It may be cold outside, but in the Nick Raynes LCR Hot Chip were serving up a warm sound bath of summery dance music vibes. When the vibrations flowed up from beneath the floorboards through my feet, I could not help but smile (and, of course, dance like a maniac), as I was transported by the music to long summer days of sunshine and ice-cream.
Formed in London in the year 2000, you would be forgiven for thinking that Hot Chip were older, as their music is a loving homage to house and disco, with a modern-day alternative synth-pop twist. With their second album, The Warning (2006) being nominated for a Mercury Prize, and their single “Ready for the Floor” nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording (2008), Hot Chip are no strangers to success, though they seem unaffected by life in the limelight and were nothing but relaxed and cordial to their fans in Norwich.
The high energy performance at Thursday’s gig from creators Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard (plus fedora-clad company) was a delightful mix of choreographed dance, nostalgically eighties techno tracks and rousing the crowd to clap along and join in the fun. In fact, fun was the main order of the day, oozing out of every detail, from the inviting pastel stage lighting to the UV painted drumsticks. The band’s eclectic wardrobe of boiler suits and wide-brimmed fedora hats was a visual cue, before they even picked up their instruments, that this was going to be an evening of quirky, high velocity entertainment.
Hot Chip, introduced by a wonderfully hyperbolic robotic voice, came on stage to a classic countdown calculated to stir up an excited audience, who were appropriately ready for the (dance)floor. Keeping up the tension, Hot Chip alternated between high energy fast-paced dance choruses before slowing down, mid-song, dragging out each decibel in time to the flash of each light before gradually increasing the tempo back up to a faster, speed on tracks such as “Over and Over” and “One Life Stand”. The slow-mo rave lighting on “Night and Day” early in the main set created a Saturday night club atmosphere on a Thursday evening, and the distinctive metronome in “Flutes” led to tapping toes across the audience. The funky psychedelic baseline of “Spell”, coupled with violet stage lighting, brought the lyrics to life as Hot Chip performed their magic for the ecstatic spectators.
Overall, Hot Chip presented a painter’s palette of technicolour and an equally rich sound. They played hits such as “Melody of Love and Hungry Child, from their new album Bath Full of Ecstasy, released over the summer, as well as old favourites, such as “Ready for the Floor”, and even included a surprise rendition of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, a departure from their classic oeuvre but deftly pulled off nonetheless. Their skilful mastery of music enables them to throw sounds out to the crowd like a boomerang reverberating around the room; their funky baseline, coupled with robotic synth and beautiful harmonies on Boy from School blended into a rich bath of music, making me think that the new album is aptly titled.
Hot Chip released Bath Full of Ecstasy on the 21st of June 2019 and are currently touring the UK with dates across South America, Europe and Australia confirmed for 2019-2020. It is (in this reviewer’s opinion) an unmissable good time.