town, as they are returning to the very same club in support of Miike Snow in 2 months and a headline gig the following month.

Making a short run through the United States in anticipation of their self-titled, sophomore effort to be released on 21 May, the Temper Trap took the stage to a sold out crowd who was ready to hear them rock the place. With the scarcity of these pre-release dates, there were punters from far and wide at the show that night, anxious to hear the new material. The band did not disappoint. Of their 13-song set, 8 songs were new. Lead singer Dougy Mandagi still has all the moves, and is still making the girls scream “I love you, Dougy!” from mid-room. Truth be known, I felt like he had more stage presence than 2 years ago, but I would expect that after touring the world.

Included in the new songs were ‘Rabbit Hole’, ‘Need Your Love’ (the first single that I reviewed here), ‘The Sea is Calling’, ‘Trembling Hands’, and ‘Happiness’. This last song lamented “Whatever it is, whatever is past, this isn’t happiness, it leaves me feeling less, this isn’t happiness.” Both ‘The Sea is Calling’ and ‘Trembling Hands’ were gripping and had bass so strong it resonated throughout my entire body, causing even my vision to shake. Of course ‘Drum Song’ is still as great as ever (sans the water poured on the top of Mandagi’s drum head) and gathered the crowd together in one big tribal dance to close out the regular set. I must say I am still curious about the spate of lead singers sporting drums up front with them. Couldn’t say who was first, but there sure are a lot of them now.

Two birthday girls, with very dedicated friends, got the attention of Mandagi and bassist Jonathon Aherne before the final song and the band obligingly had everyone sing happy birthday “to Kim and Liz”. I was near one of them, and despite her visible embarrassment, it clearly made her night. They closed out the night with popular single ‘Sweet Disposition’ had the crowd swelling with love for the band. Mandagi left the stage saying they were coming back later in the year. Despite the lack of a DC date on the current summer schedule, the crowd took that as a positive sign that it would be added later.


After the cut: set lists.

Continue reading Live Review: The Temper Trap with Penguin Prison at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 31st March 2012

 

Live Gig Video: The Temper Trap perform ‘London’s Burning (Repeater)’ at Music Hall of Williamsburg

 
By on Thursday, 5th April 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Every date on the Temper Trap‘s recent hastily announced but swiftly sold out North American tour was sold out, including DC’s (Cheryl’s review of it will follow soon) and the night before, at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. FuseTV were there to capture new song ‘London’s Burning (Repeater)’ about last summer’s riots, and you can watch the performance below.

The band will play in the UK in May; many dates are already sold out, so act fast if you want to see them! Read Cheryl’s single review of ‘Need Your Love’ here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaSdDN-1LD8[/youtube]

 

Single Review: The Temper Trap – Need Your Love

 
By on Wednesday, 4th April 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

On previous tours (see our coverage of their September 2010 shows in Philadelphia and Boston), Australian indie rockers the Temper Trap have already given us a sample of their self titled sophomore effort with ‘Rabbit Hole’. That song was really more of the same in my opinion, complete with falsetto and melodic build.

But we get to hear a little more of a change in direction with ‘Need Your Love’. The first single from the new album is much more dynamic than previous offerings from the band. Cashing in on the current upswing of ’80s music, the Temper Trap have infused this track with a healthy dose of synths and strong drums. From the fuzzy keys opening the song to the classic 80s guitar over a driving beat, ‘Need Your Love’ sounds both fresh and familiar. Much less dreamy than the songs from ‘Condition’, this track highlights the more powerful range of lead singer Dougy Mandagi. He seems to be much more in control of his vocals and prepared to sing with enough strength to get proper attention, “I am a war of flesh and heart that’s left undone / between the person that I was and have become.”

This is a welcomed deeper, darker edge to their music, perhaps attributable to the addition of fifth member multi-instrumentalist Joseph Greer to the line-up after four years as a touring member. There is also a decided progression through the song that was not as evident in the breezy tracks of previous album.

