Hot Chip, Matthew Dear

Fiona Doran 19/02/2008

I'm not sure if Hot Chip front man Alexis Taylor intentionally channels the geek chic look, but it definitely works for him. Typically seen in a pair of glasses identical to my own fathers and buttoned up shirts, he looks ever so slightly reminiscent of Steve Carell in “The 40 year old virgin” and perhaps like he could feature in Vice magazines “Do's and Don'ts” section, as a “Do” of course.

Taking to the heavily equipped stage, the band look shy and almost bashful as they receive a rapturous applause before even the first note has been played. The noise is so loud that it's hard to tell what the opener is until the first unmistakable thick bass lines of “Shake a fist” start to reverberate around the room. Bodies immediately start moving and a club atmosphere starts to emerge, only increasing with the inclusion of the heavy synths and beat that make “Shake a fist” such a phenomenal track.

Mixing older tracks with new ones kept the fans happy and highlights included the slow yet satisfying burner “Over and Over”, funk induced “Boy from school” with its beautifully melodic punctuations and fast paced “Don't dance”. There were moments when the tempo dropped, and unfortunately with it dropped the crowd's enthusiasm. Hot Chip do eclectic electro pop so well that it's almost disappointing when that stops to make way for a Beatles song, a prime example being “Made in the dark”. Perfectly enjoyable on the album and performed well live, you can't help but hanker over the next bassy bit of goodness.

Hot Chip bring such life to their music live that after experiencing it, listening to the album can seem a little flat. There are so many elements to their songs, each progressing in unusual directions and the use of synths and percussion really stands out during this live performance. Special mention also must go to the use of vocals which although sometimes got lost in all the other noise, are the reason why Hot Chip sound so original and fresh.

Alexis Taylor's voice like his appearance has a nerd factor to it, and this is put to excellent effect on one of the ending tracks and recent single release “Ready for the floor”. As it always seems to go with the current single, “Ready for the floor” began to the loudest cheering of the night and immediately the crowd started singing the “Do it, do it, do it now” intro.

Overall, Hot Chip were superb but then I expected nothing less from a band so innovative and creative. Geek chic rules it seems.