YOU must realise you’re well stocked with quality material as a band when, midway through a show, you remember you’ve forgotten to include your latest single in the setlist.
Hot Chip - The Art School, Glasgow
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It was white robes-adorned guitarist Al Doyle for whom the penny seemed to drop first, as he went around the stage whispering something in his Hot Chip bandmates’ ears.
Excessively bespectacled, gnome-hatted frontman Alexis Taylor subsequently joked of their error, and emotional house banger Need You Now – one among several gems on the London electronic dance group’s new album Why Make Sense? – was parachuted into proceedings.
Now 15 years and six albums into a consistently fruitful career, Hot Chip’s synth-powered sound – a kind of haven for ex-ravers in search of floor-fillers with more heart and substance – continues to mature with personality and style.
The opening night of a warm-up tour of intimate venues, this was a tightly drilled, summer festivals-ready show that stretched The Art School to capacity, its small stage barely able to contain all seven members and their masses of gear.
With a superb drummer in NYPC’s Sarah Jones holding down the beat, Hot Chip sounded less machine and more human than ever, and flexed their jam band muscles accordingly with the Stevie Wonder-esque clavinet disco-funk of Started Right. Old favourites Over and Over and Ready For The Floor were similarly injected with a new sense of freedom and organic warmth.
After tender ballads Made In The Dark and Alley Cats let Taylor show off his seven-stone weakling soul-boy voice, their encore cleverly resolved with an unlikely cover of Dancing In The Dark, shooting Bruce Springsteen’s rousing anthem to boredom and self-interference into the Krautrock cosmos.