Music review: Hot Chip, Junction 1, Glasgow

Despite some unfortunate issues with the venue, Hot Chip gave their fans an exuberantly joyous performance, writes Malcolm Jack

Hot Chip
Hot Chip

Hot Chip, Junction 1, Glasgow ****

There are summer festivals and outdoor gigs in lush green spaces where the surroundings are as much a part of the experience as the sounds. Then there’s Junction 1 in Glasgow’s East End, a spartan stage on a bleak gap site between an industrial estate and the M74, the din of traffic drowned out only by a whoppingly loud PA system.

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It’s difficult to imagine Scotland’s newest purpose-built open-air music venue lasting after a troubled first year of events which among other mysterious issues saw this show postponed by two months. It was drastically underattended when it happened, yet the bars still somehow ran out of beer. Twenty-two years into a consistently fruitful career at the nexus point of electronic dance music and indie, Hot Chip are near enough national treasures, and they and their fans plainly deserved better. It’s to the band's credit that they brought such an exuberantly joyous performance nonetheless.

Down, the lead single from the London five-piece’s forthcoming eighth album Freakout/Release, helped things get started on a high with its scuzzy-funky groove niftily hung around a sample of the Universal Togetherness Band’s lost classic More Than Enough. As night descended, the stage became a blur of geeky kinetic energy, as multi-instrumentalists Al Doyle and Rob Smoughton bounded back and forth between percussion and guitars, and synth player Owen Clarke danced like no one was watching in what looked like a pair of psychedelic pyjamas.

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A throbbing Over and Over and a discofied And I Was A Boy From School reached back to their breakout 2006 album The Warning, when they first found their flow for making floor-fillers full of heart and soul. Frontman Alexis Taylor delighted in dropping a little of Jonathan Richman’s Lesbian Bar into the thumping Night and Day. A climatic run of One Life Stand, Melody of Love, Ready for the Floor and Huarache Lights sent spirits soaring, before a thrashing cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage brought the show to a skidding haltin a hail of fuzz and feedback.