Hot Chip - 53 Degrees Preston - 23.2.08

There's an air of mystery and ambiguity in the world of electronic music. The whole scene is bereft of anything approaching a personality. The Chemical Brothers hide behind their decks live and let the strobes and lighting dominate the visuals, Daft Punk shroud their identity in a robotic motif while nothing has ever been revealed about Air except their passion for music. Hot Chip have none of the above gimmicks or quirky novelty eccentrics just a real love of creating exciting sounds.

Their latest album "Made In The Dark" has been their most successful to date even if critically views have been divided to say the least. To the packed, diverse crowd many of whom brandish glow sticks like an ironic relic of 90s rave culture, Hot Chip are purveyors of electro excellence, their non image appealing in a world saturated by stylists and shallow fashion victims. With five keyboards on stage bolstered by guitar, bass and bits of drum kit, Hot Chip are a fully fledged live ban who away from the confines of the studio have a lot of fun with a light show the Klaxons and Enter Shikari would be proud of. Bespectacled, diminutive lead singer and all round technical boffin Alexis Taylor seems a little bit nervous at first, his voice a bit shaky and wavering just a tad. By the time of "Bendable Poseable" though the delicate looking frontman sounds a lot better with a more confident delivery, his face a lot more relaxed even though this isn't one of the albums best tracks. Disjointed rhythms, monotonous drum beat and squelchy synths show more experimental side to Hot Chip. Despite assistance from Joe Goddard who's all brawn and beard on keys and vocals this is a rare moment of mediocrity in an otherwise amazing set.

There's mayhem when their floor filler of an anthem "over And Over" is performed. Crowd surfers soar above people's heads, glow sticks are thrown and the room is bouncing with ecstatic fans as the hard bass line reverberates. An incredible song which the band fail to match but there's more brilliance to come like the guitar driven indie supreme "One Pure Thought", a more traditional song, mellow, bewildering and beguiling in a good way of course with the synths restrained for a change.

Comeback single "Ready For The Floor" with its deliciously decadent pop hooks and indescribably euphoric chorus is saved for the encore, a masterstroke which the fans savour and devour. Then the closing track off "Made In The Dark", "In The Privacy Of Our Love" ends their marvellous eighty minute set with a bluesy guitar riff, electric piano, electro beats and bleeps and a heart-warming vocal.

A band of much depth with many different layer and textures, Hot Chip are a truly exceptional live band

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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