Joiners Arms, Southampton

Thomas Tantrum return to their home town of Southampton as part of a 10 date headline UK tour, this follows a prestigious support slots with current music press favourites ‘Glasvegas’. After a lot of hard work the word about Thomas Tantrum is spreading slowly but surely. June 2011 sees the release of the band’s 2nd album ‘Mad By Moonlight’ which shows a new change of direction, a new drummer and matured vocal work. The band can be visibly be seen to have upped their game and seemed to have learned well from all their previous musical experiences, their influences such as the B52’s, The Sugarcubes and The Cure can all be clearly heard within their own original style.

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Tonight’s 1st support ‘Etao Shin’ play to a largely empty venue, which cannot be easy, the run through a set almost like it is a rehearsal, not really trying to engage with anyone watching with no energy and to be honest a rather uninspiring lacklustre performance, their saving grace was a catchy number called ‘The Pronoun Song’ which coupled jazzing guitar rifts with a particularly interesting lyrics.

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Montage Populaire on the other hand take to the stage with the venue beginning to fill up and make much more of an effort to entertain. The 5 piece experimental Southampton band push the boundaries by using a trumpet, electronic drum pads and fairground style keyboards, a little like the Inspiral Carpets did in the 90’s. The whole set was performed under darkened red lighting creating just the right atmosphere for this style of music, the crowd seemed to enjoy their set showing plenty of appreciation.

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As Thomas Tantrum took to the stage the Joiners was virtually full of expectant fans wanting to see the band back in the home town, even their biggest fan lead singer Megan Thomas’s Mum was right in front of the stage giving her daughter plenty of parental encouragement. The set was littered with future classic tracks that could be easily be embraced by the mass media with songs such as the current single ‘Hot Hot Summer’ producing a pleasing sound reminiscent of the 90’s Indiepop faves Echobelly and The Primitives. Megan’s voice despite her claiming to have a heavy cold seemed to hold up very well giving the new tracks such as ‘Tick Tock(Satie) and ‘Face The Music’ an excellent live workout.

The crowd reaction seemed to quite overwhelm the band and when they left the stage after nearly an hour, the band were called back quite insistently, they were quite unprepared for this and dug an a rarely unplayed track called ‘Armchair’ from the back catalogue much to the delight of the enthusiastic audience. This triumphant return showed the band on top form and if they can continue with this level of performance who knows where 2011 may take them.

Set List
She’s Not With Us
Work It
Swan Lake
Cold Gold
Hot Hot Summer
Shake It
Tick Tock (Satie)
Face The Music
Last Kiss
Warm Horse
All In Your Head


Thomas Tantrum

Pictures, Video and Review by Dave Chinery(Chinners).