Friday, 30 April 2010
The first of Temper Trap’s string of three sell out shows hit Shepherds Bush last night. The Australian quartet known for their distinctive epic pop tones, could only conjure up a 3-star show. Opening with a not so epic 4-minute instrumental, the crowd lay confused as if they had accidentally strolled into the adjacent Walkabout, but this thought was banished as soon as the familiar synths of Rest hit. But it was this miss-match in arrangement and tempo that had the crowd swaying to the bar whilst the slow-burning first half played out juxtaposed with running back as you got half way there to bop along to tracks such as Down River, Love lost and Fader. No doubt the Aussie rockers soon shall have a sizeable back catalogue to choose from to deliver a more coherent listen next time. Though the entity of Conditions was delivered with precision and energy it just seemed to lack a live element.
With an extensive touring schedule lined up for coming months, one has to wonder when their next material shall be written. Fear not TT fans, as they delivered a rather sombre new addition in their encore, maybe this is a turn for a maturing and Temper Trap trying to cultivate debut success into a career as epic as guitarist Lorenzo’s riffs. However, it seems just as Lorenzo faded into the furniture of the set so did the charisma and presence of front man Dougie. No chat and as lost as his hands were without a guitar it seems for once the outlandish Aussie stereotype had been canned. He tried to rescue this by launching into the crowd at the end of the set, maybe a little too late. Bassist Jonathon provided the most entertainment with his windmill bass playing technique, whilst using thumb-plectrum to add to his truly unique performance.
There were no hard feelings as everybody got what they wanted by the end in the form of an anthemic delivery of Sweet Disposition to finish off the set listed show. Shortly followed by new material and new single Science of Fear left reverberating around in heads until morning. Let’s hope the onslaught of festivals perks these Aussies back into the tit-pullers we all know to deliver a confident and entertaining live show.
Monday, 26 April 2010
Saturday, 24 April 2010
What a big night! Big in multiple senses! Last day of uni for me FOREVER and topping the celebration off in style I headed to Shepherd’s Bush Academy to see Angus & Julia Stone. The dreamy duo, hail from Australia and are siblings (however Julia’s interactions with her brother seem a little incestuous from time to time – it must be how the Aussies get down…) and not only share a second name but a host of musical talent.
After getting over the miss matching of tickets (I booked circle instead of stalls – doh!) – we assumed a decent vantage point side stage. The stage peppered with instruments, which were decorated like Christmas trees soon became the focal point of interest as the lights dimmed. The band shimmied onto the stage, all men dressed as they were going to some outback farmers market and Angus hid behind impressive amounts of facial hair (I have seen them a couple of times now and that was a record amount of beardage), but Julia stole the fashion show in her gracious flowing turquoise dress.
The enchanting duo opened with ‘And The Boys’ luring Shepherd’s Bush into a carefree 80 minutes. The epic ‘Yellow Brick Road’ followed, my favourite off the new long player ‘Down The Way’, with swirling pads and triumphant chords, as far as I was concerned A & J were already onto a winner.
‘Hold On’ was another dreamy highlight, typical of their updated sound.
Throughout Julia pranced around the stage like butterfly using the trail of her dress as wings as she fluttered bare foot around the stage. Contrary was Angus’ prominence as he timidly hid behind a cap left of stage while girl’s screamed their love for him at any given silence. Angus unveiled a new track ‘Mercedes Benz’ shyly recounting a story of how he hitched a lift two hot girls in a white Mercedes, not the only song he has written about longing after a random female meeting. Nostalgia came from classics including crowd pleasers ‘Mango Tree’ and a cover of ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from Grease. This wasn’t the only cover; Julia nailed her twist of ‘Private Lawns’, which included an impressive one-handed trumpet solo!
The audiences trance ended on a perfect slow burner ‘Santa Monica Dream’, reminiscent of mellowing out on a beautiful isolated Australian beach somewhere. A beaming audience left that night from the charming indie folk duo. The new album ‘Down The Way’ is out now, though it takes a few listens, I defy any folk fan not to fall in love with it. Let’s keep these guys our little secret.