7.5/10

The ‘Need Your Love’ single by the Temper Trap will be released on the 7th of May, and their self-titled album will follow on the 21st of May on Infectious/PIAS. After seven sold out dates in North America last month, the Temper Trap will play a series of dates in the UK in May – details here.

 

The Temper Trap / May 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 30th March 2012 at 9:30 am
 

The Temper Trap will be touring the UK in May in support of their hotly anticipated second album (confusingly titled ‘The Temper Trap’), which will include lead single ‘Need Your Love’. They will also be making an appearance on the Friday of Liverpool Sound City. Tickets are on sale now.

For a taste of the Aussie band’s live performance these days, read my review of their Stubb’s BBQ show on 15 March at this year’s SXSW.

Wednesday 9th May 2012 – Falmouth Princess Pavilion
Thursday 10th May 2012 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms (sold out)
Saturday 12th May 2012 – Cardiff Coal Exchange
Sunday 13th May 2012 – Newcastle Northumbria University Student’s Union
Monday 14th May 2012 – Glasgow O2 ABC
Wednesday 16th May 2012 – Birmingham HMV Institute
Thursday 17th May 2012 – Manchester HMV Ritz
Friday 18th May 2012 – Liverpool Arts Academy (Liverpool Sound City appearance)
Monday 21st May 2012 – London Koko (sold out)
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 – London Koko (sold out)

 

SXSW 2012: Day 3 – Thursday night free for all, various venues – 15th March 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 28th March 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Remember when I concluded at the end of Wednesday at SXSW that distance was a real killer for trying to stay on schedule with your favourite bands? It’s a good thing that there are so many things going on at this festival, in all parts of town, so if you want to ad lib and (gasp!) go off your previously dog-eared, highlighted and red pen marked schedule, that is totally okay. I had avoided putting any bands performing at Stubb’s BBQ place, in the northeast part of town, on my schedule, guessing that any show at that comparatively massive venue would be rammed, uncomfortable and full up of drunk and disorderly folks I’d witnessed down the front for We Were Promised Jetpacks the night before. After getting a taste of what Kaiser Chiefs had to offer at the Showdown at Cedar Street just hours earlier, a new friend from Australia convinced me to see them followed by the Temper Trap at Stubb’s that night. But what to do before? It would take me a while to get up there on Red River Street anyhow.

I mapped out a completely improvised new schedule for the night, which included starting with Films of Colour at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) showcase at Easy Tiger Patio at 8:30 PM. Wednesday afternoon their drummer had been restricted to an iPod with beats and tapping on a ukulele; this time I’d see their full live setup. Maybe I was tired, or maybe it was because it was too early in the evening, but I didn’t get the same kind of chills from this band like I did in the Omni hotel lobby, where their harmonies bounced melodiously off glass surfaces. But I did tape their closing number, ‘Persinette’, which you can watch below; it’s my understanding that this is the song of theirs that appeared on Made in Chelsea. If you’re interested, have a look at the rest of the evening’s line-up, including headliner of the night, Ida Maria. But after saying my goodbyes to the 10 for 2012 poll winners and wishing them a safe trip home to London, I was off again.

Due to an unfortunate schedule clash, Fanfarlo played a show at U Street Music Hall in DC the same night Bombay Bicycle Club played a sold-out gig at 9:30 Club. Sometimes as a blog editor, tough choices have to be made, and in that case, I had to see Bombay, as I’d never seen them, despite being invited out to Philadelphia to see them support Two Door Cinema Club the year before and being unable to take them up on the offer. Luckily though, Fanfarlo had several gigs lined up at SXSW, and it wasn’t until I realised that Club de Ville, where they were playing a showcase sponsored by Paradigm, was literally steps from Stubb’s that I could squeeze them in after leaving Easy Tiger Patio. Fog obscured my walk along Red River Street, and it wasn’t clear if the effect was from a fog machine or some place being on fire, hopefully it was the former and not the latter. There was already a healthy, receptive audience who looked like they were enjoying the three-piece that was performing.

