Review of The Temper Trap live at KOKO, London on 21st May 2012

'Heyyy, London's Burning' cries Dougy Mandagi as he sings about the London Riots on The Temper Trap's first of two sold-out shows at Camden's Koko. It's a brave subject choice, but one that's awfully fitting as an opening marker for their London residence. 'London's Burning' has an angst-ridden chorus, getting the crowd grinning about the prospect of what's to come in the next hour or so. Everyone knows that they're in for an absolute gift of a show tonight.

The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap release their second record today and it's one that will prove anyone wrong if they think they are only capable of writing one 'amazing' song. Yes, 'Sweet Disposition' has had its fair share of exposure and was pretty much TTT's route to being the respected band they are. But, this new music combined with a tremendous stage presence it will impress you in an even bigger way.

Mandagi's vocal is insane; it would hush any auto tune rumours (if there ever were any in the first place.) He hits every note, high or low for 75 minutes, leaving everyone glued to him and his Hawaiian-looking shirt. He reaches a handful of notes that are so far up the scale, that they don't get a showing that often. The rest of the band are equally as united in their loving bond between man and instrument, making a really tight set. 'Fader', 'Science Of Fear' and 'Love Lost' get a look in, along with a littered trail of their new stuff such as forthcoming single, 'Need Your Love' and the hitting 'Trembling Hands.'

There are two pinnacles tonight. The first comes in 'Drum Song' where the band rip though the instrumental 'break' in the set. The stage is gleaming in the energy conveyed in the glossy guitar and the necessity of the efficient drums. Mandagi's got his own drum as well; he's not going to be left out of this instrument piled section. Heads are bobbing away as he slyly pours water over his lone drum and waits for the crucial moment. As he crashes down on to the skin, water erupts showering him and everyone's mouths drop slightly as they glance in amazement at this simple excellence.

The second is predictable. 'Sweet Disposition' showed itself as the goose-bump giver it is. It builds a massive movement both on stage and off. Everyone you look everyone is singing, well attempting too. Its not like anyone here can actually reach these notes. But whether it's when you're in a secluded place or in the moment here tonight, it's always worth a try!

Nothing was to fault tonight and you can see why they're doing it all again in less than 24 hours. Watch out, The Temper Trap are back to surprise and they're not going to stop 'till it's overrrr.'

Hayley Fox