Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Temper Trap / I Thee Lothario / Black Market Empire @ The Rainbow, Tuesday 14th July 2009

Mon dieu, it’s been a while. Yep I’ve been AWOL from The Rainbow since May, missing (amongst other things) the great noise abatement gathering. But surely the old place would be the same right? After all The Rainbow’s like an old friend, reliable and solid, full of familiar faces and…hang on…this isn’t Oz Toto…what’s happened here…oh my lord…they’ve moved the stage. Agggghhhhhhhh! Okay, don’t panic now. Breathe deeply. Go to your happy place. Ohmmm. Yes, in typically undramatic fashion I can reveal that The Rainbow stage, for years located by the ‘back’ wall of the courtyard is now firmly plonked against the side wall. Why? Search me. Maybe it’s a noise thing. I’m not convinced it’s the right move but time will tell…that’s if the bloody place has any time left.

Casting aside any thoughts of a Rainbowless world (what would George, Bungle and Zippy do eh?) first up tonight were Black Market Empire who I’d last spied in April. More polished this time (showing the benefits of plenty of gigs no doubt) the echoes of Cast/La’s are still there but joined with a little more Ocean Colour Scene/Weller influence. I mentally greeted the jaunty ‘Get Up, Get Down’ like an old friend, which is always a good sign and the crowd, featuring a particularly enthusiastic dancer at the front (nice moves there my friend), seemed to enjoy the performance too. Fans of that classic ‘60’s tinged British Mod rock beloved by Mr Weller and OCS will love these guys.

Next up, I Thee Lothario. Oh yes. Third time I’ve seen this band and, whilst I’ve been impressed on both occasions, this time they blew me away. I have to admit to being a little prejudiced as I have a real thing for the ‘80’s. I think last time I made comparisons to Icicle Works, Simple Minds and Killing Joke. Those influences are still there but I was struck with a big wedge of early Spandeau Ballet tonight too especially when the band were joined by Sax god Byron. This is genius. Sax + keyboards + guitars = 80’s pop heaven. And, as we all know, 80’s pop heaven is pretty cool right now. The lead Lothario did loads of posing, arms outstretched (see picture above) as though summoning the gods of Top Of The Pops to come down from heaven (17) and pluck up the entire band for superstardom. There’s loads of pomp, deep and meaningful lyrics (and some pretty silly ones too…that’s the joy of it all) and a vocal that makes every word seem crucial. Next time I want to see the entire band in matching outfits, preferably white suits with the sleeves rolled up. Then my joy will be complete. Seriously though, this was a stadium worthy performance.

With Ashes rivalry gripping the nation (well, 5 old men and an ailing parrot called Colin) could the Aussies, in the form of headline act The Temper Trap, bowl a ‘googly’ and see off the mighty Lothario? It was a close run thing with plenty of fours, a couple of sixes and very few ducks. Okay, I’ll ditch the cricket bollocks now and report that The Temper Trap are worth all the hype that they’re currently attracting from tastemakers across the world. Mining a similar musical seam to TV On The Radio (drummy, disco, soul, funkiness…er…that kind of stuff) they’re blessed with the fine vocal talents of Doughy who reaches for the kind of high notes that few men with tackle would dare tackle. Add in some of those Afrobeat guitar stylings that Foals and Vampire Weekend have made achingly cool, oodles of sweaty energy and some moments of pure musical sunshine and you’ve got something pretty magical. In fact, you could say that they’re the…oh dear…dare I…oh yes…why not…no one reads this anyway…THE WIZARDS OF OZ.

6 comments:

Mike said...

Where can we get the photos for the night as we want them badddddddddd. What a great review, Just for 'The Baron' where gonna get pastal coloured suits for the next one, just for you mate.
ITL

The Baron said...

Awwwww bless you. It's my pleasure. Email me your email address at thehearingaid@googlemail.com and I'll send you what I've got. Can't wait to see those suits...

Anonymous said...

The Temper Trap were shit. The wizards not from oz

The Baron said...

Hi Anonymous,

No, they are from Oz. You'd have to say 'Not the Wizards from Oz' if you were that way inclined. Me? I liked 'em, but what a boring old world it would be if we all had the same tastes eh?

Anonymous said...

I agree the temper trap suck balls

The Baron said...

Hey, are you related to the other Anonymous...you must know Johnny Anonymous from Wednesbury then? How's Auntie Joan Anonymous and little Billy Anonymous eh?

So, The Temper Trap 'suck balls'? Hmmmm. Any particular type of balls? Mint balls, meatballs, chocolate salty balls, huge hairy bull balls...? I think the type of balls is actually pretty important.