Hot Chip


Somehow I’ve never managed to see Hot Chip live, despite them being one of my all time favourite bands. I was, like many, caught hook, line and sinker by the majestic ‘Over & Over’, that monkey with its miniature cymbal burrowing its way into my brain like the world’s most potent ear worm. From then on in I’ve been fully on board with their brand of bangerz and tender love songs, a formula which has seen them amass one of the best back catalogues of any band around, a catalogue that is magnificently added to every time they release a new album. In over 15 years making music they’ve never released anything that’s less than pretty damn brilliant, which is a pretty extraordinary feat. They should be lauded as the best pop band to come out of these shores since the Pet Shop Boys, and on tonight’s evidence, they may even be surpassing them.

It’s a Friday night, the venue has been upgraded from the Academy to the cavernous Victoria Warehouse, and it’s safe to say people are ready to party. As the seven (seven!) current members of the band take to the massive, beautifully lit stage, the place erupts and it doesn’t really stop from then on in, the sheer delight at how effortlessly entertaining this special band are constantly keeping everyone bouncing. It’s basically a greatest hits set interspersed with some of their new tracks from this year’s great A Bath Full of Ecstasy, a title that couldn’t better describe the feeling of complete joy that washes over me in wave after wave throughout their set. To listen to Hot Chip on this kind of form, in this kind of venue, with these kinds of people is to be transported to that first pill, that sense of everything being just perfect, that euphoria that feels like it might never end. We’re straight in with ‘Huarache Lights’, one of their most underrated tunes, with the line “we know every song we play tonight, will make the people just bathe in the light”, a manifesto for what follows. It’s followed up by the perfect ‘One Night Stand’, before we launch into two of my favourite songs of theirs.

The centrepiece to their 2012 album In Our Heads, the one-two of the down and dirty ‘Night & Day’ and the ridiculously brilliant ‘Flutes’, the second a near 8 minute masterpiece of building to an emotional release climax turning the venue into a red lit throbbing 3am nightclub, extraordinary scenes all round. And this, kids, is four songs in. Four! I could go home now and not feel cheated. But we get so, so much more. The beautiful ‘Boy From School’, a snatch of New Order’s ‘True Faith’, an off the chain ‘Over & Over’ that promises to push the crowd off a sweaty joy filled dancing cliff edge of joy, the gorgeous ‘Melody of Love’ that basically sums up the whole night in one acid wash of pure happiness, before ‘Ready for The Floor’ finished things off basically right back where we started, me grinning like it’s the first time I’ve ever been out, throwing shapes almost involuntary, consumed by the unrelenting excellence of Alexis, Joe and co.

They’re not done though; there’s the encore that starts with the stage bathed again in the beautiful pastel hues of their latest album cover as Joe sings the hymnal ‘Clear Blue Skies’, which may or may not have made some tiny tears form in my eyes, before it really all goes right the fuck off to a cover of the Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’. If you didn’t think you needed to hear Hot Chip (or anyone?!) cover ‘Sabotage’, then my dear friends you’d be very mistaken because it’s incendiary and incredible and faithful and perfect. So there we have it, the best pop band of the last 15 years delivers one of the best performances I’ve seen this year and that’s what this 650 word tribute basically tells you. I love Hot Chip, and so should you.

Hot Chip: Official | Facebook | Twitter