Sweaty crowd laps up joyous melodies

Sweaty crowd laps up joyous melodies

Enmore Theatre,
January 8

In the room which should be renamed the Enmore Sweatlodge (trademark pending), among damp bodies pressed so close ultra-personal intimacies were exchanged without either party even noticing, this band's name seemed woefully inadequate. Hot Chip? Fuhgeddaboudit. Try deep fried Chip. Thoroughly baked Chip. Roasted, toasted and basted Chip.

All-rounders ... London electronic/dance band Hot Chip.

All-rounders ... London electronic/dance band Hot Chip.

Sure, no one made us squeeze into this room on a day when the weather bureau discovered pink and purple and the word catastrophic, but it is entirely Hot Chip's fault that we felt compelled to dance, slide against each other and shake inappropriate body parts. There's no one else to blame for an hour and a half of what could best be described as a sustained outbreak of joyousness masquerading as a regular gig.

Now, Hot Chip are supposedly an electronic/dance band, and might be said to live up to this as they began with the deep boom and pushy urgency of Shake A Fist with its concrete sounds, cold edge and an audience all hands in the air and heads down for movement. But the truth, as was made so obvious immediately after with the squiggly warmth and dolorous melody of And I Was A Boy, is that Hot Chip are an all-round pop band of some quality.

No, not just because they snuck in some Prince in the change of pace of Look At Where We Are (a rather tender moment as well as a breather, even if a good number chose it as the run for bar/toilet song) and found the danceable side of Fleetwood Mac with their cover of Everywhere.

Nor even because the multiple synths/keyboards/computers were smoothly, intelligently augmented by live drums and percussion, guitars and bass in infinitely propulsive songs like Night & Day (which had a classic '70s New York disco breakdown) and Ready For The Floor as well as they fleshed out an elusive, surprisingly fragile moment like Crap Kraft Dinner.

It's because the five-plus-one (this tour's drummer Sarah Jones is one killer machine) from Putney make you sing as well as dance, smile with pleasure as well as grin with excitement and generally have a very fine, albeit very slippery, good time with proper songs.

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