The Temper Trap at Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (Photos and Review)
27-Oct-2009 12:00 am
Contributed by: pete
Recommendations go a long way when they're from someone whose opinion you trust, so when a fellow photographer and music lover recommended that I go see The Temper Trap playing Bookie's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern, I added it into my calendar right then and didn't really think about it again until the day arrived. I was happy to see that We Are The Take were going to open the night, so I made sure to get there as early as possible, and even stayed after The Temper Trap to watch part of the set by Cut Throat Britva.
The Temper Trap
In a way, I'm glad I didn't know much about The Temper Trap before seeing them perform. The reason is that it meant that I had no preconceived idea of what they sounded like or what they were going to do on stage. And that, in turn, allowed me to be completely surprised, in a really good way. I certainly didn't expect to hear the soulful vocals provided by Dougy Mandagi over top of the solid indie rock backdrop from the other four members on stage. I also didn't realize how much excitement can be generated by a bottle of water and floor tom, but I learned that the answer is: a lot.
Not every song was worthy of gushing praise, but the thing is that once the band warmed up and reeled me in, I was there to stay. Jonathon Aherne (bass) is one of those players that builds up his performance, starting out at "tame" and ending up at "feral". His style was partly an artifact of the set, which was a carefully organized sequence of songs from their debut album, Conditions. The set list built up to a climax provided by the visually stunning instrumental song appropriately titled Drum Song, the song during which Mandagi made excellent use of that water and floor tom I spoke about. The excellent Resurrection preceded Drum Song, and they closed out the night with Science Of Fear – a sequence of songs that could easily be referred to as a hat-trick.
As soon as I got home, I purchased Conditions from eMusic.com. Listening to it now, I can tell that I may not have connected to it immediately without having seen them perform, but now all I can hear is their live show. They are getting some good exposure, including the song Sweet Disposition (the only song that blatantly exposes U2 as an influence) being used in the official soundtrack to the movie 500 Days Of Summer. Although they are originally from Melbourne, Australia, they moved to the U.K. earlier this year, making it much more likely that we'll see them in Toronto again sometime soon.
Info: The Temper Trap | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Media: Science Of Fear (video), Sweet Disposition (video)
We Are The Take
The night started right on time (as always) with We Are The Take in the 9:00pm time slot. I didn't make it quite in time, and when I arrived I wasn't too surprised to find that the crowd already filled the space from the back bar right up to the stage. It wasn't packed out, but fairly densely filled in by the natural dispersal that occurs when you get enough people in an enclosed space. At least one fan up at the stage had driven in from Montreal just to see this Tuesday night performance, and there were no less than six photographers (including me) up at the front, alternatively rocking out to the music and capturing the show. I've seen these guys plenty of times before, most recently just last month, and I will see them plenty of times more just because I always like it.
Info: We Are The Take | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Media: Dreams (mp3)
Cut Throat Britva
Seeing one great band I already knew (We Are The Take) followed by another amazing band that got me buzzing (The Temper Trap) meant I wasn't quite ready to head home yet. Next up was Cut Throat Britva, a band with a name derived from the novel (or movie) A Clockwork Orange. They played loud, strong rock that could probably be compared in some ways to Big Wreck. Sure, I was in a good mood from the previous two bands, but I liked what I heard. Caleb Timmermans (vocals, guitar) has curiously wild hair, and Zaddi Pesino (guitar) was great to watch with his geeky-yet-wild playing style. Cool hard rock.
Info & Connect: Cut Throat Britva on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter