Hot Chip are the most prolific proponent of the electro crossover scene that began last decade. Their 2006 album The Warning is, for many, the most memorable moment of a scene that made of names like The Klaxons, The Bravery, Tom Vek and Hot Chip’s now defunct DFA label mates LCD Soundsystem.
When I first heard that Hot Chip would be playing at The Palace I was very happy because the tiered venue lends itself to great club shows. Tonight’s show maintained this opinion. Hot Chip opened with Shake A Fist – the most dance-floor orientated moment from 2008’s Made In The Dark. During this track, the custom built strobe light and massive bass subs shook patrons from the belly right up to the tops of their heads.
The next track was Boy From School, the song that back in 2006 took Hot Chip from an indie disco oddity to supreme songwriters. It was nice to see Joe Goddard (the deep voice) and Alex Taylor (the soft voice) opposite each other again with only their synths between them; this was as opposed to Hot Chip’s 2010 tour with LCD Soundsystem when Goddard appeared on a TV screen.
The entire first half of the set was peaked with Over & Over and the first single from last year’s In Our Heads, Night & Day, offering the greatest hands in the air moment. Night & Day features the memorable lines, “I don’t got no Abba/I don’t play no Gabba/I like Zapp not Zappa/So please quit your jibba jabba,” a direct reference to the fact that both Taylor and Goddard are DJs with Goddard even DJing later this night as The 2 Bears at The Meerkat Cross Hotel. However, the impact of their innate ability to design a set manifests as a respite at about the halfway point of the show with the tender ‘Look At Where We Are.
After this song, Hot Chip drag the tempo back up with How Do You Do that features an uplifting progression and quasi gospel style vocals, “How do you do it/That thing you do/You make me want to live again.” A nearby flight attendant informs me that this song features on Jetstar’s boarding music.
At the completion of this song, Hot Chip’s guitarist and un-appointed leader Al Doyle explains that this is their last show in a very long tour. The next song they bust into is Ready For The Floor that differs from usual with a super creepy intro of a slowed down, “Say it/Say it/Say it now,” then shifting to a clear voiced Alexis, “Do it/Do it/Do it now.” Maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me but I am sure there was a synth flourish of from Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun throughout the song flourish. It would make sense considering Hot Chip’s penchant for including ‘80s pop covers as part of their tracks. Tonight’s inclusion of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere was a highlight for many.
Unfortunately, this was followed by my lowlight of the night, the opening song of the encore Crap Kraft Dinner. I love this song on record (2004’s Coming On Strong) for its minimalism and profound lyrics but unfortunately a seven-piece Hot Chip, including live drums and percussion, took the song to place it should never have gone. Overall however, tonight’s show with its light and music was a highly enjoyable experience and while a part of me wishes it was still just the five guys with synths and laptops I saw at The Prince back in 2007, I am glad they have become an almost totally live disco experience.
BY DAN WATT
LOVED: The first five minutes.
HATED: An at times muddy mix.
DRANK: A bubble-cup I smuggled in under my wizard hat.