The doors at the Ruby Lounge tonight display notices warning guests that the gig will be “a tight squeeze”, which only increases the anticipation for the The Temper Trap’s headline performance. After heavy airplay of their current single ‘Sweet Disposition’ in recent weeks, this sleepy Sunday evening is guaranteed to be awakened imminently.
True to the notices’ claims, the venue is full well ahead of the support act’s entrance onto the stage. Goldhawks have a common set up, and give very little about themselves away, but have undisputable talent. They try their best to let the music do the talking, but their ambitious U2 influenced rock/pop hybrid sound is unfortunately lost on a crowd who are eager to see the ‘next big thing’ perform after them.
Seemingly unaware that the following evening is the start of a new working week for most of the audience, The Temper Trap make a belated appearance in front of the sell out crowd, but any annoyances to their nonchalant attitude to timekeeping are immediately forgiven as soon as their set commences.
If you weren’t aware before tonight’s gig, the stand out element of the band’s already impressive sound is the sheer beauty of lead singer Dougy Mangagi’s voice. The set varies in pace throughout this shuffled performance of their debut album ‘Conditions’, but Mangagi’s voice manages to change it accordingly whilst still remaining unique and captivating. The audience provide their full attention and participation at all times, which only adds to the atmosphere created by the soundscapes created on stage.
‘Love Lost’ is a slow building track, and typical of a formula which works so well for the band, with its melodic, introduction becoming a heavier, more anthemic affair by the time it ends. The excellent ‘Down River’ builds upon this success with the accompaniment of acoustic guitar and backing vocals, and has a simple but effective chorus which draws you into its lyrical tale.
Not surprisingly, ‘Sweet Disposition’ receives the biggest cheers of the evening, and rightly so, as it is arguably their most enchanting track. However, the band confidently plays the track two thirds of the way through their set, and manages to follow this up with a strong ending which climaxes with percussive, instrumental masterstroke of ‘Drum Song’. Building on the confident they have already gained from the enthusiastic crowd, The Temper Trap offer to play the expected encore without bothering to leave the stage. ‘Science Of Fear’ holds the most vigour of all the tracks on ‘Conditions’, and is the final burst of energy needed to conclude a memorable night from a band with a bright future ahead of them.