The Temper Trap
Let’s face it- this gig was a steal for us. We agreed to it months ago when very few people had heard of The Temper Trap. Then BOOM six weeks ago their song ‘sweet disposition’ hit the charts courtesy of its use in the film 500 days of summer and full-on radio 1 airplay. Virtually overnight the unique sound of ‘The Trap’ was fully understood.

The band hail from Melbourne and have enjoyed a steady stream of interest since early last year. But it is undoubtedly the hypnotic sound of ‘sweet disposition’ that has catapulted them into the eye of mainstream music. Dougie’s voice is just unreal- he hits crazy high notes that we haven’t seen the like of in years.
The hare and hounds is one of my favourite gig locations in Birmingham. It hosts many a music and comedy night and draws in a good crowd of enthusiastic, intelligent people all keen for culture of the musical style.

The evening kicked off with a six song set from support Goldhawks. This band was new to me and I will be following them closely in the future. They launched their set with ‘1996’ –pure rock and roll and full of attitude! This song is available for free download at:
The Temper Trap
If any of their songs are likely to hit the charts it’s ‘Where in the world’. A musicality feast of haunting undulating chords coupled with strong lyrics and a steady rhythm throughout. I sensed shades of U2 meets Ryan Adams throughout the set with a definite sense of ‘yeah drums rule’ style.

I must admit, a couple of their songs were slow starters and I felt a ripple of boredom- but each time they picked up pace into toe tapping action-a-rama. They had an excellent presence to them and it was a vigorous and energetic set that made me want to come home and Google them. Goldhawks ooze youthful noise and energy and I definitely want to see them again.
The Temper Trap
The temper trap crowd was as you would expect for a shiny new band. A core of 40 – 50 people who know the album WELL and the rest who really like the famous song and fancied doing something on a Monday night!

It was a great set of ten songs (including intro) and each followed the last in a well thought out manner. Their entrance was awesome with a start of manic drums and guitar noise that instantly got us. ‘Rest’ kicked off with some sizzling feedback that reminded me I need to go to the dentist (it hurt my fillings – awesome!). It started at my toes and went right up to my head and teeth.

‘Down river’ was a very popular choice and all round catchy tune – very popular with the true fans. It had a simple tribal sound to it – a little happy clappy in places but nonetheless a real crowd pleaser.
The Temper Trap
Unfortunately for me the next song ‘love lost’ was boring, boring, boring and they nearly lost me. ‘Soldier on’ really showcased dougie’s incredible aptitude for crazy high notes and general wailing or should that be wail-age! I wondered at this point if perhaps the acoustics of the room (small and cold) didn’t do his voice justice. However the song gathered a fabulous pace and they went for a big finish that regained my interest.

At this point the trap sang ‘sweet disposition’ and as often happens at gigs where bands have one famous song – the atmosphere elevated. I have to be honest and say that this song hasn’t overly grabbed me since its release and intense airplay. But oh my days –live- it was breathtakingly awesome. I also giggled at the cuteness of it all. It’s been a while since I saw a really new band and you could literally see the boyish grins on their faces as they played. It’s great to see this kind of newness and excitement on both the faces of the band and the crowd as a new sing-along-an –anthem is born. The trap finished with ‘resurrection’ and ‘drum song’ and returned to tumultuous applause and general whoop-age for ‘science of fear’.

Would I see The Temper Trap again? Yes, but I still don’t know if I find his voice strange and beautiful or shrill and ugly. Would I see Goldhawks again? Absolutely – they rock!
The Temper Trap
Words by Sammy Allen
Photography by Kat Page

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