Hot Chip have been pretty busy recently, haven’t they? In between working on their various side-projects, they have just released In Our Heads, their first album since 2010’s One Life Stand – and their first record through Domino. And with tonight’s show at London’s Heaven being their first headline show in the capital since the album came out, you would probably forgive them for feeling the pressure ahead of giving so much new material a run out.But tonight Hot Chip get it pretty much spot on.
The set, made up of a mix of brand new material and older singles, is slick and well thought out throughout. New tracks, such as opener ‘Motion Sickness’ and ‘Don’t Deny Your Heart’ (which is not only a highlight of the new album, but also of tonight’s set) are interspersed with the likes of ‘And I Was A Boy From School’ and ‘One Life Stand’, both of which are unsurprisingly met with huge enthusiasm from the packed venue. Meanwhile, ‘Night And Day’ – the latest single to be taken from their new record – is dark and intense, and is received just as well by the crowd as their better-known tracks, while ‘Over And Over’ sends both the crowd and the band themselves into a pulsating frenzy.
And the very fact that the 2006 hit isn’t by far and away the peak of the evening really is testimony to the strength of Hot Chip’s set. Alexis Taylor is on fine form tonight, whether he’s teasing the crowd with an elongated first verse during ‘Over And Over’, or shuffling along the front of the stage as the set progresses and he grows in confidence. But even in his role as the (sometimes seemingly reluctant) frontman, the diminutive Taylor is fairly quiet throughout. In fact, he says little more than the occasional “thank you” until the band re-emerge onto the stage for the encore, when he thanks the audience again, mumbling “it’s really wicked to be back here [in London].”
Despite his typically subdued manner, he seems to genuinely mean it. All seven members of the live band appear to be having a ball tonight; their sense of fun and freedom really coming to the fore during the encore. Following the colossal ‘Ready For The Floor’, the band launch into a short cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’, prompting euphoria amongst the crowd, before rounding the set of with another new track, this time the more melodic and thoughtful ‘Let Me Be Him’.
It’s a truly triumphant show, and one that not only acts as a stark reminder as to why Hot Chip became so popular in the first place, but also as a taster for what they could well be set to grow into this summer. With In Our Heads, possibly their best record to date, Hot Chip have cemented their place as one of the most essential British electronic acts in the world. And, if tonight’s performance is anything to go by, they’re only getting better.