O2 Academy Brixton – October 22nd
If only other bands knew how to press buttons with as much conviction as Hot Chip, both literally and metaphorically. Six albums in and, while even the most stoic of musicians would begin to show forgivable signs of wilting, they appear to be reinvigorated on the strength of this showing.
It’s a homecoming, we’re reminded fairly early on and it adds to tonight’s sense of occasion; as each member is introduced to an eager crowd, they are greeted like returning heroes, and they handle the potentially delicate issue of constructing a set list to please everyone with understated professionalism.
‘Huarache Lights’ is an obvious, glorious opener, punctured by strobes and bouts of exuberant strutting and pogo-ing, while older favourites ‘Shake A Fist’ and ‘Alley Cats’ appease those that haven’t just made an appearance for a chorus of ‘Over and Over’ and ‘Ready For The Floor’, even if the latter is joyfully reworked to exhilarating effect. And there’s not a lot that falls flat here in all honesty, demonstrating what a dazzling clutch of tracks the band have at their disposal these days, although tonight’s highlight rests at the feet of Springsteen, a remarkable interpretation of ‘Dancing in the Dark’ flanked by cascading ticker tape and the fading outro to LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’. A quick glance at those around me reveals that, if you’re not deliriously whooping, gazing in awe seems to be an acceptable reaction also.
You would think that we would know what to expect from Hot Chip by now and, to some extent, we do. It’s anything but mundane, however. When the songs are riddled with grooves as infectious as this, you’ll be grinning, embracing the stranger next to you and dancing too hard to care. All at the same time. Don’t fight it.