words by Max Byrne

It was a Wednesday, the night after Australia Day, and to continue the festivities Hot Chip were holding a show at The Tivoli with a strong support team behind them; Empress Of from New York and Touch Sensitive from Sydney.

The night started awkwardly as I happened to be walking behind Alexis Taylor, the lead singer of Hot Chip. Not wanting to disturb his brisk evening walk before the show, I walked awkwardly behind him for about a Kilometre from my car to the venue as he kept looking behind nervously at me.

Inside the venue, Touch Sensitive started warming up the attendees. Crowd pleasers like ‘Body Stop’, ‘Slowments’, ‘Pizza Guy’ and his remix of Hayden James’ ‘Permission to Love’ were mixed together well, while he rattled off some amazing bass lines over the top. Touch Sensitive seemed to lock into his grooves so that it felt and looked like the bass was an extension of his body. Someone forgot to give him a microphone and to end the set, he cupped his hands and screamed “Thank-you” then walked off stage.

Empress Of was next on stage and she brought an extremely intimate but high energy set. She was joined by a drummer and another guy on synth / samples. The synth player also had a tambourine and a cowbell on a stand that he would furiously tap whilst playing bass lines on his moog. She played a mixture of tunes from her amazing 2015 record “Me” as well as older and new material. She pleaded with the sound guy and was allowed to play one more song, ending her set with ‘Kitty Kat’.

After a wait, the DJs interlude music faded and this groovy keyboard piece faded in, drawing the band on stage after a minute. They started with their huge 2015 tune of ‘Haurache Lights’ immediately getting the crowd moving. They were performing as a seven-piece, which made the whole set extremely interesting watching each member interact with different songs, many picking up multiple instruments throughout each song.

Hot Chip played many new songs off their two most recent albums ‘Why Make Sense?’ and ‘In Our Heads’ as well as playing some crowd favourites from their six-album catalogue. Over their 90-minute set, certain songs seemed to drag on and became tedious, but then the band would pike up my interest again by playing a new song. To end their set, they performed a dual cover of ‘Dancing in the Dark’ by Bruce Springsteen which then transformed into a ‘All My Friends’ by LCD Soundsystem which had the whole crowd screaming along to. They took a bow together and that was the night.

Rating: ★★★★

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