18 January 2010

The Temper Trap review

The Temper Trap
The Forum 12 January 2010

My friend and I saw the Temper Trap last Tuesday night. I'm not much good at writing music reviews, but I'll try.

After the relentless heat over the previous weekend and Monday's 43 degrees, I wondered whether I’d be ok at a rather small venue in a crowd seeing a band. But fortunately the weather had cooled down to the high teens by the time I left to meet my friend in the city. Bliss.

We went for dinner at Movida Next Door – a fantastic tapas bar next to The Forum. It can be hard to get into Movida Next Door as it’s so small and popular, but my friend arrived early enough to secure a table for us.

The food was wonderful – we selected about 10 dishes from the menu to share. It was interesting and cooked to perfection, and the perfect amount of food for the hot summer’s days we’ve had. Each dish was a small meal in itself, different from the previous. It was a real adventure.

We had:
Quail (which I was dubious about but it was great!)
Calamari stuffed with corn and pine nuts and fruit and served with capsicum and bread sauce with squid ink
And skewered lamb
And sheep's milk cheese with dried baby figs
And crumbed anchovies on curd
And scallops in citrus dressing
Churros with custardy chocolate.

My favourites were the churros with custardy chocolate and the croquettes – I could eat the deep fried crumbed cheesy-jamony mash forever.

Afterwards it was delightfully cold outside. I usually get so cold and it’s unlike me to ever wear a dress without a long sleeved top underneath or a cardi over, but last night I had bare arms until about 10:30 when my skin got too itchy. I relished the cold and liked the breeze on my arms, which I don’t feel very much.

My friend and I sat in the booths towards the middle of The Forum. This may have been the furthest back from a band that I've been at a general admission gig. It was a great view, and I had the option to kneel on the chair or sit on the table (until security told me off in the second last song) for a better view. The Forum is a picturesque venue.

The Temper Trap were amazing! I read a review from their recent Sydney concert that described their music as ‘Starting with slow build-ups, swelling with energy until, like a well-shaken bottle of Fanta, the whole thing bursts and froths over in a flood of guitars and voices.’ I completely agree with this beautiful analogy.

I have been a fan since I heard Fader on the radio last year. Conditions has been on constant replay for me this past year.

Their live show wasn’t just a choice between spectacular music or spectacular vocals. It was a combination of both.

Leader singer Dougy Mandagi's vocals are interesting, and when I hear them, I feel immersed in the music. It’s both falsetto and anthemic. Most songs build into a beautiful crescendo.

Every song performed on the night was a hit. It wasn’t like one of those gigs where you’re struggling to know what song they’re playing because it’s an album filler. They were all great tracks.

My favourite songs of the night were:
Sweet Disposition
Science of Fear
Love Lost.

Love Lost is now my new favourite Temper Trap song.

'keep me in mind
when you're ready
I am here
to take you every time'


The Temper Trap definitely have the potential to become stadium rockers. But I was happy to see them at a smallish venue.

They were brilliant.


  1. I saw them the week before in Sydney- bigger venue than yours though- and I also read the SMH review and thought the description was perfect.

    I see them as being a huge stadium act one day too, all their songs are so great.

    My only gripe was that their set was so short- it clocked in at 55 minutes. Definitely not long enough (and not just because I love them).

  2. I actually forgot to mention the length, Aneets. It was so short! The shortest I've ever been to. Maybe it's because they've only got one album, and I heard on JJJ that they're not keen on their previous work.
    I wanted it to go forever, but when they played Sweet Disposition in the middle of the set, I knew it would be over soon!
    The Sydney gig had 5000 people yeah??

  3. Yeah about 5000 people- we were thankfully pretty close to the front so didn't matter about the amount of people.

    I dind't know they disliked their earlier stuff-I'm assuming it would just be ep's etc as they only have one album. Will have to try and dig some earlier songs up.

    Was definitely shortest gig I've ever been to as well.

  4. They actually said on an interview with Richard Kingsmill that they've moved on from early stuff and aren't keen on it


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