I get my hand stamped and head into the main room of Gorilla. Queuing up for a drink, I earwig the conversation behind me:

“How did you even manage to get these tickets?”

“I know – it literally sold out in minutes!”

The crowd is packed, the bar is busy and the vibe is electric. Even without earwigging, you can tell it’s a sell out show. And for good reason.  

The long awaited return of Hot Chip is felt in the air as the band casually wonder onto the stage: their appearance is instantly welcomed with wolf whistles and cheers.

The synthpop pioneers kick off with ‘Huarache Lights’, the first single from 2015’s, Why Make Sense? their latest album. If the crowd didn’t seem cosy enough, the stage certainly did. Seven members took up every inch of room with a selection of instruments: Guitars, drums, a tambourine and no less than five keyboards.

Hot Chip continued with ‘One Life Stand’ – their 2010 single from the album of the same title. Again, its well received and the crowd enjoyed the electro throw back to the early teenies.

The set then jumped forward a couple of years to In Our Heads. Dramatic lights arrived for the up-beat ‘Night and Day’ which kept the floor moving, before they slowed it down for ‘Flutes’.

Manchester got the last scoop of the band’s new material before latest single, ‘Hungry Child’ was released to the world on Thursday. Lead singer Alexis Taylor took the back-bench whilst fellow founding member Joe Goddard provided the vocals for this relaxed electronic number. The band visibly enjoyed themselves performing the fresh material (newbies ‘Spell’ and ‘Melody of Love’ were also performed).  A Bath Full of Ecstasy is set for release this June 21, and their excitement for the date is clear.

Of course nothing gets as good a reception as the oldies. Boy From School and I Feel Better naturally ignited the room. The jingling at the start of the following song spread a smile across all 700 faces in the crowd. Moving like mad the room chanted the classic chorus of ‘Over and Over’. The scene was completely priceless.

Things took an unexpected turn with a cover of Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’ for the penultimate song. Oddly placed and out of character – but some (many longer-haired) fans go wild for it. Hot Chip then left the stage but made a U-turn for the inevitable encore, ‘Ready for the Floor’. 

And that’s the end – the crowd dispersed to carry on their nights elsewhere. The band members went to the bar upstairs for a swift bev and to chat amongst those remaining.

It’s unclear at this stage whether Hot Chip’s new tunes will meet the bar set by their naughties anthems, but even if just for the old’ens – the band guarantee a feel good evening on this tour.

 

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April Curtin

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