In A Bath Full of Ecstasy – a record every bit as hedonistic, comforting and immersive as its unsubtle title suggests – Hot Chip may have made their finest album yet at the seventh time of asking.
Hot Chip, Barrowland, Glasgow *****
Occupying a unique position at the nexus of electronic dance and indie guitar music, the London five-piece are one of the most consistently essential British bands of their generation – and they might only just be beginning to peak.
The Barrowland on a Saturday was the perfect forum for a nearly 20-year career-spanning set celebrating everything that makes Hot Chip special – the euphoric, the funny, the ridiculous and the sublime.
Titled after a pair of iconic trainers, Huarache Lights seemed as good a place as any to start a show which can have left no feet unmoved.
Leading the party in comically oversized silver shorts, excessively bespectacled frontman Alexis Taylor slipped a little of geeky kindred spirit Jonathan Richman’s Lesbian Bar into the pumping Night and Day, before Flutes was embellished with some comedy formation dance moves from guitarist Al Doyle and multi-instrumentalist Owen Clarke.
It’s not just that Hot Chip are relentlessly good fun, but that they do it with such heart and soul. As typified by a disco-fied reworking of old favourite And I Was a Boy From School, and new song Melody of Love, a warm hug of rave-era evangelistic synth-pop which felt by no means out of place framed by the band’s two biggest hits in Over and Over and Ready for the Floor.
A raucous cover of the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage set up a hands-in-the-air finale in I Feel Better. Long may Hot Chip’s reign continue – we’re lucky to have them. Malcolm Jack