That’s when I had a sense of déjà vu. Wait a minute…the guitarist. He looks familiar… I started to wrack my brain, I’d seen this bloke before. And the guy next to him with a black baseball cap. Finally, I worked it out and nearly shouted “aha!” in the middle of the crowd. (I didn’t. Phew. I would have probably drawn some severe ire if I did.) They were Hundred Visions, an Austin band that had opened for Casiokids on the East Coast last autumn. Maybe it was a hometown, captive crowd, but you could just tell from the smiles on people’s faces and the shouts of approval after the songs, even though I’d arrived late, that they were beloved by this group of punters. Comparing it to their reception in DC, I’m really glad they had such a nice crowd response.

Then came Fanfarlo. Going from a trio with relatively little equipment to a five-piece with tonnes of stuff from England was a bit comical to watch. It was a small wonder than leader Simon Balthazar never tripped on any of the wires that lay dangerously all over the floor. I haven’t warmed to ‘Rooms Filled with Light’ the way I did with their debut ‘Reservoir’, but there is no denying that newer songs like ‘Deconstruction’ have a more commercial edge, and judging from the ‘pack ‘em in like sardines’ situation I encountered at Club DeVille, I think their popularity in North America is assured. (Er…thanks, NPR for making Fanfarlo a household name in America. Thanks, I think…)

From Club de Ville it was a short skip, hop and jump to Stubb’s. I was expecting some incredibly long queue like the ones I’d seen outside Hype Hotel on Trinity all week. No, I was shooed in quickly and efficiently by Stubb’s staff. Okay, so maybe all the other punters were taking it easy, getting drinks and buying up Stubb’s world famous grilled meats at the many concession stands set up on the perimeter of the grounds. Seriously, it was like you were at a fun fair or something; I was expecting the candy floss man and his cart to come by. No, instead, I was nervously trying to decide which side to stand on. Once I’d chosen stage left, I thought it would be tiresome to stand next to these uber Kaiser Chiefs fans from England and Australia, but in actuality, it was kind of fun. While we waited for the Kaisers and later in the intervening time while the Temper Trap roadies were setting up the stage, these girls sang differing versions of ‘Ruby’ and they were quite entertaining: up to this point, I hadn’t encountered any super fans of any of the acts I’d seen, so I considered if there were people like them who were excited about music as much as I was, then the music industry must be doing something right.

Compared to their earlier daytime show, this Kaisers set was a spectacle. Flashing coloured lights and even more bombast from Ricky Wilson is just what the doctor ordered and predictably, the blighty and Oz girls swooned and screamed like they were going to just die. To be fair, I was dying to an extent too: years ago when I became borderline obsessed with a certain Scottish actor in a sci-fi tv programme (along with millions of other girls in the UK; take a wild guess who…) and found out that one of his favourite bands was the Kaiser Chiefs, I investigated the band and I fell in love with ‘Ruby’. So that song is indelibly related to that time in my life when I had some grandiose dreams for the future, and watching them perform it in front of my very eyes melted my heart. (Actually, Ricky Wilson said at one point with some disbelief, “wow, you industry people…you do have a heart!” If you’re going to Reading/Leeds this summer, definitely catch them. You’re in for a good time.

The Temper Trap stormed most of the globe 2 years ago on the strength of their single ‘Sweet Disposition’ and debut album ‘Conditions’. Once word broke they had completed their album. I have to say, again, maybe it was just fatigue of being at SXSW 3 days in a row already but I just wasn’t feeling the new songs. ‘Dreams’ (video below) was just too much of a sleeper and I wished it was more animated to really get the crowd moving. However, Cheryl and I will be seeing them on Saturday in DC and we’ll have two minds them to confer and deliberate on the new material compared to the old faves like ‘Science of Fear’ and ‘Fader’.

What did they end with? No contest: ‘Sweet Disposition’, with pogo-ing and breathless screams of delight as I witnessed with them on their 2010 tour in Philadelphia and Boston. How will the new album fare? Only time – and the reaction of fans – will tell.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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