Live Review/ Hot Chip @ 02 Academy

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By Guy Marcham, Deputy Music Editor

Packed with synchronised dances and thumping analog synths – Hot Chip sure know how to party and tear the house down!

As Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor swapped their jeans and T-shirts for a vibrant collection of paint splattered overalls – you could tell a party was about to commence. Then as the lights of Bristol’s 02 Academy darkened and the vast array of electronic synths were tweaked just right, a darting series of blue strobe lights filled the room. An epileptic nightmare worthy of a festival headline set.

The British alternative dance band then bounced onstage with enigmatic enthusiasm as the pulsating electronic trance of ‘Huarache Lights’ jolted into action. The song’s gospel-based sample injected a spirited sense of abandon into the crowd as bodies were flung and hips swayed. A perfect dancefloor filler to kickstart a wild night of synth infused euphoria. From then on it was banger after banger as the band cemented their place as alternative dance icons. ‘One Life Stand’ followed next – a beautiful ode to finding love and long-term stability sound tracked by an uplifting techno shuffle.

The set saw Hot Chip delve deep into the escapist joyous pop of latest album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy. The songs were incredibly well received among fans with the likes of ‘Hungry Child’ and ‘Spell’ sitting neatly in between more familiar classics. Lead single ‘Melody of Love’ stood out particularly as an instant Hot Chip hit. With its glistening piano driven verse giving way to a colourful explosive chorus. As anthemic as anything the band have released.

The album title track saw Taylor gracefully transition between dulcet tones and robotic Kraftwerk esque vocals in rapid fire fashion. Perhaps epitomising the band’s flair for nerdy electronic synths and computer-game experimentation. Yet, the band by no means hid behind their keyboards and stacks of almost magical electronic pads and knobs. The band instead bounced across the stage with gleeful abandon. A boring Monday night in Bristol had turned into a bursting psychedelic party.

The band’s two biggest hits - ‘Over and Over’ and ‘Ready for The Floor’ saw the 02 Academy shake as bodies bounced up and down in chaotic unison. At times it seemed that the band were perhaps too big for the humble surroundings, especially seeing as they sold out London’s 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace on the very same tour.

For all the band’s dancefloor ready tunes and outstanding theatrical performances, it was a cover song that in fact stole the show. As the band paraded back on stage for an encore with their flashy clothes and hats in toe, the evening took a remarkable turn. Taylor picked up two microphones and let out a ferocious scream into both. The band then powered through ‘Sabotage’ by Beastie Boys in immense fashion. A blistering dose of punk in amongst a night of poptastic revel.

Hot Chip proved themselves to be an absolute joy to behold. It’s hard to think of an act that oozes just as much unadulterated fun. A band who sure are ‘Ready For the Floor’!

featured image: Francesca Frankis

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