6th April | Trinity
Photos: Michael Brumby
In their heyday, Hot Chip were the undisputed kings of indie disco, and after six albums’ worth of material, they may be changing but haven’t lost their appeal. After years in hibernation, they recently released their comeback single, ‘Hungry Child’ and announced their latest album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy.
While they’ve been away for a few years, the popularity clearly hasn’t faded, with their sold-out Trinity Centre gig showing a sign of good things to come. They strode onstage, all wearing custom outfits adapted from the colourful cover art of upcoming album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy.
‘Huarache Lights’ was a fitting start, paying homage to 70s disco group, First Choice, with the brief sample of their track ‘Put No Man Asunder’. Even their latest release, ‘Hungry Child’, came across as another old favourite, despite being released only a few days prior.
Despite it being one of the first gigs in a long time, they presented a scattered set list. Leaving out some of their bigger tracks like ‘Need You Now’ and ‘Started Right’ in the bigger picture could have seemed unconventional, but proved to be a wise choice. Every song encouraged the same kind of frenetic response from an energetic crowd. The intimate venue was filled with devoted fans who appreciated the dreamy nostalgia of ‘One Life Stand’ along with the newer cuts, such as downbeat number ‘Spell’.
‘Night and Day’ recalled the charged-up electro of early Metronomy, echoing the new-wave influence of their peers. It was one of the lasting reminders as to why they have stayed daringly relevant for so long.
‘Flutes’ was an uncompromising club track, where the band at one point forced out a regimented dance routine in perfect unison. Yet to sustain audience attention for a track that clocks in at seven minutes long is a mean feat for any band. Luckily they aren’t just any band. This was by no means their most well-known song, yet as soon as it began, shouts of “OH MY GOD!” and “I love you Joe!” followed.
Surprisingly, the most lively moment stemmed from their cover of ‘Sabotage’, a classic from Beastie Boys. It was the rawest and most rock and roll moment, that deviated from the robotic electro that came before. It was the encore featuring the zig-zag synth guillotine ‘I Feel Better’ that stood out as the biggest moment of the night, alongside the ‘Sabotage’ cover.
There is no doubting that it wasn’t the greatest show ever put on by the mavericks of noughties alt-electro, but the cosy setting of the venue was filled to the brim with their adoring public. While ‘Ready For The Floor’ and ‘Over And Over’ lived up to their hype as indie floor-fillers even a decade on, you couldn’t shake the sense that something was missing.
As charmingly abstract as they appear, their take on fragmented pop can lack a heart. This doesn’t seem to deter many of the manic followers who substitute the lost emotion with a different kind of motion. One thing to take away from the night is that maybe Hot Chip don’t always know how to start a party right, but they certainly know how to finish one.
See the video for ‘Hungry Child’ here: