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Hot Chip, Southampton Guildhall
SOME bands make you dance. Some make you sing.
Hot Chip do both, and they put a smile on your face at the same time for good measure.
The London-based synthpop pioneers – or at least that’s the genre iTunes gives to their latest album, In Our Heads (think electronic dance meets Britpop with some Inbetweeners-style nerdiness mixed in) – give off the air of being the most happy-go-lucky group around.
Watching them enjoying themselves on stage, it’s difficult to believe there can possibly be anything bad in the world.
The crowd at the Guildhall certainly didn’t seem to think Hot Chip could do any wrong – by the end, at least. It did take a little while for the slightly disappointing audience to get going though, with polite suggestions from the band that the “reverential” settings might be rubbing off on people.
Kicking off, Motion Sickness, the opening track from In Our Heads, didn’t quite instantly enthuse the crowd, but some rousing renditions of Shake a Fist and One Night Stand started to do the trick. And the undeniably brilliant musicianship on display soon started to see the shackles of restraint worn off, as the toe tapping and head nodding gave way to full-on dancing, to the extent that by the time they played Over and Over, it was clear everyone had been, well, won over.
Hot Chip are a musical force in their own right, and I would defy anyone who has seen them not to smile, nod and dance in agreement with me.