Hot Chip review: A love letter to dance music
- Credit: Ross Halls
Hot Chip released their seventh album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy, in the summer.
On record it's an almost scholarly love letter to house music, with a melancholy lyrical heart.
But played live the tracks become day-glo, hands in the air floorfillers - and the band transformed the Nick Rayns LCR into a danceteria serving up celebration, escapism and, if you're old enough to remember the second summer of love, a soupcon of nostalgia.
They played with a full band, but worked the crowds like DJs - from the slow build of show opener Huarache Lights, with its droney bassline, to the metronomic beats of One Life Stand to the euphoric hot mess of Night and Day. The latter is a pop masterclass comprising of about 200 ideas packed into a few frantic minutes, including a filthy bassline, with a soupcon of BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
At the heart of the band is childhood friends and co-founders, vocalist Alexis Taylor and, behind a bank of synths wearing a boiler suit, Joe Goddard. The band has created some of the best pop songs of the last couple of decades, combining a nerdy love of disco and dance with massive singalong choruses.
There were too many gorgeous moments in the career-spanning set to choose a favourite. The totally blissed out Bath Full of Ecstasy, Hungry Child with its ravey piano riff and lovelorn lyrics and And I Was a Boy From School slowing down Lil Louis-style and segueing into Spell were all highlights. Then there was the scuzzy bass and cowbell of Over and Over and Melody of Love with its yacht rock smoothness - an aural comfort blanket. And there was joy in the fact that it looked as if the band were having as much fun as the crowd, even breaking out into the odd dance routine.
The main set came to a close with the signature robotic bleeps of Ready for the Floor before an encore which included a real treat - the thundering cacophony of their energetic cover of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys and closed with I Feel Better - a fitting end to a set which more than deserves a rave review.
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